The words “healthy” and “party food” might not automatically go hand-in-hand, but in my experience of kids’ birthday parties, the healthier the food often the happier the kids and parents. I mean, a room full of hyped up kids on E numbers and sugar isn’t always that fun, is it?
I’ve hosted four big birthday parties now, and a few little ones for the girls. With Frog’s seventh birthday coming up at the end of June (cue: “HOW IS MY BABY GOING TO BE SEVEN?!!” meltdowns) I’m currently on the hunt for more healthy party food ideas to keep her interested. One recipe that always goes down well is homemade pizza, and considering she’s planning a spa and pizza party, I think the homemade pizza idea might work.
For the base:
- 300g of strong flour (I use strong wholemeal flour)
- 200 ml luke warm water
- 1 tea spoon dried yeast
- A pinch of salt (I use Himalayan sea salt)
For the topping:
- 300g passata / chopped tomatoes blended
- 2 tablespoons tomato puree
- Grated cheddar cheese
- Sliced mozzarella
- Any other toppings of your choice
It couldn’t be easier to make. If you have a bread mixer or cake mixer simply add all your base ingredients and mix until you get a slightly sticky dough. If not, then do it by hand – it takes about five minutes. Cover the bowl with the dough in and leave to prove for 20 minutes or so in a dark, dry cupboard. While the dough is proving, mix your passata with the puree over a low heat on the hob, until you get a lovely rich, silky consistency. Once proved, knead the dough and roll it out before spooning over the sauce and adding your toppings. Transfer to a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake in the oven on gas mark 6 for around 15 minutes, or until cooked. Easy!
The joy of pizza:
For Frog’s fourth birthday party we did a rainbow theme, and I made two huge rainbow pizzas and served pizza slices instead of sandwiches, which went down really well. The great thing about homemade pizza is that it’s just as good cold and it doesn’t go stale and dry like sandwiches can, so you can prepare it all with loads of time beforehand.
Another idea, which can be just as fun (if a little messy) is getting the kids involved in making their own pizzas, which is what we did at a recent toddler tea party. Watch the video here to see how we got on…
Over the years I’ve learned not to go too heavy with the snacks, but that a little goes a long way. When kids are hungry they need food NOW and having a few snacks out on the table is a good way to avoid any hangry episodes if the main party food isn’t quite ready. Chopped up cucumber with hummus is always a good one, along with cubes of cheese, chopped up carrots, grapes cut in half and some no junk crisps like the Organix cheese and herb puffs or carrot sticks.
Organix have some more great tips for catering for a children’s party without dishing up a load of E numbers and sugar, and I love the idea of the sausage party food – I’d do extra of this one for the parents too!
Finally, I think homemade baked cakes are often a winner. But if you don’t have time, hate baking or simply can’t be bothered, then buying a few Organix biscuits and decorating them is a quick cheat. The Goodies mini oaty bites also make great party bag fodder – Baby Girl can sniff these out from a hundred paces…
Have you got any tried and tested healthy party food ideas? I’d love to hear them!