Plan a Fat-Free Birthday Party…Well, Maybe Reduced Fat

By Laurie Evans

The Tweens Nutrition and Fitness Coalition is proposing that Fayette County schools adopt a policy where school celebrations include healthy choices along with food like cake and ice cream.

With rates of childhood obesity soaring, more and more families are looking for ways to decrease the amount of fat and sugar in their children’s diets.

But who wants to blow out a candle on a low-fat, sugar-free bran muffin on their birthday?

Or break open a piñata full of celery sticks?

A birthday party menu doesn’t have to be loaded with sugar and fat. It’s possible to make a few substitutions that will still taste great, look great, and yet cut the calories, sugar and fat.

Try these ideas.

Mini Subs
A large slice of pepperoni pizza has more than 300 calories and 13 grams of fat.
At your next party switch out pizza for sub sandwiches. A Black Forest Ham mini sub from Subway is just 180 calories and 2.5 grams of fat.

Finger Sandwiches
Or if you’re planning a tea party or princess party, why not make kid friendly finger sandwiches with fillings like peanut butter and bananas, or cream cheese and sliced strawberries.
You can also substitute low fat popcorn for high fat potato chips or cheese curls.

Fruit Racecars
One of our Facebook followers, Angie Kerrick, offered this healthy party food suggestion.
“We always have fruits and veggies to go with the party theme. For example, last year’s theme was race cars.
“I made cars with Apple slices as the body and halved grapes as the wheels. I also cut cheese into triangle shapes to be safety cones.”

Icing Substitutes
An easy way to cut calories from birthday cupcakes is to substitute Cool Whip for frosting, saving more than 100 calories, 4 grams of fat, and a whopping 20 grams of sugar in each cupcake.
Switch out frozen yogurt for full fat ice cream and you can cut another 50 calories and 4 grams of fat.

It only takes a little forethought and planning to create a birthday party menu that’s fun, filling and not fattening.