Who hasn't attended a child's birthday party where the menu has one ingredient in common -- sugar, sugar and more sugar? By the time the party's over, your little one has to run laps outside to wind down for bedtime. Maybe you've decided to take a different approach and try a nutritional party menu. Healthy birthday treats can be delicious as well as provide a calmer and more enjoyable birthday experience.
1. Hummus and Pita
Hummus is both low in fat and filled with protein. This dish is quick to make and can be prepared ahead and kept in the fridge. Many kids like the smooth consistency, similar to peanut butter. Cut up some pita bread to make small hummus sandwiches. Let kids dip cut up veggies like celery and cucumbers in the hummus. The key here is to watch for double dippers or little ones licking the hummus bowl because they just can't get enough of this delicious dish.
2. Banana Cupcakes
Instead of an insanely large birthday cake with globs of neon icing, serve some banana cupcakes for the main dessert. Okay, maybe they're really muffins, but cupcakes are more appealing to little party guests. Banana cupcakes contain plenty of fiber and fruit and are extremely moist when you use unsweetened applesauce in place of cooking oil. Be creative and sprinkle with dark chocolate, oats or crushed bananas. If you just have to have a sweet component, add a sour cream and powdered sugar icing.
3. Yogurt Bar
Party goers won't miss the ice cream once they place their eyes on the yogurt bar. Include choices of assorted flavors and toppings, like granola and finely chopped strawberries and bananas. You'll have to leave off the chocolate sauce and whipped cream for now. Make sure parents help the little ones prepare their yogurt treats so the bar stays appetizing and doesn't become an eyesore with little fingers dipping into the yogurt.
4. Fruit Pizza
When you announce that it's time for pizza, imagine the surprised look on kids' faces when you set this chilled dessert on the table. No one would imagine it to be a fruit pizza layered with a gingerbread crust and cream cheese and whipped cream mixture. This yummy delight will win over little palates since it's topped with kiwi, strawberries, pineapples and bananas. Who said healthy couldn't also be fun to eat?
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