Since I have had children, I have taken them to many birthday parties. Often the food on the menu is takeaway pizza, cake and apple juice. All our knowledge of what is good and healthy for our bodies is forgotten in the celebration of another milestone in our child’s life. Do moms offer these foods because it is what children enjoy? Or have we come to expect that children cannot celebrate their friend’s birthday with a more nutritious snack?
When planning the snacks for my children’s birthday parties this year, I decided to test whether or not children will eat healthy snacks. Alongside the crisps, air-popped popcorn and mandatory chocolate birthday cake, I placed some platters of fruit and vegetables. The vegetable platter had baby carrots, cucumbers and grape tomatoes. One fruit platter had pieces of cantaloupe, strawberries cut into bite sizes and red grapes; the other had pineapple pieces, green grapes and musk melon.
When I placed the snacks on the table, the children reached for the crisps, popcorn and cake. This is what every mom expects. But they also reached for the vegetables and fruit! Children do enjoy what is good for them: as testified by the three solitary grape tomatoes that remained once everyone had left!
Have you served healthy snacks at a children’s party? What was the response?
© Colline Kook-Chun, 2012