When it comes to celebrating your child's birthday, it might be tempting to serve the most delectable, decadent treat available. But for a growing child who needs lots of nutrients, it might be wise to rethink classic birthday treats. Find out how to create a festive, healthy and delicious birthday menu with these tips:
Better-for-you Cake Ideas
Here are some swap-out ingredients and suggestions that are better for you and your little one. Keep these in mind if you’re creating your own cake for the party.
Ingredient Swap Ideas
- 1/3 all-purpose flour can be replaced by wholewheat flour
- Apple butter or strong apple sauce can replace about 1/3 of regular butter
- Instead of 3 whole eggs, use 2 whole eggs and one egg white
- Neufchatel cheese or Brie can be used instead of full-fat cream cheese
- Light sour cream can be used to replace regular sour cream
Full Cake Replacement Ideas
- Oatmeal cake
- Banana bread
- Vegetable breads (carrot, pumpkin and courgette)
- Cakes including beetroots, potatoes or sweet potatoes
Dips and sauces are fun for toddlers, but may get a little messy. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing as long as your little one is eating healthily, you’re making progress!
- Apple Sauce
- Sour cream flavoured with all-fruit spread or puréed fruits
- Mashed bananas (with or without berries) and ricotta
- Cream cheese lightened with milk
- Small curd cottage cheese
- Creamy salad dressings
- Cooked and puréed vegetables
Healthy Foods to Dip
- Cooked vegetables (carrots, broccoli, green beans, cauliflower)
- Cream Crackers
- Wholegrain breads
- Small chunks or rolled-up slices of chicken or turkey
Shake It Up
Smoothies have moved beyond just fruit. Many now include vegetables too. These nutrient-packed drinks are a great way to add veggies to a delicious treat. If your little one loves smoothies, add some of these ingredients for a nutrient boost:
- Cooked carrots
If your toddler is using a child's beaker, smoothies can be thinned out with milk or water. (If the smoothie is very thick it can be served in a bowl with a spoon.)
Food 'Face Time'
Make a face with food! Use food as 'paint' and the plate as your canvas. Make the face as basic or elaborate as you want but just eyes and a mouth can speak volumes. You can even dress it up with noodle hair, veggie earrings or an oatmeal moustache!