Kids love to party, whether it’s a birthday or a sleepover. They enjoy being in each other’s company and doing fun activities together. It is a good opportunity for them to bond and learn social skills too. As a parent, it surely makes you happy to see your child having a good time with his or her friends. However, you might be worried about the kind of snacks to serve. Unhealthy foods like soda, fried food, or sugary snacks are best avoided. So, here is a list of healthy and simple kids’ party foods that are nutritious and tasty too. You can choose one from each major food group too, for a balanced meal.

1. Cereals

You cannot imagine a kid’s party without cakes, candies, chocolates, and cookies. But it is not necessary to serve party foods that are loaded with sugar. Sweets can be offered in a limited quantity, just enough to entice kids and keep them going. You can add some healthy cereals to their diet to make it nutritious and interesting. A sweetened porridge made of oats, or muesli or ragi could be healthy for kids when served hot. It is rich in fibre as well as sweet in taste. These healthy cereals can be garnished with fresh fruits or dry fruits like almonds, walnuts, cashews and raisins to improve the taste and look.

2. Vegetables and fruits

  • Fruits are a great source of fibre and also offer energy to keep the party going. So, whip up a colourful salad with chopped bananas, pineapples, apples, grapes, oranges, mangoes, watermelons and so on. You can also try and make interesting shapes with the fruits. Add a bit of cream to make these appealing and healthy vegetarian appetizers.
  • Use skewers to arrange chopped or diced fruits and vegetables in a stacked manner. Kids are attracted to bright colours and will love these.
  • Diced fruits dipped in molten chocolate can be an interesting and tasty option.
  • Prepare a fruit chaat by mixing up diced fruits of different types and adding chaat masala or powdered cumin, ginger, coriander, black salt and mango powder.

3. Proteins

  • Hard-boiled eggs with a little salt and pepper on the side are always a hit with kids. They are popular kids’ party finger food and are rich in protein and are filling too.
  • Baked paneer chunks with capsicum, onion and tomatoes are a great idea too. You can use mild spices to flavour them.
  • For toddlers, chicken drumsticks prepared at home are a popular party recipe. They are dry and won’t cause a mess.
  • Whip up a simple pizza at home with leftover chapathi or whole wheat pizza base and veggies like tomato, capsicum, onion and bell peppers. For the topping, you can use sliced or cubed chicken that has been baked.
  • Chapathi rolls with egg or boneless chicken fillings make for a wonderful party snack as well. Use sauces like tomato, mayonnaise and mustard to make the rolls appetizing.
  • Chicken and egg sandwiches made with whole-grain bread are a great idea as well, when you use other ingredients like lettuce, tomato, bell peppers, carrots, and so on. Make them a little cheesy too.

4. Popular yet healthy party snacks

The following can be included as party snacks.

  • Baked potato fries, smileys or potato shaped in the form of alphabets.
  • Homemade spring rolls stuffed with vegetables, eggs and/or meat fillings are healthy snacks for toddlers.
  • Dhoklas or bread pakodas and vegetable or paneer or meat pakodas.
  • Whole-wheat bread-sticks with dips made of chickpeas, or salsa.
  • Papads made of sago or dals served with chutney.
  • Homemade samosas or cutlets or patties stuffed with vegetables or meat.
  • Macaroni or pasta or noodles cooked with fresh vegetables.
  • Burgers made of whole-wheat breads and vegetable or meat patties.
  • Fermented foods such as dosa, vada, and idlis served with sambhar and coconut chutney.
  • Homemade bhelpuri served with sweet and sour tamarind chutney.

5. Desserts

You can include the following as deserts:

  • A light fruit custard or jelly with a small amount of whipped cream.
  • Small cups of shrikhand or fruit-based yoghurts.
  • Soft sweet dishes such as kheer or phirni that use less sugar or are made with jaggery.
  • Halwa prepared freshly from semolina (sooji/ rawa) or carrots or moong dal halwa.
  • Small cups of homemade ice-cream garnished with fresh fruits or dry fruits and without added sugars.

6. Beverages

The following beverages can be included

  • Fresh fruit juices as well as thick fruit shakes without added sugars are rich in natural sugars, fibre, fruit pulp as well as water. These can be made from bananas, pineapples, apples, grapes, oranges, mangoes, and watermelons. You can garnish them with dry fruits like cashews, almonds, walnuts and raisins for added taste.
  • Homemade lemonade or lime juice.
  • Tender coconut water is a good choice as it replenishes lost electrolytes and tastes good.
  • Light vegetarian or non-vegetarian soups.

The above options can make it easy for you to plan a party for your little one, without worrying about the after effects of junk food consumption. Welcome to healthy birthday meals!

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