Carolina Harboe


Birthday party menus

Allow me to suggest healthier ingredients!

Seven years ago, I become a mother for the first time.  That flow of unconditional love motivated me to apply my knowledge around nutrition to feeding my children at good as possible.  I hear you often in consultancy share the same desire as me.  “I want to offer her the best nutrition possible!”.  ” I am trying to keep him away from sugary snacks”.  As parents, some of us decide to steer away from the typical socially accepted children’s meals and choose the most natural possible diet for our families.  And then, along comes a birthday party!  Why is that all is allowed at these events?  I find it hard to conceive.  

For the last 7 birthday parties that I have hosted, I have found myself swimming upstream to hold my children’s health together.  (To be honest, with 2 children, it has been more than 7 birthday parties!).  I know that it is not easy, but let’s be honest, the children just want to play, run, yell, hangout with their friends and be creative.  They are happy with the right entertainment and do not need to fill their bellies with artificial colourings, preservatives, trans fats and sugar to be able to declare that a good party.  

 Here I suggest a few ideas to decorate your table with tasty and healthy options:

  • homemade popcorn with coconut oil and Himalayan salt.
  • wholegrain spelt sticks with melted dark chocolate and shredded coconut
  • rice crackers with veggie paté and cherry tomatoes
  • beetroot humus served with carrot and courgette sticks.
  • mixed fruit and berries with drizzled dark chocolate
  • guacamole served with corn crackers
  • frozen smoothie ice-lollies
  • mint, carrot and apple juice
  • melon and honey “lolly-pops”

The piñata could be full of toys to play with like balloons, crayons, face paints, bouncy balls etc instead of sweets. 

The cake can be sweetened with banana, apple compote, grated carrot and beetroot….you will be surprised! Try wholegrain flour instead of refined and use coconut butter instead of regular butter.

Try to remember that, as adults, we have a responsibility when it comes to education.  Every time we celebrate an event, what is the message our little one’s receive if the food and drink is unhealthy?  Does that mean that we have to harm our bodies to have a good time and be happy together? This could be a dangerous message to carry into adulthood, I fear! 

We know now that a blood sugar spike like that at a birthday party full of fruit juice, cakes, and sweets can inhibit the inmune system for about 5 hours, push the microbiome out of balance for weeks and affect emotionally.  In my humble opinion, it is just not worth it.  What do you think?