Parents, lets work together to limit junk food at parties

Junk food season, I mean holiday season is upon. With Halloween, we are about to enter what seems like a three-month gorge fest. It will be a none stop barrage of candy, and food coloring. Followed by traditional Thanksgiving through New Year food overload. All this after non-stop birthday parties since the beginning of the school year.

Trying to keep kids eating well through all these temptations at events is emotionally taxing. Especially with little kids who don’t understand the dangers of eating junk food. Instead of enjoying parties I’m constantly trying to come up with new ways to distract them from candy, or negotiating trades to skip the junk. 

Anyone else feel like me on this? 

Can we work together to make this parenting job a little less hard? You are not the cool mom if you bring a bowl of candy or donuts to the party. Chances are pretty high the parent next to you is dealing with a child that has asthma, or an allergy, or cavities, or an ear infection, or a cold. Underneath a smile, that parent is trying to decide what will be less painful- dealing with a child’s tantrum because they aren’t allowed to eat the “food” in front of them, or dealing with a sick kid because she didn’t have the power to say no? 

There are so many delicious options for snacks. Designate one person from the group to bring in a savory treat. The kids won’t go hungry, and the other parents will be relaxed because they won't have to play the mean food nazi role. Please please please can we make a collective effort to avoid processed foods filled with food coloring, artificial flavors, and other crazy ingredients?

Here are 9 options to get your food planning started. You can easily avoid processed 

1) Veg/Fruit + Spread

This is probably one of the easiest items to prepare. Cucumber+ hummus. The frosting from Dreena Burton's sweet potato recipe in #3 works as an amazing chocolate dip that can be served with strawberries. 

2) Pumpkin Banana Squares

These are super yummy, and pumpkin is in season. 

3) Dreena Burton's Sweet Potato Chocolate Cake

Hands down my favorite cake to make. I recently made a version of this for a school party and everyone loved it.

4) Chocolate Covered Seed Bites

Blend Medjool dates with various seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, etc) and spread a little bit of chocolate on top and you have a perfect nut free snack. Make it festive for any holiday by using a holiday specific mold to shape them. 

5) Fresh Fruit

Honestly, this should be a staple at any party. 

6) Nutty Power Bars

These are super simple to make, and always a hit with kids.

7) Apple Pumpkin Muffins 

It's fall, apples and pumpkins are everywhere. This is another easy recipe that won't keep you in the kitchen forever.

8) 4-Ingredient Maca Powered Cluster 

These little clusters are super-charged with Maca powder and should take about 15 mins to assemble.

9) Apple Mouth

Another party favorite- cut an apple into quarters. Spread some nut/seed butter as your glue for slices of strawberries and sunflowers. The eyes can be made from grapes or melted chocolate.