How many times have your kids come home from a birthday bash on a sugar high? Typically, kid’s party foods are filled with sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, fake coloring, artificial flavors, and other additives. And after eating tons of junk food, they’re left wired, hyper, and cranky the rest of the afternoon. With four kids at home, trust me, I know how it goes! But here’s the good news — you don’t have to be a professional nutritionist to plate up some healthier party food options that your young guests will crave (and their parents will thank you for). It’s all in the preparation! Here are some ideas that are simple to make and bound to impress.
Trail Mix Bar
I created a trail mix bar for my youngest son’s last birthday party last year and it was a hit! Not only did our 5-year-old guests enjoy mixing and matching all of the goodies, but I loved how simple it was to throw together. Seriously, filling cute jars with store-bought treats takes less than 5 minutes. To create your own, just line up your filled jars along with some party themed cups and you’re good to go!
Pretty Chips & Healthy Dips
Here’s a crazy kids party appetizer idea (p.s even the grow ups devoured these)! Grab your favorite cookie cutter shape and cut into gluten-free wraps. Then, brush the wraps with olive oil, salt, and Parmesan cheese. Bake until they’re very lightly golden on the edges and they crisp into crackers. I made dinosaurs chips for my son’s 5th birthday party and set them next to a bowl of my homemade guacamole and hummus. Have fun with different shapes and healthy dips!
Jazzed Up Popcorn
This wholesome treat can be made many different ways depending on your taste preference: Cheesy, chocolatey, or spicy. So grab yourself a good popcorn popper—like my favorite, the Whirley Pop™—and get popping! Watch as I show you my tips for making the best chocolate covered popcorn ever:
Stringing different foods on a stick just makes them more fun, don’t you think? Try it with everything from raw veggies topped with my kid-friendly dressing to grilled chicken or salmon bites. The possibilities are limitless.
Gluten-Free Pasta Bar
I’m always looking for fun, quick, and crowd-pleasing meal ideas to elevate parties. Enter: A pasta bar. Mine are always gluten-free and heavy on veggies, proteins, and sauces. Plus, don’t forget the cheese!
My latest obsession: Recycling wine bottles for a juice or infused water bar! When I’m putting this together for kids, I just run to the grocery store and pick up a bunch of colorful juices. Check out the video for some inspiration: