8

votes

How would you cater for a children's birthday party?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 23, 2012 at 11:20 PM

I am not a father yet but I was thinking about children's birthday parties, which are generally all about cakes, sweets and lots of fizzy sugary soft drinks.

It suddenly dawned on my how much sugar these kids would be taking in and so began to wonder what could be used to replace the normal party foods. Food may be easier to replace, but what about soft drinks? Fruit juice instead of sodas are not much better, perhaps diluted juices?

I suppose the other thing would be how to cater for not only your children but the children coming from normal SAD families. I can't imagine everyone would be happy with your choices so how could one best cater for everyone and make it a happy time for all?

Thanks.

25.02.12: Thanks for all the answer everyone. Great to think about and more so to know that there is a way to invest in our kids (future) health and build some good habits.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 24, 2012
at 02:13 PM

I am starting to find spam really amusing.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 24, 2012
at 12:39 PM

^ Its sweetner chemicals structurally resemble sterioids, and it has an unknown health profile (for example cancer). Zero calorie sweetners also trigger insulin release, because part of the mechanism is the sweet taste receptors, in the mouth, and it the pancreas. Thats why lots of zero calorie sweetners make you hungry. Basically, i think its fair to say, the jury is still out on whether its healthy or not (id tend to say not, simply because of the empty insulin release).

0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

(5150)

on August 24, 2012
at 11:48 AM

Stevia isn't an artificial sweetener and it's not a "diet" food, jj. It just happens to be 0 calories and not unhealthy. Not sure what your issue with that is.

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on February 25, 2012
at 11:26 AM

A perfect answer thank you.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on February 25, 2012
at 04:59 AM

Yes! Very good "point" Jenny J.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 25, 2012
at 02:32 AM

Note on the toothpicks- be careful if the kids are too little! Served a bunch of toothpick foods for my best friend's 5 year old birthday party without thinking, it was an exciting afternoon of chasing down chocking hazards and having heart attacks.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on February 24, 2012
at 03:14 PM

Ditto. If given the opportunity at the party, kids will run off the sugar/honey. Give them enough protein & fat to balance it out.

59536c2e6df721b050e10b7a87143481

(58)

on February 24, 2012
at 11:54 AM

Cheese, cocktail onion and salami skewers

35ba1f50dad25c85ac1aa2599fe5c5cb

(2485)

on February 24, 2012
at 06:45 AM

Whoa... I would be really upset if someone fed my child stevia without my knowledge. I have a rule of no "diet" food or non-nutritive sweeteners for children. I'd rather run my kid around the block 5 or 6 times after he gets back from a birthday party than to get his tastebuds acclimated to artificial sweeteners.

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on February 24, 2012
at 05:32 AM

Costco has 24 packs of little bottles of flavored (lime, orange, lemon, berry) unsweetened seltzer water here. If you were determined to please you could add stevia to each bottle - I can't tell the difference between that and soda (other than how I feel afterwards.) They're good without sweetener as well; I don't think exposing kids to hyperstimulus is likely to create a positive relationship with food early on.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on February 24, 2012
at 02:52 AM

Have you ever made those cheetoes? Are they any good? That speaks to my heart. (thump. thump.)

2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on February 24, 2012
at 02:21 AM

PLUS plenty of outdoor activities! Obstacle course, frisbee, scavenger hunt, races, etc. Get those kids moving!

2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on February 24, 2012
at 02:20 AM

This! GF cupcakes, choco coconut milk icecream (and if people say anything, claim fear of lactose intolerant children;), beef franks, fresh fruit in cups, veggies and dip. I love the idea of a "make your own soda" station with seltzer water and different fruit juices/syrups, all homemade and no-sugar-added: blueberry, orange, lime, cherry, strawberry.

Aa69579f867333b08158c70e25f7daf1

(1826)

on February 24, 2012
at 02:05 AM

I have run into trouble with the nut-free crowd. They really don't like my almond flour baked good substitutes. Otherwise, I just always bring food for my daughter when we go places. And I offer coconut flour tortillas with honey and fresh fruit for her large playdates. The kids LOVE THEM. Pizza and soda is just "easy" for large groups - there are other options, thankfully!

