While being a party planner and stylist is about the best job I’ve ever had, there have been times when I’ve wondered if it has made me one of the most hated women in Melbourne.
If you are a parent, you've witnessed the sugar high and crash that accompanies many children’s birthday parties. We’ve all silently cursed hosts whom we normally love dearly (or party planners whom we don’t love dearly) as we wrestle and cajole our little ones through their evening routine whilst in the depths of that sugar crash!
If you’ve picked up your copy of Issue 17 of Little One Magazine, you will have seen the farmyard birthday party styled for sweet little farmer Jack.
Today I am sharing some of the tried and tested tricks I use to minimise the chances of a sugar crash for my little clients and their friends.
I am making available the recipe for my signature healthy, fruit jelly as well as the beautiful jar labels that were created by Sweet Scarlet Designs especially for this party. With these, you can recreate these beautiful treats exactly as featured by in the magazine! If you'd like other ideas and tips for creating a farm themed kids party, you can read more on my blog.
1 Make healthy options part of your table and package them in an appealing manner.
Children eat with their eyes just like adults do. So in order to encourage your guests to partake of healthier options, include them on the dessert table (rather than leaving the fruit elsewhere on a bench or side table) and package it in a way that is exciting.
These ‘farm fresh jam jars’ are a healthy version of jelly made with fruit juice. They are fun to open, can be customised to your party colours by changing the fruit and they contain no added sugar.
These milk cartons are filled with air-popped, popcorn. Again, they are bright and appealing and exciting to open. And because they fit so well with the rest of the table, the children aren't receiving the message that healthier snacks are different and therefore, ‘yucky.’
There is no reason fruit can’t be as pretty or easy to eat as any other dessert!
2 Don’t expect a young child to manage their portion sizes (let’s face it, even adults are terrible at this)!
Just like adults, children are more likely to continue eating something if it is in front of them. Using small portions allows your guests to feel like they’ve eaten a range of your beautiful desserts without the danger over eating. And they can always go back for more if they wish!
The edible soil in this ‘garden worms’ dessert is made with biscuit crumbs. Eating the jar’s worth is equivalent to eating half a biscuit and two lollies. A much better option than allowing children to help themselves to a bowl of lollies!
3 Don’t include lollies in your party bags.
This is such a simple way to reduce sugar intake and there are heaps of great ideas for party favours that aren’t edible.
These farmyard animals cost 80 cents each and the excitement they created as guests chose their own animal at the end of the party, was equal to any joy that a lolly could bring!
Other great, inexpensive ideas for party favours include:
- Matchbox-style cars (these can be bought in large packs and suit a range of themes)
- Balloons (a helium balloon per child can be used as decoration during the party and sent home with the child at the end)
- Small packs of colouring pencils
I’d love to know what simple ideas you use to make your child’s party experience tear free! Let me know in the comments below.