Friday, November 7, 2008

Healthy Birthday Celebrations

Birthday parties are a great way for children to celebrate life with family, friends and school classmates. When most of us think of birthday party foods, cake, ice cream, and punch come to mind. How can parents and teachers help plan and host parties that celebrate healthy living? Teachers and parents should remember to keep the celebration focused on the child or children celebrating the special day. Birthday parties offer an opportunity for parents and teachers to make nutrition fun and exciting. Parents and teachers should use parties as a chance to serve foods that are nutritious and tasty and that are also colorful and eye appealing. Try these suggestions for healthy birthday parties · Host a make your own fruit and yogurt parfait bar. Offer fresh fruit, granola and yogurt. Students can build their own yogurt parfait creations. · Focus the food selections on a specific culture. Find and prepare healthy recipes from different cultures. · Ask the children to help plan parties and to suggest healthy snack ideas. You may be surprised at the good healthy choices they offer. · Make sure that the refreshments are not the major feature of the party. The refreshments should only complement the other party activities. · Host a birthday dance party. Bowling, bouncing, and skating parties are also fun and will give kids a chance to burn off extra calories if you serve cake and ice cream. · Use a fresh vegetable platter or fruit salad as a colorful, appetizing, and tasty centerpiece. · Have the children help make kabobs by placing bite-sized pieces of fruits or vegetables onto skewers. · Use salsa or hummus (a bean spread) as dips for cut vegetables and whole-grain crackers. Birthday and classroom parties are special for children. When planning parties for children remember to focus on a variety of activities, games and crafts that children enjoy. Make sure to include lots of healthy choices when making food selections. Even though there is nothing wrong with an occasional cake and ice cream treat, unhealthy food choices should not be the norm at these events. Remember, parties that feature healthy foods provide children opportunities to practice making wise food choices. Share your ideas for healthy birthday parties. I would love to share your comments. What do you do to make family and/or school birthday celebrations fun, healthy and exciting?

1 comment:

Ivanna at said...

Great food ideas! I think its great to have healthy food that kids will love.