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Holding a healthy party

Ok, so you’re planning a party, and it’s time to think about the party food – Yikes!Don’t feel daunted you can do this! You can even do this AND go down the healthy food choices avenue. Just remember that you’re feeding children and, in my experience, kids eat as much with their eyes as their mouth. So as long as it looks appealing – they’ll give it a go!

Here are some cheeky little ideas that you can use to fill the little people’s bellies and not send them home on a sugar high!

First, let me say – get the cake! Don’t be healthy – INDULGE! It’s a party and it’s kinda all about the cake. This healthy food idea doesn’t mean you ditch the cake!

Here goes! Why not start with raw vegetables like carrot, celery and cherry tomatoes with an avocado dip. Just mash the avocado and add a little lime juice. Simple, delicious and easy to prepare ahead of time.

Adding a little chocolate to fruit will add to the appeal – I promise! Skewer large strawberries onto either paddle pop sticks (if the kids are little) or kebab skewers (for bigger kids) and dip into melted chocolate or lightly drizzle melted chocolate over the strawberries – make some milk and some white chocolate. Don’t limit yourself to just strawberries why not use the same process but with kiwifruit, melon and pineapple.

Make jellies in little baking cups and add some grapes, top with a little marshmallow treat and a halved strawberry and serve. Be creative – use blue cupcake cases and make blue jelly, use a cupcake topper or toothpick and skewer a mandarin segment it looks like a little boat in the water. Use green jelly and add a frog on top of a halved marshmallow and you’ve got a frog on a lily pad!!

Blend strawberries and yogurt and freeze them in ice block moulds and you’ve got a smoothie pop, great for summer outdoor parties!

Remember when it comes to fruit kids will eat a lot more if it’s ready to eat; peeled, sliced, cored etc. So a simple fruit platter will keep them happy while they play. I know I said healthy but why not add a little dip in the centre for them to dip the fruit in, maybe caramel and chocolate? You could also add some dates, dried apricots and maybe nuts (depending on allergies of course).

Try yogurt sundaes, use disposable ice cream cups and layer yoghurt and fresh berries, add a little topper as decoration to fit in with party theme and the little portable treat is ready to go. If the kids are old enough why not set up a station where they can create their own sundae?

Never underestimate the pleasure that comes from a simple sandwich! Cut them differently using cookie cutters to appeal to the little persons eyes and use a mixture of breads. Hold the butter and try lettuce and cheese, good old ham, cheese and tomato or chicken and mayo. You could also make little homemade meatballs or rissoles using chicken mince, carrot and corn. Make them the day before and keep in the fridge, add some sweet chilli sauce for the bigger kids and good old tomato sauce for the small ones.

You can also do mini pizzas – use readymade bases or wraps and top with combos of pineapple, cherry tomatoes, sliced mushrooms, ham and a little cheese.

Like I said – don’t leave out all the treats, kids love cupcakes, they’re an ideal size for little hands and can be eaten standing up which means you don’t need plates and cutlery. Why not try banana or carrot cupcakes add a little cream cheese icing and you’re half way healthy! If you prefer a packet mix throw a handful of berries into a vanilla cupcake batch and again – again halfway healthy!

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