Offering healthy, homemade alternatives to the typical junk fare is the most important step in hosting a healthy birthday party for your child. Ideas for making a homemade cake, frosting, drinks, and food were discussed in previous posts.
There are other considerations besides food, however, when planning a healthy birthday celebration. The guests won’t be eating the entire time, so organizing healthy activities for the children during the party is very important . You don’t have to spend a lot of money on this; for example, no need to rent out a bowling alley as the party venue to get the children moving! Something as simple as reserving a shelter at a local park allows the children the space to run and play in an unstructured manner, or if they claim “boredom”, then have some organized games planned. In my experience, the Dads love to mix it up with the kids during birthday parties playing catch, soccer, or running races.
The most important thing is to get the kids moving. Use whatever you have available. If you live near a rec center with tennis courts or a swimming pool, that would be a great place to have some activities. We are members of our local YMCA, and after 6pm on weekdays, our family membership allows us to bring guests to swim in the waterpark (complete with large slides) for free. One year, we had our son’s birthday party right at the YMCA waterpark – complete with a shelter to serve the food and there was no charge at all because the party was from 6-8pm. The YMCA allows this as it is a form of free advertising to the community, so take advantage of what is available to you.
Another favorite activity we’ve used at birthday parties is the “blow up the Diet Coke” trick. All you have to do is buy a couple of 2 liter Diet Coke bottles and 2 packs of plain Methos mints. Take all the kids out into the yard and have them stand back .. open one of the Diet Coke bottles and quickly pour one entire pack of Menthos in. Within a few seconds, the Diet Coke will explode many feet into the air! The kids squeal and get so excited by this. Be ready with another 2 liter Diet Coke and a second pack of Menthos for an encore performance. How better to show the kids never to drink diet drinks than to do a chemistry experiment with it right in your front yard!
This past Saturday, our son’s birthday party was held at our home and the kids jumped on the trampoline (complete with safety net, of course) and I sprayed them with a garden hose as they jumped around. The kids loved it and got a ton of exercise. We also have a couple of small soccer goals in the front yard and they played a soccer pick up game for awhile as well.
I hope you have enjoyed this thread on ideas for a healthy birthday party for your child. My next thread will be focused on clearing up the confusion on CARBS – are they good or are they bad? Stay tuned …
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist