Bring on the party

Bring on the party

Organising children’s birthday parties can be stressful as some of you will know.  Where, what and $$$ are the common questions parents ask themselves every year. Just because my work involves assisting teams and businesses to achieve peak performance doesn’t mean that I can’t appreciate that children should be having fun at parties.  I know that part of that fun involves party food.   I am not a parent that hovers over the food table hiding offending items.  Really. Last year I decided to save the house and have the 6 year old party at a local Fun Centre.  I had a choice of menu’s and I was happy to see that there was a healthy option which included sandwiches, fruit, cheese and crackers, popcorn, pikelets and cake (on the day there were no complaints from the kids either).  However, for this privilege I had to pay an additional $1.50 per child. Please explain? Its now coming up to birthday time again and the same Fun Centre sent me a courtesy letter reminding me of the benefits of holding kids birthday parties there. I was interested to see that one of the listed benefits was that HOT CHIPS (typed exactly this way) were now available as an optional extra. Clearly as a customer I should be excited.  Not trying to be the party-pooper but surely the mountains of sausage rolls, party pies, chips, fairy bread and lollies might be enough without HOT CHIPS. Birthday parties used to be a treat but now between three kids, we often have at least two every single weekend.  There is no doubt that kids now have far greater exposure to ‘treat’ foods. My parents limited our intake of lollies and chocolate to two small pieces each Sunday.  There was nothing I liked about that rule but now I am glad they were tough. Shouldn’t we be trying to decrease the Global Obesity Crisis at ground level? Having a chat to my local Fun Centre about charging extra for healthier food and encouraging a nutritious environment might be a start. Did you know that children don’t always grow out of ‘puppy fat?’  Check out Question 6 of ‘truth, lies and chocolate’ for a low down.

3 thoughts on “Bring on the party

  1. In the UK the choices of “party” food is appalling. Cold options are usually ham/cheese sandwiches with crisps and sausage rolls. (The plate of chopped fruit and veg is usually the smallest and therefore ignored). Hot choices are always freezer food – chicken nuggets, chips, pizza and other pastries. I would love to see healthier options offered. Its such a lazy way of feeding kids.

  2. I so agree with you Natalie! Its interesting to compare situations in different countries. Restaurant and cafe choice for children is another similiar issue and I was pleasantly surprised when visiting the US a couple of years ago. In most places all the kids meals were accompanied by fruit, milk or vegetables and not automatically hot chips. Even in Disneyland we could buy a kids lunch pack that contained cheese, apple slices, milk and cracker biscuits.
    What are you presented with when eating out with kids in the UK?

  3. In the last couple of years restaurants in the UK have significantly improved. Many offer child size portions of the whole menu (not all kids want to eat off such a limited menu) and although the usual suspects are still offered (pizza, chicken nuggets, burgers) you can now get varied pasta dishes. Some offer free vegetables and salad with every meal. Its still quite heavily focused on fast food though and there is room for improvement. We found US this year to be very good – lots of choice and served the way you want it.

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