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 keep kids with food allergies safe.
If your child’s school allows you to bring in treats however, why not forget the cupcakes and bring in something healthier and more interesting?
Not only will you feel good about serving up a treat with some nutrition, but it’s a great way to show your kids and their classmates that healthy food can be amazingly delicious.
Here, check out 7 healthy kids’ birthday treats from my fellow bloggers that are healthy and delicious—and so much better than cupcakes.
1. Easy Chocolate Covered Strawberries
When one of my daughters 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 Nye, founder of I Heart Naptime, are healthy and delicious and with a drizzle of white chocolate, they’re 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 schools.
3. Cinnamon Glazed Popcorn Mix
Whole grains like those found in popcorn give kids plenty of fiber which satisfies their hunger and prevents spikes in blood sugar.
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 festive, super easy to make and a fun way to teach your kids how to make healthy, delicious fare.
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, 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.
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 strengthens 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, founder 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 to dip just about anything 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 dip is satisfying, sweet and super easy.