In this post, I will cover other food items that are typically served at a child’s birthday party and how to have healthy alternatives to all the junk when you are priviledged to host the party yourself. Please remember that my personal goal for my child’s birthday is not to have them live in a bubble, but to learn BALANCE. Having treats for one’s birthday is fine, in my experience. A little sugar (as unprocessed as possible) on special occasions teaches them moderation with the treats (even homemade ones). Exampling HOW to make treats with unprocessed ingredients like butter etc, is very important. They remember what they see you do. And, if you eschew the processed cakes, frostings, sodas etc for homemade versions, that while definitely sweet, also impart some nutrition, this will have an enormous impact on them later. They will also remember how much better homemade treats taste!
So what to serve as drinks? At my son’s birthday party last Saturday, I offered a big jug of filtered water and a big jug of herbal tea (to be served over ice) for the adults. I also typically offer a small, squeezable bottle of raw honey for those guests who wish to sweeten their tea. For the children, my usual choice is fresh squeezed juice like freshly squeezed orange or apple juice. Juice has fructose, but at least when it is freshly squeezed, it still retains enzymes and nutrients that are destroyed by processing. This is why ALL store bought juice is basically nutritionless, even organic juices.
I also served a very simple lunch at my son’s healthy birthday party. I offered an assortment of seasonal fruits, and a leafy green organic salad as starters. I also baked up a large batch of organic, free range chicken nuggets in expeller pressed coconut oil (virgin coconut oil does not work as well for this purpose) and made my own sauces for dipping. Sauces from even the healthfood store contain questionable ingredients as well as the “always to be avoided” canola oil, so I just whip some up myself. I usually get raves on my sauces, even from the kids!
My homemade barbeque sauces contains Annie’s organic ketchup, raw apple cider vinegar and maple syrup (as little as you can get away with). I use grade B (or darker) maple syrup as it is full of many more minerals than the lighter grade A syrup. Play with the ratios yourself to see how sweet or sour you prefer it. The mix should mostly be ketchup, with the apple cider vinegar and maple syrup added to enhance the sweet/sourness. I got this fantastic recipe from Marcie at Fresh Family Goods in St. Pete FL.
My other sauce is honey mustard. I buy Tree of Life organic yellow mustard and then mix 50-50 with raw honey. This sauce is always a hit.
Finally, I make my own creamy mayo as a dressing for the organic leafy green salad. The recipe I use is from the Nourishing Traditions cookbook by Sally Fallon. It is simply delicious! To make:
1 whole free range egg (room temp)
1 free range egg yolk (room temp)
make sure you wash the eggs in warm, soapy water before cracking
1 tsp organic Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 cup expeller pressed sunflower oil
generous pinch of sea salt
In your food processor, place egg, egg yolk, mustard, salt, and lemon juice. Process until well blended, just a few pulses. Using the attachment that allows dripping in a liquid, add sunflower oil, drop by drop with the processor running. Taste and add more salt or lemon juice if you prefer.
If you don’t own a food processor, Fresh Market offers the brand “DeLouis” mayo from France that is basically the same recipe as above. It is expensive, but it is nice to know that you can buy it in a pinch.
Throwing a healthy birthday party can be done!
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
The Healthy Home Economist holds a Master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Mother to 3 healthy children, blogger, and best-selling author, she writes about the practical application of Traditional Diet and evidence-based wellness within the modern household. Her work has been featured by USA Today, The New York Times, ABC, NBC, and many others.