May 09, 2015
My youngest boy, Charlie, turned 4 a couple of weeks ago and he was so excited about his birthday party. My challenge the past three years has been to reinvent the way I put on a child’s birthday party. For me, that means creating a sugar, dairy and gluten free party that has delicious and wholesome foods that the kids will really enjoy.
Let’s be honest. It’s all well and good to put out a spread of nutritious and healthy foods for your child and their friends, but what happens if they don’t like the food at the party? Not happy days. When we think of children’s parties, I think many of us dream up thoughts of delicious butter cream cakes, lollies, chocolates, chips, party pies, cheerios with tomato sauce, and maybe some fruit or vegetable based dips thrown in for good measure. So if this is the expected standard and the party food needs to be a hit with the kids, what does a sugar, dairy and gluten free party look like?
A sugar, dairy and gluten free party doesn’t have to be boring. I think the opposite is true! The food is colourful, fresh and enticing. I like to pick a few sweet recipes, some cut up fruit, some delicious home made dips with sides, and some salted popcorn. I love this menu because it is easy to make, has a few treats thrown in for good measure and is easy for the kids to eat in between playing and party games.
So here is my menu from Charlie’s birthday party. Most of the recipes are ones that I make regularly so they’re easy to whip up – I like stress free when it comes to parties. I must confess that the kids started eating the party food before I had a chance to take my pictures, so you’ll have to use your imagination for what it looked like originally!
I always serve a fresh fruit platter. Grab whatever fruit is in season and cut up the fruit into nice shapes. We had a lovely fruit platter of watermelon, pineapple, grapes and strawberries. The kids raided the strawberries so fast! If you want to get extra crafty, use some shaped cookie cutters to create stars, circles and other fruit shapes for the kids to eat. This is really easy to do with watermelon.
I also like to put some salted popcorn in a big bowl. The kids really love this. You can buy a large packet at the shops (look for a brand that only contains popping corn, oil and salt) or you can make your own at home. Cook the popping corn in a tablespoon of coconut oil or macadamia oil and then add some fine Himalayan salt at the end.
My dips are always a hit. I served my Cumin Spiced Hummus and my Red Capsicum and Cashew Dip on the day. These dips are delicious with some rice crackers or organic corn chips. You can buy organic corn chips from health food stores (like Mrs Flannerys) or from the health food section of your supermarket. I buy corn chips that only contain corn, oil and salt. You can also serve your dips with cut up carrot, celery and capsicum sticks.
Now for the sweet treats. I love to serve my Raw Chocolate Nut Slice cut up into little pieces. If you have children coming that are allergic to nuts then you can substitute the nuts with seeds like sunflower seeds and pepitas. I also made a banana and date slice on the day, but you can also make little muffins. Having something bite sized means the kids can grab something on the go then get back to playing, which is what they’re there for. Try my Nut Free Banana Date Muffins for something sweet but wholesome.
And that’s it! Super simple. Really yummy. Easy.
This may seem like a small amount of food. One thing I have found over the years is that it’s common for people to over-cater at parties. We normally hold our parties in a local park so I like to avoid bringing leftover food home with me. I’ve found that this amount of food works really well for around 15 people. Then of course there’s the cake. Stay tuned for that recipe. I served a delicious paleo chocolate cake with chocolate coconut icing and fresh strawberries. Delicious!
I hope this menu helps you out at your next kids party. Even replacing some of the sugary treats you normally serve with some of my options will really make a difference and I promise that the kids will enjoy these alternatives. The smiling faces and happy tummies say it all.
Happy birthday my beautiful Charlie! Love Mum xxx
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