Kids are usually on the move on the weekends running from party to party and activity to activity. Keep these simple ideas in mind when creating a menu for a birthday party or any other social activity for the kids:
- Make it Fun: This is always important when serving up kids healthy snacks. Try using fun shaped cookie cutters, serving kabobs or providing dips and other interactive foods to keep kids engaged.
- Choose Store Packed Snacks Wisely: Sometimes packaged foods can be high in fat and sodium. Be sure to look closely at Nutrition Fact Labels. Go for the air-popped popcorn, whole-grain tortilla chips with salsa and guacamole or whole-wheat pita bread with hummus.
- Build a Colorful Vegetable Tray: Putting colorful veggies like grape tomatoes, baby carrots, steamed and chilled green beans and cauliflower florets in fun shapes can be more appealing to little fingers. Including a variety of colors ensures that the kids are getting a range of nutrients.
- Include a Filling Main Event: Try a healthy homemade pizza party! Start with whole wheat pita bread or tortillas for a simple crust. Provide lower-sodium marinara sauce, low-fat cheese, turkey pepperoni and plenty of fresh vegetables, and allow the kids to add their own toppings.
- Serve a Better Drink: Instead of soda or other sweetened beverages, serve 100% fruit juice or jugs of ice water with fresh fruit, like strawberries, oranges or lemons.
- Be Smart with Sweet Treats: Serve more nutritious foods first, and bring out the sweets later when the kids have already filled up on healthier fare. Provide smaller portions of desserts and treats, and serve each child individually, rather than leaving sweets out for the taking. Smarter options include fruit- or yogurt-based popsicles.
Photo sourced from: www.pintrest.com
Kristin Harris is a Registered Dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation.