Both my boys have December birthdays (yes very bad timing on our behalf …) so this time of year is especially mad at our house. Fortunately we’re not much into presents so that takes away one stress however, Max and Joe do like to have a party each. This is fair enough but squeezing them into an ever shrinking window of time between all the other festivities is always a challenge. This year the only workable weekend was 6th/7th Dec so that was the one. I’d also booked to see a pantomime on the Saturday afternoon (months ago) so we needed to work around that too – ahhhh! Fortunately my boys are very comfortable with few whistles and bells so we were able to schedule Joe’s for 4.30 on the Saturday and Max’s for 2.30 on the Sunday.
We gave the boys options for food and Joe chose home-made burgers and Max home-made pizzas. Although I have been hosting no junk parties for years I am still surprised each time by children’s reactions and what I learn. This year was no exception.
For Joe’s party we made home-made wholegrain rolls and minced beef burgers. We served this with sliced veggies, hummus dip, home-made tomato sauce and roasted sweet potato wedges. We always do platter style meals for the family and so did the same for the five six year old boys. They looked at the food with open mouthed amazement and one said “wow, this is such a feast”. Perhaps for children used to having food served on individual plates it made it look more plentiful. It may also have been a little overwhelming at first but I think having the option to eat whatever they wanted from the offered plates made them comfortable and they were soon all tucking in with relish. Roy and I were shocked (but happy) at how much food disappeared.
Joe had chosen a cowboy theme for the party so alongside firing bows and arrows and attempting lassoing (impossible for anyone aside from professional musterers!) I tried to get the fruit platter to tie in. No self-respecting cowboy would be complete without his gun so that became the centrepiece and I piled seasonal fruit around the outside.
It took a lot less time to eat than to create but it’s always fabulous to see food enjoyed and eaten with relish – well done boys!
Having older boys always brings larger appetites so I made the veggie and hummus platter earlier so the boys could dig in for a mid-afternoon snack, which they did …
Max chose pizza as his party food so Roy whipped up some wholemeal bases and I prepped mountains of accompaniments. All the bright colours and textures made for some very appealing looking platters for the boys to choose their toppings from. And, there was of course the home-made chilli chicken option to test the mettle. Creating their own pizza was very popular and there was enough to have a second go around choosing a whole new set of flavours too. The veggie-nut in me was of course delighted to see baby spinach, mushrooms, corn and capsicum being piled on alongside the more “meaty” options.
As it was a pizza fest I also made a fruit pizza as a dessert. Pizza topped with cream cheese and then fruit, although the slam dunk winner was the “raspberry sauce” (frozen raspberries blitzed in the bar mix).
Max wanted to bake a small cake so I let him whip up a fabulous recipe I found and then modified to fit within my “criteria”! It’s a carrot cake that is perfect for share occasions as its gluten, dairy and sugar (and sugar substitute) free. This sounds less than ideal but it actually tastes amazing, is lovely and moist and contains nothing undesirable.
All in all two great parties and that concludes my birthday hosting duties for another year. Maybe it isn’t so bad having them both at the same time …..
The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small