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2nd Birthday Party Food

Last Saturday we celebrated our little man’s 2nd Birthday with a Lion Party. Children’s parties are often a nightmare to organise and contain lots of processed, sugar-laden food.

I am a busy working mum so I did not want to spend too much time preparing party nibbles. Well... no that’s not true I would LOVE to spend hours but we are working hard at the moment to have a lot of work out of the way for when baby number two arrives so the only time I had was late Friday night!!

I had pre-planned the food, decorations, cake and tableware though which made this possible :)

I kept the menu as pure and simple as possible keeping in mind food that was appropriate for children and food that would (with any luck) get eaten!! It is always about finding a balance between optimal nutrition and what is practical, fits a budget and is still enjoyable to eat. I am sure this food is not 'perfect' by other's standards in the health industry but it was what worked for us while still having a good range of nutritious options - and that is the most important of all!

Here was our menu:

*Popcorn2014-10-25 15.01.06

*Mini savory muffins (with spinach, grated carrot, onion, cheese and bacon)

* Cheerio sausages

* Crackers (rice crackers, whole-grain crackers and plain wafer crackers)

* Cheese

* Pre-brought humus (no time to make my own)

* Carrot sticks and celery sticks

* Whole-grain triangle sandwiches with a mixture of either ham and lettuce or avocado egg salad and lettuce

* Grapes in mini cup-cake holders

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For drinks we offered classic milk bottle with either soda water, orange juice (we called this Jungle Juice) with 50% reduced sugar (so 4g of sugar/100g) or a mixture of both (and of course water).

The Lion Cake...well this was a true proper cake - a favourite recipe from the amazing Annabel Langbein - her Ultimate Chocolate Cake. I like this recipe as it results in a beautiful moist cake, which believe it or not although it does have sugar is not super sweet. For the cake I made two little cakes and had a layer of butter icing in the middle and then coated with yellow butter icing on the outside to match the theme. It all dissapeared!

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I believe that it is important to teach your children how to enjoy foods, such as cake at appropriate times. Our son almost never has cake, in fact if he does it is a sugar-free or has very minimal sugar content and always made at home (nothing beats a home-made cake!). As much as I would love to protect him from sugar and processed food his whole life - this is just not realistic and depriving him will only create problems in the long term. I also intentionally only had cake as a 'sweet item' - there were no lollies, cookies, cup cakes, the cake was indeed the sweet treat of the day! Ultimately, you need to do what is right for you and keep in mind the big picture - that we live in a country where we are blessed to have such an abundance of food and water, where celebrating birthdays with good food is often taken for granted.

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xxx Dr Julie Bhosale

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