Planning a Healthy Birthday Party: A Seasonal Guide

The Best Birthday Party Ideas for Every Time of Year

Planning a Healthy Birthday Party: Seasonal Guide

You are getting ready to have a birthday party, and, knowing that you are going to have cake and maybe a few other foods from the “occasional” list to celebrate with, you want to add some healthy options to your birthday offerings. What would the kids enjoy? Here are some ideas based on holiday themes, and some anytime ideas. Some of these would work well for sharing at school too if you are allowed to bring a birthday treat on the big day.

Halloween

  • Pumpkin patch: Make a pumpkin patch platter with cuties (or another type of small orange), grapes, and celery. Peel the cuties and place them on the platter as your pumpkins. Use celery that you have cut to insert into the cutie to stick out as the stem. Then place green grapes along the bottom of the platter as your grass.
  • Broomsticks: Make adorable broomsticks with cheese sticks and carrot or celery. These disappeared quickly at our Halloween-themed birthday party.

Thanksgiving

  • Turkey cup: Use a small, clear plastic cup and tape on a turkey face made out of construction paper. Put a single serving of hummus into the cup and place various colors of bell pepper sticks into the hummus, rising out of the cup by about an inch to look like colorful turkey feathers.
  • Turkey sandwich: Use a circle cookie cutter to cut your bread slices to make the top and bottom of your sandwich (and your turkey body). Fill the sandwich with your sandwich fixings, then use slices of different colored apples (with the peel facing up) to make the feathers around your turkey. You can use blueberries, raisins, olive pieces, or halved grapes for the eyes and carrot pieces for the beak and legs.

    Christmas

    • Cheese stick snowman: Leave the cheese stick in its plastic wrapper. Tape on a construction paper hat, use a sharpie to make the face, and tie a scrap of material around the “neck” for a scarf.
    • Grinch kabob: Onto a toothpick, add a slice of white string cheese (for the top of the hat), a strawberry with the hull removed (for the hat), a slice of banana (for the white of the hat), then a green grape (for the face). If desired, melt chocolate and put it into a piping bag with a small tip to add a Grinch face to your grape.
    • Christmas tree: Make individual trees using six green apple slices as the branches, halved purple grapes (or raisins or cranberries) as the ornaments, a slice of cheese cut into the shape of a star as the top of the tree, and several pretzel sticks placed together as the trunk. Or make a whole Christmas tree shape out of green grapes surrounded on a platter by red apple slices.  If you have a Christmas tree shaped dish, you could fill it with green grapes and use raspberries or wedges of oranges as a string of lights throughout the dish.

    Valentine’s Day

    • Cheese stick heart: Unwrap a cheese stick and, starting an inch from the top, slice down the middle of the cheese stick. Fold the cheese stick halves down to meet at the bottom to make the bottom of a heart and use a tooth pick (see if you can find some with heart shapes around Valentine’s day for something extra special) to secure the ends together.
    • Fruit heart: Using fresh fruit, design a heart shape on a platter.
    • Heart and arrow: Make sandwiches in the shape of hearts and skewer fruit to go alongside.  Cut a piece of melon in the shape of a heart to use as the arrow on your skewer.

      Easter

      • Egg chick: Cut a hard-cooked egg in half lengthwise and turn it into a chick using poppy seeds for eyes and carrot slivers for a beak.
      • Carrot shaped vegetable tray: Peel carrots and cut them into one-fourth inch thick coins. Use the coins to make the shape of a carrot on your tray and use broccoli florets as the green on top of the carrot.

      Memorial Day and 4th of July

      • Fruit flag: Make a flag on a platter using blueberries, strawberries, and bananas.
      • Stars: Cut out watermelon stars to mix into a bowl with blueberries.
      • US flag pop: How about a delicious US flag pop made out of layers of strawberries, yogurt, and blueberries for when the birthday bunch needs a refreshment after outdoor play.

      Summer

      • Butterfly: Mix purple and green grapes in a sandwich Ziploc cinched in the center with a clothespin decorated by the birthday child. Glue on pipe cleaner antennae for even more fun.
      • Beach ball vegetable (or fruit) tray: Using a round tray with a bowl of dip as the center of your ball, shape your vegetables to look like the sections of color on a beach ball.
      • Rainbow: Use different colors of fruit to make a rainbow on a platter.  Or make individual rainbow fruit cups.
      • Sunflower: Make a sunflower on a platter using purple grapes as the center surrounded by triangles of sliced cheese. Use a piece of celery stick as the stem.

      Anytime Ideas 

      • Sandwiches: Make your sandwich more exciting by using a cookie cutter shape that matches the season or theme.
      • Healthy mini muffins: Mini muffins are fun for kids and look as amazing as dessert, but they can be packed with nutrition, like these Amazing Pumpkin Walnut Muffins.
      • Deviled eggs: Deviled eggs are always a huge hit at our birthday parties.
      • Popcorn: This is a tried and true party favorite.
      • Fruit stick: My kids love when I layer colorful fruit on a wooden skewer. When I do this for them, I cut the skewer end with the point off after adding all of the fruit. What a fun fruit snack!
      • Fruit and cheese tray
      • Guacamole: Guacamole is delicious and nutritious and can be served with homemade pita crisps.

      When deciding on party food, remember to keep in mind the ages of the children to determine which foods and serving utensils (such as toothpicks) would be appropriate. 

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