Nutritional Guidelines for Children’s Parties
When planning a children’s party, it’s important to consider the nutritional value of the food you serve. Providing healthy options can help ensure that children have the energy and nutrients they need to enjoy the party and stay active.
Here are some nutritional guidelines to keep in mind when planning a children’s party:
1. Offer a variety of fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, making them an essential part of a healthy diet. Offer a variety of colorful options, such as carrot sticks, cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, and fresh berries. You can also serve them in fun ways, such as fruit skewers or veggie cups with dip.
2. Choose whole grains
Whole grains provide more fiber and nutrients than refined grains, which have been stripped of their bran and germ. Choose whole-grain options for bread, crackers, and pasta. You can also offer whole-grain snacks, such as air-popped popcorn or whole-grain crackers with cheese.
3. Limit sugary drinks
Sugary drinks like soda and fruit juice can be high in calories and low in nutrients. Instead, offer water, milk, or 100% fruit juice in small portions. You can also make fruit-infused water or offer low-sugar drinks like unsweetened iced tea.
4. Serve lean protein
Protein is important for growth and development, but it’s important to choose lean sources to avoid excess saturated fat. Good options include grilled chicken or fish, turkey or ham slices, and low-fat cheese or yogurt.
5. Offer healthy snacks
In addition to main dishes, offer healthy snacks like trail mix, nuts, or low-sugar granola bars. These can provide energy and nutrients without excess sugar or fat.
By following these nutritional guidelines, you can provide a variety of healthy and fun food options for your child’s party.
18 Healthy and Fun Food Ideas for Kids’ Parties
Fruit skewers are an easy and fun way to serve fruit at a party. Simply cut up a variety of fruits, such as strawberries, pineapple, grapes, and melon, and thread them onto skewers. You can also add some marshmallows or cubes of cheese for added flavor and texture.
To make the fruit skewers even more visually appealing, try arranging them in a rainbow pattern. This will not only make them look beautiful, but it will also encourage kids to try different types of fruit.
Watermelon pizzas are a healthy and creative alternative to traditional pizza. To make them, simply cut a watermelon into thick slices and top them with a variety of fruits, such as kiwi, strawberries, and blueberries. You can also add some shredded coconut or chopped nuts for added texture.
To make the watermelon pizzas even more fun, let the kids decorate them themselves. Provide a variety of toppings and let them create their own unique pizzas. This will not only be a fun activity for the kids, but it will also encourage them to try new fruits and flavors.
All aboard the veggie train! This is a fun and interactive way to serve vegetables to kids. Simply arrange a variety of colorful vegetables on a platter in the shape of a train. Use cherry tomatoes as the wheels, cucumbers as the body, and bell peppers as the windows. You can also add broccoli or cauliflower as smokestacks, and use sliced carrots or celery as the tracks. To make it even more fun, provide toothpicks for the kids to use as “train whistles” as they enjoy their veggies.
Rainbow Veggie Cups
Another way to make vegetables more exciting is by presenting them in individual cups. This not only makes it easier for kids to grab and go, but it also adds a pop of color to your table. Start by layering a variety of chopped vegetables in clear cups. You can use carrots, red peppers, yellow peppers, cucumbers, and cherry tomatoes. To make it even more fun, arrange the vegetables in a rainbow pattern. Serve with a side of ranch or hummus for dipping.
Shaped Mini Sandwiches
Kids love anything that’s bite-sized and cute, so why not make mini sandwiches in fun shapes? Use cookie cutters to cut bread into shapes like hearts, stars, and animals. Then, fill them with your child’s favorite sandwich fillings, like peanut butter and jelly, ham and cheese, or cream cheese and cucumber.
To make the sandwiches even more fun, you can add edible decorations like raisins for eyes, cherry tomatoes for noses, and sliced cheese for ears. Arrange the sandwiches on a platter and watch as the kids gobble them up.
Another fun sandwich idea is pinwheel wraps. To make them, start with a tortilla or wrap and spread a layer of cream cheese or hummus on top. Then, add your child’s favorite fillings, like turkey, cheese, and lettuce, or avocado, tomato, and cucumber.
Roll up the tortilla tightly and slice it into bite-sized pinwheels. You can even use different colored tortillas or wraps to make the pinwheels more colorful and fun.
Serve the pinwheel wraps on a platter, and watch as the kids have fun picking out their favorite flavors.
Yogurt and Fruit Parfaits
Yogurt and fruit parfaits are a great way to provide your child with a healthy and tasty snack. Simply layer low-fat yogurt with fresh fruit in a clear glass or plastic cup. You can also add a sprinkle of granola or nuts for some crunch. This snack is not only delicious but also provides your child with essential nutrients such as calcium, protein, and vitamins.