2f931662684a7747be36255c8b486228

(1049)

on February 24, 2012
at 01:34 AM

Oh, by the way you can make your own marzipan for cake decorating also. Wonderful alternative to all that sugary frosting. just use egg white, almond flour and xilitol. I use coconut flour to roll them rather than too much xilitol. You can also make wonderful little scultpures or let the kids make them (just like play dough) as a craft at the party........then they eat them.!!!

78972387772c994caa78513a83978437

(2290)

on February 23, 2012
at 11:32 PM

Good question. I too think about things such as this. I cringe at the thought of how much pizza and soda I consumed at birthday parties as a child.

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16 Answers

best answer

4
518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 25, 2012
at 02:38 AM

For my old roommates daughter, it was a really fun to have fizzy water "cocktails" that the kids could mix themselves. We filled little cups (like the ones that come with water coolers, you can buy ones with fun patterns from the dollar store) with various juices, so it was already portion controlled that they would only add a few. Then we put out frozen grapes, strawberry slices, blueberries, kiwi slices, and peach slices so they could top off their glasses with them. We put out one class of fizzy water per child, then they could add 1-2 little cups of juices of their choice, then top with unlimited "fruit ice cubes". They thought it was really fun and special, like making their own fancy "sodas".

For snack food, we usually do lots of trays of fruit, vegetables, little cheeses, and pickles (surprising how popular that pickles were, thought only adults would be eating them, apparently toddlers/little kids are into pickled things).

Main course- most kids like barbequed chicken! We tried beef patties one year but most kids were confused as to where the bun went. The chicken went over much better, especially when there were lots of options for different salads that suited everyone (rice salad, green salad, lots of coleslaw's).

For desert, we just went whole hog with a great gluten free chocolate cake. I wasn't bothered enough to do fried bananas and avocado mouse (not very much fun to do and assemble when a bunch of 5 year old kids are around your legs and smearing craft glue on the walls), and honestly they all loved it and our little girl was so happy to have such a fantastic treat. We put a big bowl of whipped cream instead of ice cream (you can at least control how much sugar is going in) in the middle of the table with loads of fruit again, so most kids added some fruit and cream to their plate.

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on February 25, 2012
at 11:26 AM

A perfect answer thank you.

5
0266737ea1782946902fd3f8e60fa0b9

(2504)

on February 23, 2012
at 11:48 PM

our good friends are both very committed to the paleo lifestyle and they have two kids. At a recent bday party, there were single serving bubbly waters, apple sauce in tubes, and gluten free cupcakes. You could also put out nuts, fruits, serve hot dogs, etc. There's a lot you can do.

2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on February 24, 2012
at 02:20 AM

This! GF cupcakes, choco coconut milk icecream (and if people say anything, claim fear of lactose intolerant children;), beef franks, fresh fruit in cups, veggies and dip. I love the idea of a "make your own soda" station with seltzer water and different fruit juices/syrups, all homemade and no-sugar-added: blueberry, orange, lime, cherry, strawberry.

2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on February 24, 2012
at 02:21 AM

PLUS plenty of outdoor activities! Obstacle course, frisbee, scavenger hunt, races, etc. Get those kids moving!

4
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on February 24, 2012
at 12:06 AM

I've made things like these ( http://www.workitmom.com/slideshows/detail/5164/healthy-snacks-fun-with-fruit/2 ), cut out fruit skewer/lollipops that go over really well, wanna be careful of the spikiness/length of the skewers with the kids though. Cheese and salami can be cut and skewered the same way. Who doesn't love food on a stick?

Most kids are whipped cream fiends, so I'll often make a really big bowl of either unsweetened or lightly sweetened with honey whipped cream.

Bubbly water with a splash of juice usually works as a soda substitute.

You could either set up an egg decorating table, or pre-decorate hard boiled eggs in the theme of the party.

And for some reason, just about every kid I know right now is crazy for seaweed snacks and rice crackers.

2
2f931662684a7747be36255c8b486228

(1049)

on February 24, 2012
at 01:30 AM

We make our own "fanta" from squeezed mandarins, carbonated water and a drop or two of stevia. You can make cheetos from egg whites and parmasean cheese. Make some califlower pizza.

Plenty of whipped cream in our house as well. Fruit skewers are wonderful and kids gobble them down, when you don't need a sppon or fork.

