Ice cream cake is a birthday party classic. Yet, one slice of a store-bought variety like Dairy Queen comes in at more than 400 calories with 15 grams of fat. Instead, try serving scoops of sorbet topped with fresh fruits like berries and melon and dark chocolate chips. Or, try Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches in kid-friendly flavors like Cookies ‘n Cream, Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Strawberry Shortcake. One sandwich is 150 calories and has 2 grams of fat.
Greasy yellow-tinged fingers from too many Doritos are a common sight at birthday parties. Unfortunately, Doritos are a nutritionally empty snack and have a long list of cryptic ingredients. At your next party, give popcorn chips a try instead. Chip’Ins popcorn chips are all-natural, air-popped, whole-grain chips that come in a variety of yummy flavors.
Soda is the beverage of choice at many children’s birthday parties, yet it's full of empty calories and sugar. Though water and low-fat milk are the best choices for kids, neither of the two are very party friendly. Try serving plain seltzer water with a splash of your child’s favorite fruit juice for a low-sugar alternative to regular soda.
Ordering a few pizzas from your nearby pizza shop is an easy way to feed hungry partygoers. However, takeout pizza is usually loaded with extra oil and cheese, which means extra fat, calories, and sodium — one slice of a large pepperoni pizza from Domino’s has 300 calories, 12.5 grams of fat, and 700 mg of sodium. Make your own pizzas using store-bought whole-wheat pizza crust, tomato sauce, reduced-fat mozzarella, and toppings like fresh veggies and low-fat turkey pepperoni.
A party isn't complete without a few bowls of potato chips lying around. Kids love crunchy foods, but traditional potato chips are essentially void of nutrition. Give Terra Original Exotic Vegetable Chips a try instead. One ounce of these colorful chips made with root vegetables like sweet potatoes, parsnips, and yucca equals one serving of vegetables. They also have 7 percent less of your daily recommended sodium intake and 12 percent less of the recommended intake of saturated fat.
Whether bought from the nearby fast-food restaurant or the frozen food aisle at the grocery store, typical kid-friendly chicken nuggets and french fries are packed with too many calories, fat, and sodium. Instead, cut boneless, skinless chicken breasts in nugget-sized pieces, toss in low-fat plain yogurt, and then toss in whole-wheat breadcrumbs. Place on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes or until cooked through. Serve alongside baked sweet potatoes fries — cut sweet potatoes into sticks and bake with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
Especially popular during summer pool parties and cookouts, cheeseburgers and hot dogs are always a hit with kids. Try making hamburgers with lean ground turkey and top them with reduced-fat cheese. Swap out traditional hot dogs with Applegate Farm’s The Great Organic Beef Hot Dog. Not only are they made from organic, grass-fed beef, but these hot dogs have about half the amount of fat and sodium found in traditional hot dogs. Serve both of these healthy alternatives in whole-wheat buns for added nutrition.
Who doesn’t love Funfetti cake? This colorful cake is a festive addition at any birthday party. Like any cake or baked good, this cake is high in sugar, especially when topped with frosting. Try baking mini Funfetti cupcakes using a mini muffin pan, top each with a dollop of light Cool Whip, and serve alongside fruit kebab skewers for added nutrition.
M&Ms are another common treat to have at birthday parties, and it is easy to get carried away with munching on handfuls the addictive chocolates. For a healthier treat, put out trail mix made with whole-grain Cheerios, raisins, sunflower seeds, and dark chocolate chips.
It's easy to see why Cheez-Its are party favorites — they're salty, cheesy, and easy to munch on. Unfortunately, like other bagged chips and snacks, they are a nutritional zero and pack in extra sodium. For a cheese cracker fix, put out whole-grain crackers topped with reduced-fat sliced cheese and apple slices.