Arjun's Fifth Birthday - Healthy (Easy) Party Ideas
Our first baby turning five was a really big milestone and special day for us. I have always tried to hold parties for the boys but in true working mum reality there have been some times that it has just been too hard (cue end of doctoral thesis and also book publishing deadline as examples). While we are still very much in a busy period (is life ever not busy?!) we did plan ahead for this time as some things need to be booked well in advance AND I just did not try to do everything and have everything perfect.
Holding a party at home is just a no-go especially as the boys are bigger, cleaning the house top to bottom is actually mission impossible AND space wise if it rains would be a bit of a nightmare. So we booked a local community at a local park which meant if it rained (which it did!) so the stress-factor was zero. One other planning tip that I found helpful was we had an afternoon party. I had not done this before but it meant that I had time in the morning for preparation which turned out to be a life-saver!
The aim of the game was to keep it as healthy, simple and fun as possible....oh and without spending hundreds of dollars too. Easier said than done I know! I Would love to spend hours (days) making little party morsels but #workingmum life means you have to cut corners (a lot of corners). So I selectively made just a couple of really simple recipes - that even Arjun helped to make and then got some creative with a platter board and some easy-to-put together snacks.
So we had:
- Popcorn in individual cup cakes holders
- Savoury sticks (with mild Biersticks sausages, cheese and grapes)
- My Mini Bacon and Egg Pies (above) with Get Real Food Sauce
- My Healthy Party Crackles - which are dairy and gluten free so can also replace a cake option for a child who is intolerant or allergenic to these foods.
- A big platter packed full of vegetables, fruit, some cheese, dips, crackers (Nairns Oatcakes) and salmon as a centre piece - which serves both adults and children alike!
To create some party fun without the sugar I just had some soda water for some fizz plus some raspberry herbal tea to have some 'pink fizzy juice'. At previous parties I have this in a large pitcher which you can see in previous blogs but I just could not find it the morning of the party (#reality) so we just picked up a couple of cheap jugs from our local $2 on the way and did a half and half combination and it worked a treat!
As some of you know I believe that on your birthday that you have the full deal when it comes to cake! Learning to enjoy quality treats at social occasions is all part and parcel (excuse the pun) of eating well long term. While I am pretty good at whipping some healthy cakes a fancy birthday cake is not my specialty. I did make Arjun's 1st Birthday cake....which is the only one I have made - it took me over nine hours from start to finish not including the 'researching' and planning time! Outsourcing this part of the planning to experts is one of my top #mumhacks - it is also really nice to support local businesses who do this exceptionally well - the AMAZING cake below is from the Cherry Cake Company and I highly recommend checking them out! The detail and thought gone into this cake was second to none and it tasted divine.
Now the boys are a bit older, providing some activities and entertainment at their parties is something to consider - especially at a larger party. This is also not something in my set of 'expertise' and again time to prepare many games is not on my side. Before life got really busy with my book tour I did a bit of research (thanks Google!) and found Amazing Kids Parties who provide party entertainment at your location and have a number of options for different age groups - price wise it was very affordable too. So we had a visit from Batman who was a great hit - dancing, balloon making, face painting and more...which also meant that we got to catch up with friends we had not seen in ages while the children were partying away!
Children's parties can be a lot of work and as a perfectionist myself I have found it hard at times to let go of having 'the perfect' party and also doing everything myself - but it is actually ok! The most important part of any party is that you are together and to enjoy the moment!
xxx Dr Julie Bhosale