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Friday, January 24, 2014

6 Ideas for a Healthy Party Menu for Kids #healthykids #foodiefriday

6 Ideas for a Healthy Party Menu for Kids

Parties are full of fun and food, but when the only culinary options are pizza, candy and cake, parents go home with a pirate(kid) full of sugar, somewhat resembling their child.

So here's the thing, your party doesn't have to go vegan just to be healthy. In fact, just adding a tray of healthier options can be a huge hit (with kids and parents). Check out these ideas to create the perfect kids party menu without a sugar overload.

1. Cucumber Cups
Turn cucumber slices into an all-in-one veggie and dip treat. Slice a cucumber into inch thick rounds. Use a small spoon or melon baller to scoop out some of the cucumber seeds to create a bowl-like indent. Then use your favorite veggie dips like hummus or low-fat yogurt dip and fill the cucumber cups.

2. Kale Chips
Not only will parents love that you're serving kale because it's loaded with antioxidants, iron and fiber, but kids will also love this crunchy and delicious snack! Rinse the leaves thoroughly and then use a salad spinner, or shake them dry in a colander, to get rid of the extra water. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt before tossing the chips in a 350 degree preheated oven. Bake 10 to 15 minutes until they are crispy but not burnt. Quicker Tip: Trader Joes also makes a great version of these.

3. Chicken Skewers
When it comes to food that is both easy to make and kid-approved, fried chicken fingers are often the go-to choice. Switch things up and skip the grease and extra breading at your party by grilling some white meat chicken strips on wooden skewers. Kids will love eating off the sticks and as an added bonus you can serve a variety of dipping sauces for the kids to dip each stick into.

4. Cookie Cutter Finger Sandwiches
Turn your food into art with these decorative sandwiches. Use whole-wheat bread and layer on some yummy meats and cheeses. If you're not sure about your guests' allergies, be on the safe side and avoid using peanut butter or other nut spreads. Once the sandwiches are made, use a cookie cutter to stamp out fun shapes to match your party's theme – like a flower for a garden party.

5. Watermelon Pops
With all the excitement and running around during games at parties, it's important to refuel. Watermelon is a sweet treat that also provides a refreshing amount of water to keep kids hydrated even after their best game of tag. To keep little hands from getting sticky, use a muffin liner and a Popsicle stick through the rind as a handle and drip-guard.

6. Popcorn Sundaes
Buy organic kernels and pop them at home to avoid the added fat and artificial butter in microwave varieties. Turn this treat into a party activity by giving each kid a bowl (or an ice cream cone) filled with popcorn and setting up a table of toppings such as dried fruit or a chocolate drizzle.

What other healthy party foods are favorites at your house for entertaining?

Katie Bugbee is the senior managing editor and resident parenting expert of A busy working mother of two, she's an expert on many parenting dilemmas, from appeasing picky eaters to finding the perfect babysitter.

Yummy those look really good, thanks to Katie and for that great post!



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