Are you planning a birthday party for your toddler or young child? If so, you’ll know that choosing the right food is an important part of the process. Because toddlers and young kids tend to be picky about what foods they like, and what foods they don’t, it’s often quite difficult to decide on foods that everyone will enjoy. Not only that, but if you’re hoping to avoid the usual sugary and processed options, deciding on a menu is all that more difficult.

With this in mind, we’ve decided to offer a few healthy but delicious recipe idea for that upcoming birthday party. Go ahead and have a look.

Homemade Ice-Pops

Kids love ice-pops, which makes them a great treat for birthday parties, but many of the popularly sold ice-pops are full of additives and food colourings. There’s a great way to make some tasty and healthy ice-pops in your own kitchen, however.

What You’ll Need

Firstly, get some fresh berries or fruit. Strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, or mango all work great. Next, you’re going to need some natural yoghurt. Go for the healthier natural kind without added sugar - rather than those that have already been sweetened. You’ll also need some honey, some lollipop sticks, and some small, empty yoghurt pots.

How to Make Them

Blend the fruit up in a food processor, along with the yoghurt and honey. Then, once blended, pour the mixture into an old yoghurt pot (or - if you feel like getting fancy - buy some special ice-pop moulds), put the stick in the middle, and stick it in the freezer.

Within a few hours, the ice pops will be frozen and ready to enjoy.

Chocolate-Coated Fruit

What You’ll Need

You can use a variety of fruits for this. Bananas, strawberries, and pineapple are great options. Once you’ve got your fruit, you’ll also need some bars of solid chocolate (dark chocolate is a healthier option), and some broken up nuts.

How to Make Them

These are incredibly simple to make. Simply melt your chocolate in a saucepan or bowl, and dip the fruit into the melted chocolate. Then, roll the piece of fruit in the nut pieces, and voila! You have a delicious and healthy treat for your little one and her friends.

Fun Fruit Platter

This requires very little time and effort - and might seem a bit dull - but you’d be surprised at how well this can go down among young kids. One of the big things about getting young kids and toddlers to eat healthy food, is simply making it look fun and appealing. By presenting a variety of colourful and tasty fruit in a fun and interesting way, you can get them making a bee-line for the fresh fruit as soon as they arrive.

What You’ll Need

A wide selection of sliced fruit. Apples, oranges, strawberries, pineapples, mangos, kiwis, grapes, watermelons and whatever else you think will work.

How to Make It

It’s fairly simple. Get a large platter plate - or serving board - and arrange the fruit in a fun way. Maybe make a large smiling face out of all the different colours, or spell the name of the birthday boy or girl or their age. Whatever it is, if you make it fun, kids will gravitate towards it.

Fresh Juices & Smoothies

Soft drinks are a fairly familiar sight at most children’s parties. However, with their high sugar levels and additives, they’re incredibly bad for our children’s health. Why not try some healthy alternatives?

What You’ll Need

For fresh juices & smoothies, all you’ll need is a big variety of fresh fruit, and a blender.  

How to Make Them

Some great combinations include:

1) Apple and orange juice. Simple, but delicious.

2) Blueberries, strawberries, and mango. Full of antioxidants.

3) Mango and pear.

4) Strawberry, banana, and milk - for a banana smoothie.

Healthy Sambos

Small, bite-sized sambos are great options for children’s birthday parties. By adding some subtle variations on old favourites - such as avocado with ham, or some cherry tomatoes with ham and cheese - you can add some extra nutrition.

What You’ll Need

Start by getting a variety of sandwich fillings. Ham, cheddar cheese, egg salad. Aim for healthier options for the additional fillings: instead of lettuce, try out fresh spinach. Slice up some avocado, some cherry tomatoes, and anything else you think might work.

For your bread, forego the white bread, and try whole grain bread or maybe some wholemeal wraps instead.

How to Make Them

Some popular combinations include:

  1. Ham and avocado

  2. Ham, cheese and fresh spinach

  3. Egg salad and spinach

  4. Cheddar cheese, spinach, cherry tomato.

Healthy Homemade Mini Pizzas

Pizza is one of those foods - that no matter what your age - it’s hard to resist. Sometimes, however, in the rush to find food for our child’s birthday party, we buy a couple of frozen pizzas (or the small microwave-ready kind) and offer these up. If you’re aiming for a healthier option this time round, try out this simple and delicious alternative.

What You’ll Need

Buy some pre-made pizza bases or - if you’re in the mood and have time to prepare - make up a big batch of homemade dough. You’ll also need some passata to act as the tomato sauce. You can add a little oregano, pepper or salt to the tomato topping to taste.

Slice up some mushrooms, some red onions, and some cherry tomatoes. Also great is sweetcorn, some spinach leaves, and some diced bacon bits or lean ham. For cheese options, you can also go for the healthier low-fat mozzarella option. If you have some adventurous kids in the house, you can also try using feta on some of the mini-pizzas.

How to Make Them

Use some cookie-cutter shapes to create mini-pizzas from the pizza dough. Next, spread the passata on top of the base with a spoon, and set them out on a baking tray. You can then add the cheese, and whatever combination of toppings you like.

Stick them in the oven for about 8-10 minutes and then: enjoy!