Carrot sticks, celery sticks, avocado dip. Plenty of muffin recipes out there.

2f931662684a7747be36255c8b486228

(1049)

on February 24, 2012
at 01:34 AM

Oh, by the way you can make your own marzipan for cake decorating also. Wonderful alternative to all that sugary frosting. just use egg white, almond flour and xilitol. I use coconut flour to roll them rather than too much xilitol. You can also make wonderful little scultpures or let the kids make them (just like play dough) as a craft at the party........then they eat them.!!!

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on February 24, 2012
at 02:52 AM

Have you ever made those cheetoes? Are they any good? That speaks to my heart. (thump. thump.)

1
6fece842bd1bcf5724f458a302a2156e

on February 25, 2012
at 09:03 PM

It's never easy with children and I've brought a lot of them up. The bottom line is they cannot eat what isn't there. I've had visiting children wanting chocolate biscuits amazed they cannot find any. I let them look through all cupboards. They thought there would be secret hoards of chocolate somewhere.

The best drink for children is water. You can add ice. You can add lemon.

Children love chicken drum sticks here in the UK.

They can have burgers made from real beef (no bread).

Cut carrot and cucumber sticks usually go down well.

We have always had cake although I don't eat it.

You just have to work out your own compromises.

1
193b7fb0fec8913d5ebb3b99a04d21c6

(2918)

on February 24, 2012
at 02:45 PM

Considering more and more children are allergic/sensitive/etc, it's becoming more socially acceptable to serve stuff other than pizza and pop. I've never served pop to children at my kids' birthdays (they don't like it anyway, the few times they've tried it) but it's there for the adults, because my mother has instilled in me the idea that I'm a horrible hostess if I don't cater to everyone, and I tend to agree.

Think about it this way, if your children were at a SAD child's birthday party, wouldn't you be extremely appreciative if the party host went out of their way to accomodate your child? I know I would be.

Kids love fruit, so I always make sure there's plenty of it. I also make sure there's a veggie tray of some sort, but that doesn't go as fast, which is fine because I just bring it home for us to eat. Good quality cold cuts are good. But there's always cake and there's always some sort of party meal, whether it be pizza or hot dogs or burgers (yay summer birthdays) or chicken. A big tray of Italian beef is a good one, but that's a Chicago thing.

If my kids eat cake and pizza like the rest of their friends one day a year on their birthday, chances are I'm not ruining their life. They're usually too hyped up to eat much of anything anyway, so I don't really stress about it too much.

1
59536c2e6df721b050e10b7a87143481

on February 24, 2012
at 11:53 AM

Some avocado, cocoa, honey mousse. paleo choc/date brownies. fried dried banana in butter rolled in coconut. Blueberry/Strawberry and greek yoghurt smoothies with grated chocolate on top. Frozen bananas covered in melted chocolate, rolled in coconut. figs wrapped in bacon. Scotch eggs, egg wrapped in sausage meat and fried in lard. fruit skewers. Mini chicken drumsticks. mini grin free sausages. Gelatine jelly made with juice, no sugar. Ground turkey and macadamia in lettuce cups.

59536c2e6df721b050e10b7a87143481

(58)

on February 24, 2012
at 11:54 AM

Cheese, cocktail onion and salami skewers

1
7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on February 24, 2012
at 02:51 AM

Kids love toothpicks. I fold up salami, gouda and veggies and put on sticks or toothpicks. I cut off the sharp ends. My kids take these to lunch and the other kids ask for the toothpicks. These would make great appetizers. They eat veggie and dip well. For drinks...why not kefir water? Fizzy and juicy...healthy. You can even put it in neat little bottles you buy cheap just for kids. Also...believe me the kids care more about what comes in the goodie bag than they do about the food.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on February 25, 2012
at 04:59 AM

Yes! Very good "point" Jenny J.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 25, 2012
at 02:32 AM

Note on the toothpicks- be careful if the kids are too little! Served a bunch of toothpick foods for my best friend's 5 year old birthday party without thinking, it was an exciting afternoon of chasing down chocking hazards and having heart attacks.

