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Kids' party food- a Nutritionist's perspective

Oh what a contentious topic this is. Remember when we were kids and this was simple? There was some food, there was some cake and everyone had fun? Now everyone has gone mad wanting "healthy cake" recipes and building a birthday cake out of a watermelon.

Now don't get me wrong, I love watermelon. But I'm sorry, if you present me with a watermelon, iced in coconut cream and some pieces of other fruit, I'm going to cry and then I'm going to cut you a slice to eat while I go out and find a piece of actual cake. The same rules apply to my son's birthday party. He turned 8 today (happy birthday little man! Mummy loves you!). He's having a party tomorrow and there will be party food. There will also be ordinary food and there will most certainly be birthday cake. Not the healthy kind though. There is no such thing. Cake is cake.

I want to put the fun back into planning a birthday party for your child. So I want every parent to understand this from a Nutritionist and a mother - you are an awesome parent regardless of your catering choices for your kids' birthday party. But if the sole reason you are scouring the internet for cakes made out of fruit and putting bananas on sticks, is because you are worried that a 2 hour party is the reason for global obesity - stop right there.

I love the 80:20 rule. I practice this with every single one of my clients. If 80% of the time you are mindful of the foods that you eat, you select nutritious options at meal times and generally snack well, and engage in regular physical activity of some description, then you have nothing to fear. The same goes for your child's birthday.

With that in mind, I am going to share the 'menu' for my son's party with you to give some perspective.

Snacky foods will include:

  • crackers
  • popcorn
  • chocolate

For dinner I am making:

  • hot dogs
  • oven baked chips (which we will make¬†from chopped potatoes and some olive oil because I'm not a huge fan of the unnecessary saturated fat content of the freezer kind)
  • mixed veggies platter


My son has asked for a tower of colourful meringues.


Water. Sometimes I buy juice but I didn't think of it when I went shopping the other day and we really don't need it. I never buy soft drink though.

Reclaim the fun in planning your child's party and baking that cake with love (or buying one). Don't overthink it. I guarantee my veggie platter will disappear just as quickly as the party foods. And if they don't, I'm not going to stress about it. I'm a great mum and so are you.

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