Changing to a whole food, natural diet can be difficult on normal days. Finding the time and energy to plan a meal, cook, clean up afterwards, and getting your children to eat healthy foods rather than the processed junk that people eat can be almost impossible. And that is just a “normal” day. How do you handle special activities like eating at restaurants, at other houses, or at parties? Like all problems, just focus on taking small steps and what seems impossible at first may not be so hard in the end.
The simple act of throwing a party is enough to exhaust many people. It is the weekend, you had a long week of work, and all you want to do is rest for a couple of days before starting over. Now you are attempting to include healthy, whole foods for your children to eat? Without having them throw a screaming fit?
It can be done with a bit of planning and a little effort. Much like learning to control the foods you eat on a day to day business by focusing on whole foods for snacks and meals, you need to control what is available for you and your children at parties.
Look for alternatives to traditional foods like soda, juice, and even the cake. Rather than store bought fruit juice, try using fresh squeezed fruits or use a food processor to make homemade juice. If children want their drinks to be fizzy, gently mix a little club soda into the juice. If you are controlling sodium levels, be sure to look for low sodium club soda. As for the cake, you will probably need to either make one yourself or make a custom order at a bakery. Look for healthy substitutes for the high fat cream or milk, eggs, butter, sugar and other high calorie foods in cakes. If you prefer to avoid dairy consider alternatives like almond milk. Eggs can be substituted by chickpea flour or even half of a banana. Rather than using refined sugar or unnatural artificial sweeteners, look for products like agave or stevia. Instead of filling the cake with butter you can use healthy oils that have milder tastes like grape seed or even coconut oil. And instead of white flour, use whole wheat flour or look for a variety called white-wheat flour that has a similar taste and texture but still all of the advantages of whole wheat.
Rather than offering unhealthy treats like candy, offer veggie or fruit snacks. You can offer a fun presentation to the children by cutting them into fun shapes. And rather than cookies you could offer whole grain crackers with healthy spreads.
Finally find something active to do during the party. Rather than sitting around all day, get the children moving. Take them to the park, have a pool party, play active games, and just take the focus away from the food.
Throwing a healthy party may be difficult, especially with young children. But you do not have to give up taste and force feed the children to get them to eat. Simply offer healthy alternatives, make them as appealing as possible, and take the focus away from the food.