Party Food & Favors

Dear yayas, 

The holidays are coming which means party after party. Not to mention all the kid birthdays mixed in there. What do I serve? I’m over the pizza thing. And I am tired of plastic trinkets that we take home that just turn into junk lying around. (Is that too harsh?) I appreciate get togethers, but I feel like crap when I leave because I’ve eaten junk and my kids are high on sugar and then crash and melt. Is there a way to encourage other moms to serve healthier items or is that overstepping? I’m just tired of the tummy aches, tantrums, and junk. And there are just so many parties…

– Party Pooper

Maybe try to be the trendsetter with parties you host. Instead of plastic trinkets, give away seed paper for the kids to go home and plant. Serve smart choices for your food and nix the candy take home favors. Get a few close friends on board and really try to lead by example on this one. Also, you can absolutely say “no” every now and again. There is no rule that says you have to attend every party, especially if you know it’s a food dyed sugar fest waiting to happen. For those parties, maybe instead you can suggest meeting the family at a playground another time since you won’t be able to make their party. Good luck! – Cortney

I can relate in these situations, and my strategy is to eat something healthy before going to the party, bring something that you would like eating, and then nibble on the other food there. Stay hydrated during the party and you should leave their feeling a-okay! If it’s a close friend, you might be able to make food suggestions. Though otherwise, I don’t think I’d feel comfortable making any menu requests at another person’s party. – Diana

There are a ton of healthy and low waste party ideas online. Have fun looking those up…for ideas for YOUR parties. But when it comes to other people’s parties, the fact of the matter is, you can’t decide. You have the choice to go or not go, but no say in how the party is organized. Offer to bring a healthy contribution…but also be ready for the host to say “no thank you” and go with it. You don’t have to eat food at parties. You don’t have to take home trinkets. You can talk with your kids about moderation (even from a young age). You can push more veggies before and after parties to bring balance to your family’s diet. Parties are about the connection, celebration, and friendship more than anything else. You do you at your parties…and make genuine, open-hearted space for other mamas to do their thing, too. – Lori Beth

I wouldn’t suggest food items unless asked but you could always bring a healthy option as an alternative. I would be very conscious of not overextending yourself and saying “yes” because you feel obligated. Parties are to be enjoyed and you should go because you want to and not because you feel forced to go. There will always be another opportunity for you to go to a party if you missed one. Be easy on yourself and while it can be hard don’t feel bad. – Nadia

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