The time for Inés’ birthday party is getting close and her mum Marta is very clear on two things: she wants the celebration to take place outside, so the children can run around and play as much as they like, and she also wants the tea to be as healthy as possible.
Organising an outdoor birthday party and getting the right kind of weather to go with it is something that does not depend on us. But what is certainly in our hands is providing our little guests with a healthy birthday tea, with nutritional choices that the children like but which also make the mums and dads happy. Generally speaking, birthday parties are overloaded with sugar and empty calories (Spanish language website), with a variety of packets of snacks, industrially-produced cakes, sweets and soft drinks of implausible colours… But, we have to be realistic; children expect to eat different and out of the ordinary food at this kind of party. So that means that, as in all things, we have to find some kind of balance.
In her efforts to create a tasty and healthy tea, Marta has been looking for alternatives to prepare Inés’ birthday party while still making sure her little friends enjoy the food. These are some of her menu ideas:
- Baby banana brochette: peel a mini-banana and put it on a long skewer. Then coat with melted dark chocolate, sprinkle with grated cocoa or puffed quinoa and chill in the fridge
- Cheese lollies: make small balls of cold cream cheese, thread them on to cocktail sticks and coat with small pieces of toasted almonds (or fried corn, hazelnuts, walnuts, etc.)
- Whole strawberries half-dipped in dark chocolate and chilled so that the chocolate hardens
- Mini sandwiches filled with guacamole and cherry tomatoes
- Flans made from plant-extract jelly with small pieces of fruit
- Mini-muffins with fruits of the forest
- Home-made popcorn tossed in olive oil, with rice molasses
- Vegetable and cheese pasties
- Wholemeal mini-pizzas made with tomato, mozzarella and ham
- Mini-crepes of apple filled with jam, dulce de leche or chocolate shavings
- Chilled melon water (with melon juice and crushed ice)
- Lemonade sweetened with stevia
- Cocktail of orange juice and a few drops of blackcurrant syrup
- Low calorie, caffeine-free soft drinks
- Milk and chocolate shakes
- Plant-extract drinks (almond, rice, oats, cocoa) with a dash of vanilla
What about the cake?
A home-made cake is best, to keep sugars and saturated fats to a minimum. Try new healthier versions, such as carrot with raisins and walnuts, apple or fruits of the forest.
With these ideas, Marta will be able to create the spread of Inés’ dreams. We should say that presentation is also important – food is also ‘eaten’ with the eyes – but in addition the food is so tasty and healthy that it can substitute dinner for one day. Now all we have to hope for is that the weather is on our side…