In recent years, an increasing amount of schools in the U.S. have banned cake, cupcakes, and other treats for kids’ birthday celebrations all in an effort to curb childhood obesity and protect kids who have food allergies. Now in the midst of COVID-19, most schools are not having birthday parties or allowing treats in the classroom, but birthdays at home are still happening, even if it is with our immediate families. Whether you’re looking for a substitute for a traditional birthday cake or another dessert, here are 11 healthy kids’ birthday treats that are easy and delicious.
1. EASY CHOCOLATE COVERED STRAWBERRIES
When my daughter celebrated her birthday in preschool, I didn’t feel good about serving up cupcakes or another dessert at 10am in the morning, so my husband and I whipped up a batch of chocolate-covered strawberries instead.
Strawberries are a good source of vitamin C, folate, potassium and fiber, and when they’re matched with chocolate, they have just the right amount of sweetness kids crave.
This recipe for Easy Chocolate Covered Strawberries from Jamielyn, founder of I Heart Naptime is healthy, delicious and with a drizzle of white chocolate, extra special for kids’ birthday parties.
2. FRUIT WANDS
I had the pleasure of interviewing Catherine McCord, founder of Weelicious, several years back.
In fact, her insight about why parents should avoid sneaking vegetables into meals was part of my inspiration for starting this blog.
So when I came across her recipe for Fruit Wands, I couldn’t wait to share it.
With seven different types of fruit, these treats are bursting with nutrition and color.
They also give kids plenty of choices—which is one way to encourage healthy eating—and are a fun, creative way to serve up fruit.
I also love that they’re safe for kids with food allergies—a win-win for kids and the schools.
3. CINNAMON GLAZED POPCORN MIX
Whole grains like those found in popcorn give kids plenty of fiber to satisfy their hunger and prevent spikes in blood sugar.
Plain popcorn is one option for kids’ birthday treats, but this Cinnamon Glazed Popcorn Mix from Lisa Leake of 100 Days of Real Food is the perfect mix of salty and sweet and a bit more special.
With cashews, which add protein and fiber, and cinnamon and ginger for natural flavor, this treat is healthy, delicious, and easy to pull together.
4. DONUT-SHAPED APPLE SNACKS
A great source of vitamin C and filling fiber, apples are also a rich source of quercetin, an antioxidant flavonoid that studies suggest may boost brain health.
I’ve been a loyal fan of Gina Homolka’s Skinnytaste since I lost weight years ago on WW, so I was thrilled to find these Donut-Shaped Apple Snacks on her blog.
They’re super easy to make but so festive and a fun way to teach your kids how to make healthy, delicious treats.
5. 3-INGREDIENT CHOCOLATE AVOCADO PUDDING
An excellent source of fiber, potassium, vitamins C and K, and folate as well as healthy fats, avocado is one of the best superfoods you can feed your kids.
Avocado also contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which are carotenoids or plant pigments found in the eyes that can improve memory and processing speed, one study found.
Another one of my favorite bloggers, Megan Gilmore, founder of Detoxinista, offers up this easy, 3-Ingredient Chocolate Avocado Pudding. Without any added sugar but plenty of nutrition and flavor, it’s one of the best kids’ birthday treats you can serve and it only takes 5 minutes to make.
Related: 25 Health Avocado Recipes for Kids
6. YOGURT PARFAIT FOR KIDS
Yogurt is a good source of protein, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin B12 as well as probiotics, the healthy bacteria that boost kids’ gut health and strengthen their immune systems.
If you know how to choose a healthy kids’ yogurt, it can also be a healthy treat for your child’s celebration.
That’s why I like this Yogurt Parfait for Kids recipe from Jodi Danen of Create Kids’ Club.
With plain yogurt, fresh berries, and granola, you have a healthy, fiber-filled, and delicious treat that can be pulled together in no time.
7. EASY 5 INGREDIENT VEGAN CARAMEL DIP
Kids love dips and this Easy 5 Ingredient Vegan Caramel Dip from Kiran Dodeja Smith, founder of Easy Real Food, is the perfect non-cupcake treat for school birthday celebrations.
With plenty of plant-based protein that satiates kids’ hunger, and no refined sugars, this treat is satisfying, sweet, and super easy.
8. APPLE PANDOWDY
Gimme Some Oven is one of my favorite food blogs—I love Ali’s Chewy Peanut Butter Granola Bars!
When I saw her recipe for Easy Apple Pandowdy, I had to add it to this list of healthy birthday treats.
An old-fashioned Pennsylvania Dutch dessert, apple pandowdy are bite-sized pieces of pie dough on top of cinnamon apple filling.
It reminds me of one of my favorite Italian desserts—Zeppole—but a mini version with warm apples.
Made with store-bought puff pastry, apples, warming spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger, and a few other simple ingredients, this recipe will be your kids’ favorite birthday treat.
9. CHOCOLATE-DIPPED FROZEN BANANAS
These Chocolate Dipped Frozen Bananas from Sugar Hero are one of the best healthy kids’ birthday treats and a great option for summer birthdays in particular. Not only are they easy to make but your kids can pick out their own toppings and it’s a great way to get them in the kitchen.
Related: 8 Tips For Teaching Kids How To Cook
10. HEALTHY FUDGY BROWNIE BITES
Brownies couldn’t be easier or more fool-proof, but if you’re looking to make smaller kid-sized versions, try this recipe for Healthy Fudgy Brownie Bites from Averie Cooks.
What I love about these healthy birthday treats is that they’re vegan, gluten-free, and grain-free, and made with real-food ingredients like cashews and medjool dates.
11. ROASTED BERRY AND HONEY YOGURT POPSICLES
If your kid has a summer birthday, try these Roasted Berry and Honey Yogurt Popsicles from Cookie + Kate. Made with protein-rich and creamy Greek yogurt, these popsicles have a yummy swirl of roasted berries and are sweetened with honey.