Why be Selective with Children’s Party Food
Organizing a party of any kind can be stressful enough as it is and if it is a children’s party then there are always decisions to be made about children’s party food.
Additionally, when preparing children’s party food you also need to take into consideration other people’s children and their food problems.
Unfortunately, the food you buy from supermarkets or grocery stores is laden with food colors, food preservatives, food additives or all of the aforementioned. Some manufacturers even go so far as to changing the names of some additives to fool well meaning consumers.
The other difficulty with children’s party food is the choice of venue. There’s bowling parties, play centres, swimming parties, art parties and other types of parrty place options.
I ring prior to making a booking to ask if they will substitute the food. The benefit of doing this is that you are requesting healthier options for the children attending the party and also sending the venue owner a message that you are concerned with what they are serving up as children’s party food.
So, why be selective with children’s party food? Because first and foremost, you are looking after their growing bodies and not contributing to reaching the body’s threshold which for some can trigger food intolerance symptoms.
Lastly, they will come home from a party calmer and happier than if they were filled with party food laden with food additives.
You will also notice less of an impact on their behavior over the coming days and that makes for happier children and parents.
Things to Watch Out for with Children’s Party Food:
- MSG or Mono-Sodium Glutamate which, among other things can cause chronic headaches, is sometimes called HVP or Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein. Cleverly renamed but still a flavor enhancer!
- Be aware of natural food colors in food as these can still have an impact on children’s behavior. For example, annatto 160b food color is added to many foods and thought to be safe but still some children have a problem with it.
- Manufacturers will happily tell you about the ingredients they do not put in your grocery lines but not highlight those that they do. For example, a food manufacturer will state that a food has no artificial food colors or flavors but they will fail to mention that they have added the preservative called sulphites which many people react to and can be extremely detrimental for asthma sufferers.
- Be on the look out for food colors in children’s party food; especially tartrazine or food color 102. This and other food colors can cause hyperactivity in children.
- Aside from food colors, additives and preservatives, it is also worth mentioning the use of such products as gelatine, nature identical flavors and carrageenan. As you may be aware, gelatin is made from animal hooves and as much as people will tell you it is a protein and good for the body it is actually an empty protein.
According to the wholefood healer I follow, the body drains itself of calcium in order to protect itself when gelatin is consumed. Not the result you would want and especially so with growing children.
How do I know some of this stuff you ask? Well, I have learned about many of these additives and their impact due to a great resource I use called Additive Alert.
Children’s Party Food For Food Intolerant
Ultimately, the more raw food you offer the better the quality of food you will be giving children. While I appreciate that not all of you will be at that point of being able to do that or even understand exactly what that means, it is worth starting that journey with food at some point.
Starting slowly is better than not starting at all. Make the decision to change what you do and the results will be different.
Some of the recommendations below will not be suitable for those suffering from food intolerance symptoms, food problems or food allergies.
Remember that you do not need to go overboard with children’s party food as they will be more interested in playing than eating.
I know this from experience that just a few small items on a plate and they will be off to the next activity.
Party Food Recipes For Food Intolerance Sufferers:
- you plan well in advance and bake ahead where you can
- You can bake the birthday cake the day before and put it in the freezer. This also helps keeping the crumbs away when you want to ice it the next day. Decorate the cake with toys or a theme and not colored icing. Or scrape the icing off when serving up.
- Make some oat biscuits a couple of days prior to the party
- Prepare a fruit platter on the day. You will be surprised how many children will eat fruit if on offer instead of junk party food
- Take a look at one of my recipe books that I have reviewed as this will come in useful for planning children’s party food
- Use plain white icing on cup cakes
- Shortbread or rice cookies are a great easy recipe
- Make your own little quiches and hot chips
- Make some hommus dip and use carrot, cucumber, zucchini and plain sakata for dipping. You can also make this enticing by putting the dip in little cups for each child so they do not have to share or double dip.
Buy Party Food For The Food Intolerant:
- Buy plain potato crisps that use sunflower oil, not vegetable oils. Safer brands are Red Rock Deli or sometimes Smith’s. Kettle chips are also ok but always check the pack
- Visit your local organic food shop and see what they have. You will be surprised at what they stock
- Put some dehydrated food, such as fruit in snack bowls but make sure it is sulphite free (preservative 220 – 223)
- There is also a brand in Australia called veggie chips and they are in a crisp pack like potato chips
- Buy some hommus dip and plain sakata and plain corn chips
- Buy some Cobbs or similar brand Popcorn as they do not use additives at the time of publishing this article
- Buy some Aribar rice snack bars and cut them up into bite sized pieces and put them on a lovely plate
- Orgran brand cookies would add variety to the table but I do not personally believe that all Orgran products are healthy
The last consideration when it comes to children’s party food is the party bag that each child takes home. I recommend you fill each bag with a balloon, a novelty item they will enjoy (like a bookmark), a home made vanilla cookie and some stickers. They do not care about quantity.
The result of these changes in your planning will mean less hyperactive children and happier parents.
Parents will be happy to bring their children to your next party knowing that the children’s party food has had no impact on their behavior.
Please post your own recommendations in the comments section, so others may learn ways of creating healthier alternatives for children’s party food.Your News On Food brought to you by Eileen Baudinette Food and Health Commentator. © 2009 – 2013 thenewsonfood.com ———————– Disclaimer:
I’m no medical expert and information contained on this blog is written through my own experience with the aim of furthering your education on health. It is your responsibility as to how you use this information and I cannot be held liable for any misinterpretation or misuse of the information provided.