Healthy Birthday Party Tips from Parenting Expert, Rosie Pope

Healthy Birthday Party Tips

Guest Post by Parenting Expert, Rosie Pope.

Birthday parties–kids love them, but parents aren't so sure. After all, parties always seem to come with a whole smorgasbord of treats that aren't exactly health or dentist friendly. No parent wants their children to miss out on the fun, however. So here are tons of great healthy birthday party tips that allow kid to have the best birthday experience without going totally overboard.

Practical Gift Bag Items that are Healthy and Fun:

Gift bags don't have to revolve around candy. Here are some other suggestions that are just as fun, but also healthy as well.

• Mini magnifying glasses
• Sunflower seeds to plant
• Bug boxes
• Mini note pads and pencils
• Fake mustaches
• Lip gloss rings
• Hair grips
• Stickers

Money Saving Present Buying and Making Tips:

• If you find a larger but more expensive gift (such as a Lego set, a basketball net or a doll house), go in with other parents attending the party and split the cost. You'll spend a lot less, and the birthday girl or boy will get something they really want.
• Ask the store to gift wrap so you don't spend extra on paper and ribbons. Have your kids make the birthday card.
• Find some signature go-to gifts and stock up in advance. This will save you from having to run out at the last minute to grab whatever expensive gift you can find. We love to give Magnatiles and Stuffies, depending on the person.
• Buy a little wooden chair (Ikea) or art boxes (Amazon), and then paint and personalize them yourself. These make for inexpensive yet very personal gifts.

Choosing Healthier Cake and Ice Cream:

• Choose cakes/cupcakes and icing without coloring (no more red velvet!), and give them color by adding bright fruits instead of sprinkles.
• If you are making the cake yourself, add healthy seeds like flax to give the little ones a boost of omega fatty acids. If you are making the ice cream, use real fruit chunks.
• Consider opting for party ice pops–simply blend frozen lemonade and strawberries together. You can even add a little whipped cream for the visual effect upon serving.
• Make sure everyone eats healthy foods before dessert to minimize how much desert they eat.
• Lighten the icing-to-cupcake ratio
• Opt for ridiculously cute mini cupcakes.
• Party ice-cream cones are also great. Choose a multigrain cone and add a small scoop of vanilla. Dip the cone in coconut shavings and add a candle for everyone to hold and blow out with the party girl/boy. They look great and are relatively small compared to ice-cream cake servings.

Do you try to make your kids' birthday parties healthier? Or are parties “anything goes?”

A mother to four, Rosie is the founder of Rosie Pope Maternity, MomPrep and Rosie Pope Baby, as well as author of “Mommy IQ: The Complete Guide to Pregnancy” and previous star of Bravo TV's “Pregnant in Heels.”

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