1
Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on February 24, 2012
at 12:46 AM

At my kids' parties, I serve sparkling water with lemon or lime juice and a little stevia, hot drinks like: hot carob(chocolate allergies)and chai, or even kombucha(usually diluted with sparkling water). I make coconut flour based cupcakes or cakes, serve veggies and dips, raw cheeses, rice crackers(kids are not strictly paleo, but are gf)and popcorn with lots of ghee or butter, sea salt and nutritional yeast. Sometimes I serve a big bowl of whipped cream with berries, and I have made coconut milk based ice cream as well. Oh, and there is usually a request for deviled eggs from one of them...

0
8292546789ca48c32ead34c6e884d059

on August 24, 2012
at 06:01 PM

How about Berries and Whipped cream?

You could probably make paleo compliant (not too) hot wings. Celery sticks go well with that.

I like the BBQ chicken and meatballs mentioned above.

0
C8549e3ab0e3d77910e72c87cb5e0918

(435)

on August 24, 2012
at 05:49 PM

We do chicken drumsticks, sausage rolls, raw veggies, cheese cubes, fruit kabobs, bread buns for those that eat them. It all seems to get devoured.

I didn't serve pop for kids pre-paleo, so that hasn't changed. Water, milk, and juice are it.

We also do homemade cake, and/or ice cream.

0
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 24, 2012
at 01:03 PM

First thing to remember is that kids are kids. So let them have cake, let them enjoy.

Second, schedule off hours, like a 1300 to 1600 party. That way most kids have eaten lunch prior to coming.

Third, if you serve food:

We did "fruit sodas" with seltzer water, and then the kids got to squeeze their own half of fruit juice (oranges and grape fruit).

We also typically do appetizer style. Meatballs, Asparagus wrapped in steak, coconut chicken nuggets, veggies and dip, etc. We will also prepare something like bagel pizzas and pigs in a blanket or whatever for the other kids, and just try to keep our kids eating the better choices (although, it is a party so we let them be kids).

The bigger issue for us is going to other people's party where it's just -- junk junk junk -- absolutely nothing worth eating. So let your kid have a cheat day, it's not going to hurt them.

0
Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 24, 2012
at 12:50 PM

I find it a bit weird that people drink fizzy drinks now (sugar aside). Why would you want to ingest something that has a gas in it? (Ie it increases the odds of burping, coughing and even choking).

I mean very few people die of chocking, so its a pretty low risk idea, but the mere fact it makes you have to involantary eject the gas later on seems like it takes away some of the pleasantness of the experience anyway.

Maybe I am biased because ive had digestive issues, but I dont enjoy burping myself.

0
35ba1f50dad25c85ac1aa2599fe5c5cb

(2485)

on February 24, 2012
at 04:56 PM

Ideally? BBQ for the food (our family has frequent BBQs all summer, it's super easy to accomidate everyone from paleo eaters to vegans to our gluten free friends), either those boxed low sugar diluted juices, or homemade fizzy lemonade for beverages, and a proper cake from scratch, no ice cream. Gift bags are a thing, not more candy.

In reality though, my son's birthday occurs at a time of year when the weather is unreliable and my husband and I are both SWAMPED at work. We do all of the above, but instead of BBQ we do catering trays from a local mexican joint (mini burritos, quesadillas, beans, chips & a extra tray of salad). The kids who are used to junky food are usually happy with quesadillas, my vegetarian BIL can have a bean burrito, and I empty the meat out of a chicken burrito onto a big plate of salad greens. It's not ideal, but it's party food and I don't end up being the weird mom who has a crappy birthday party. This year I think we're having it at a local nature center and if the weather is good the kids will go on a short hike. Favors are going to be reuseable water bottles. Then at least the kids get back to their homes a little worn out and not TOTALLY sugar buzzed beyond belief.

0
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on February 24, 2012
at 04:58 AM

I would serve ice cream.

-2
7882b752ec44b0daa4ab8d2147ec38c1

on August 24, 2012
at 11:38 AM

i too celebrated my birthday last week at Dee Marks Hotel & Resorts. i enjoyed alot. It was one of my best birthday till date. Everything was well planned and in my budget too :) i would recommend the same to all :) for details and offers you guys can see their website http://deemarks.com

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 24, 2012
at 02:13 PM

I am starting to find spam really amusing.

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