Homemade Fruit Popsicles
Homemade fruit popsicles are a fun and healthy alternative to store-bought popsicles that are often full of sugar and artificial flavors. Simply blend your child’s favorite fruits with some water or juice, pour the mixture into popsicle molds, and freeze. You can also add some chopped fruit or berries for extra texture and flavor. Your child will love these refreshing treats, and you can feel good knowing that they are getting a healthy snack that is packed with vitamins and antioxidants.
Mini Whole Grain Pizzas
Pizza is always a crowd-pleaser, and mini whole grain pizzas are a fun and healthy twist on this classic dish. Start with whole grain English muffins or mini pitas as the base. Spread a spoonful of tomato sauce on each one and then let the kids add their own toppings. Some healthy options include diced bell peppers, sliced mushrooms, and chopped spinach. Top with a sprinkle of low-fat cheese and bake in the oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Quinoa Salad Cups
Quinoa is a nutritious whole grain that is packed with protein and fiber. For a fun and easy party food, try making quinoa salad cups. Cook the quinoa according to the package directions and then mix in some diced vegetables like cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and red onion. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and some chopped herbs like parsley or basil. Spoon the quinoa salad into small cups made from endive leaves or cucumber slices for a fun and healthy finger food that kids will love.
Infused Water Options
Infused water is a great way to add some flavor to plain water without adding any sugar or artificial sweeteners. You can prepare different flavored water options by adding fruits, herbs, and vegetables to the water. Here are some infused water options you can offer:
- Lemon and Mint Infused Water
- Cucumber and Lime Infused Water
- Strawberry and Basil Infused Water
You can also prepare a DIY infused water station where kids can create their own flavored water by adding their favorite fruits and herbs.
Natural Fruit Juices
Natural fruit juices are a great way to provide kids with essential vitamins and minerals. However, it’s important to choose juices that are not loaded with added sugars. Here are some healthy fruit juice options you can offer:
- Orange Juice
- Apple Juice
- Pineapple Juice
You can also prepare a fruit juice bar where kids can mix and match different fruit juices to create their own unique blends.
For kids who are gluten intolerant or have celiac disease, it can be tough to find snacks that are safe to eat. Here are some gluten-free options that are sure to be a hit:
- Veggie sticks with hummus or guacamole
- Rice cakes with almond butter and sliced banana
- Popcorn seasoned with nutritional yeast and sea salt
- Zucchini or sweet potato fries baked in the oven
- Fruit skewers with dairy-free yogurt dip
Nut-Free Energy Balls
Many kids have nut allergies, which can make it challenging to find snacks that are both healthy and delicious. Here are some nut-free energy balls that are perfect for a party:
- Oatmeal energy balls with dried cranberries and sunflower seeds
- Chocolate chip energy balls made with pumpkin seeds and coconut flakes
- Cinnamon raisin energy balls with chia seeds and hemp hearts
- Apple pie energy balls made with oats, dates, and shredded apples
- Lemon coconut energy balls with flaxseed and sesame seeds
Build-Your-Own Taco Bar
A build-your-own taco bar is a great way to get kids excited about eating healthy. To set up the taco bar, you’ll need a variety of healthy ingredients, such as:
- Whole wheat tortillas
- Grilled chicken or tofu
- Shredded lettuce
- Diced tomatoes
- Shredded cheese
You can also add other ingredients, such as black beans or corn, to give kids even more options. To make it easier for kids to build their tacos, you can set up the ingredients in separate bowls and provide tongs or spoons for them to use.
DIY Smoothie Bowls
Smoothie bowls are a fun and healthy way for kids to enjoy a variety of fruits and vegetables. To set up a DIY smoothie bowl station, you’ll need a selection of fruits and vegetables, such as:
You’ll also need a blender to make the smoothie base. To make the smoothie base, you can use a combination of yogurt, milk, and fruit juice. Once you’ve made the smoothie base, kids can add their own fruits and vegetables to create their own unique smoothie bowl.
Custom Trail Mix Bags
Trail mix is a classic snack that’s perfect for kids on the go. It’s easy to customize and can be made with a variety of healthy ingredients. To make custom trail mix bags for your party, simply set out bowls of different nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and other mix-ins. Let each child fill a small bag with their favorite ingredients, then tie it up with a ribbon or twist tie. Not only will kids love the chance to create their own snack, but they’ll also have a healthy treat to take home with them.
Organic Dried Fruit Packs
Dried fruit is a sweet and healthy snack that’s perfect for kids of all ages. To make organic dried fruit packs for your party, simply purchase a variety of dried fruits such as apricots, apples, and mangos. Package each fruit in a small cellophane bag and tie it up with a ribbon or twist tie. Not only will kids love the taste of these sweet treats, but they’ll also be getting a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals.