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Toddler birthday party - healthy menu ideas

My daughter will be 2 next week. I promised snacks, drinks, and cake. I'd love your healthy, creative ideas that I can serve to the kids and parents.

Lots of fresh, cut fruit is definitely on the menu (it's around 100f here). I really want to avoid the standard soda/chips/hot dog.

Possibly watermelon lemonade?

I did a search but didn't come up with anything - so please help if you can.

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  1. How about hummus? Many toddlers like that and parents do too. With pita triangles (whole wheat if you like) or crackers. Carrot sticks and grape tomatoes. Popcorn?

    For cake I would just make a slightly less sweet version of whatever your favorite is -- like carrot cake or banana bread or zucchini bread. I routinely use at least 1/2 whole wheat pastry flour in my tea breads and that works fine.

    And for drinks I would think some juice-based punch would be good. I like the watermelon lemonade idea, too.

    Most important: happy birthday to your toddler -- and have fun!

    1. are you having mostly adults, or mostly kids? is it outside? what time of day?

      1 Reply
      1. re: hotoynoodle

        People are still RSVPing, but I'd say the kids are between 30 and 50% of the gang. It's going to be from 3:30-5:30 and had it planned for an outdoor shelter with splash pad. I'm thinking of moving to the house, though, because the temperatures are supposed to be around 100F. That way the kids can go out to play in the water sprinklers, but come in to get out of the sun once in a while.

      2. with toddlers...you pretty much can serve anything... they dont know all what they like and dont like yet...if they dont like it they will let you know...ours always does...
        we usually have melon,fresh strawberries,watermelon,bananas,grapes,apples....
        kids yogurt snacks...
        as far as juices or drinks..motts and very fine have toddler versions of juice...
        and as u could make any kind of fresh juice or smoothie with any kind of fruits...but make sure to have more than a few options,they may not all like just one ....... are u having more than a few toddlers at the party?

        ours will try something at least once....so far shes been pretty good at eating..

        3 Replies
        1. re: srsone

          I freeze chopped strawberrys and mangoes (available in Trader Joe' freezer case, if there's one near you) then I buy fresh OJ and make the best smoothies. Throw them in a blender, no added sugar to worry about and very refreshing for a hot afternoon beverage.

          1. re: CynAmyn

            as far as i know the nearest trader joe is in Georgia.....more than 12 hour drive from here
            we usually use publix...
            sams or costco

            but yes a make your own smoothie bar would be a good idea...

            1. re: srsone

              Yes, and I just got a Vitamix - I'm in the honeymoon phase and like to use it every chance I get :)

        2. home made popsicles with fruit and yogurt.....
          popcorn
          carrots with hummus (my kids live on this right now)
          cucumber sandwiches with cream cheese
          guacamole... some kids will like it

          7 Replies
          1. re: cheesehead in recovery

            "guacamole--some kids will like it"

            HECK YES!!! and LOL...one of my co-workers has a little 3 year old who has LOVED it since about 1 year old...we have a photo on our bulletin board of her being fed some by her godfather...mouth wide open as if to say "hurry up hurry up, put that guac in my mouth!" Cutest little thing!

            1. re: Val

              Mmm my daughter loves guacamole. Yum.

              1. re: GlobalTable

                My kid also loves guacamole.

                I also like the hummus with all sorts of veggies for dipping/spreading.

                My son has always liked "sparkly" water of any type. What about a nice lemonade with club soda?

                2 is still young enough to force your own cake desires upon them. Take advantage of this while you can.

                1. re: cleobeach

                  Oh sparkly orange juice would be cute too :)

                2. re: Val

                  Guac was one of my daughter's earliest foods. I kind of broke the single food rule when introducing her to stuff because she was so interested in what we were eating.

                3. re: cheesehead in recovery

                  Popcorn is a choking hazard for children under 5.

                  But all your other suggestions are great.

                4. Ditto on pita or crudites and hummus. Also ditto on 2 year olds being good eaters. Three is when they start expecting pizza juice and cake/cupcake at every party (shudder). I did a potato onion frittata and even a Chard onion frittata at the two year party and homemade chocolate cake. Hummus and pita chips, fresh strawberries and tangerines. All was a hit with both kids and adults. 3 year party: grilled vegetable and caprese sandwiches on focaccia from local Italian chain, their chopped salad, vanilla yogurt + berries, veggie quiche, chips and hummus and bakery cake with guava filling. Kids only had yogurt and berries, sandwiches were ignored, some had chips and hummus and they were downright disappointed with the weird cake and couldn't believe there was no juice!
                  I would suggest not to try and have too many drink options if you're making them yourself. Lemonade and water should be plenty. Happy birthday to your two year old!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: sweetTooth

                    speaking of a frittata, mini egg muffins/frittata bites would be fun for the kids.