Birthdays are the best day of the year! It’s a time to do all sorts of specials activities and eat all kinds of special treats. Sometimes, however, we forget that all of your child’s friends have a birthday and that’s a lot of cupcakes, candy and kool-aid those kids are drinking. All that sugar adds up after the 20th birthday party of the year. So, why not make your next birthday party a little healthier for the sake of everyone’s blood sugar?

If you’re game for a healthy birthday, you’re in the right place! All you need are some fun games, healthy snacks and a killer favor. Since it’s summer time and the living is easy…ish…Here are some ideas to plan the ultimate BACKYARD BIRTHDAY!

Step 1: FuN GaMeS Every birthday party needs an activity and games are a great way for kids to have some fun! Be creative, I certainly couldn’t include everything on this list, but here are some ideas to get you started.

Scavenger Hunt: Depending upon age group set up a hunt throughout the backyard for bugs, toys, and other items that are safe for kids to find in the backyard.

Water balloon toss: Be warned- everyone will get wet in this activity. Load up plenty of balloons with water and start tossing! Keep it on the safe side and ask that everyone aim for the shoulders down. Bonus: have a clean up contest at the end and the child that collects the most balloon remnants gets a cool prize (bubbles, a jump rope, all sorts of fun!).

Country Line Dancing: Best.idea.ever. I know, it sounds cheesy, but it is not. My 5th birthday party was an incredible country hoe down on the driveway out back. We honky tonked our way and came out with some killer new dance moves. Find an older neighbor or a gym instructor and ask them if they are willing to lead your crew in some dancing. Worst case, I bet you could learn on youtube.

School Kids Dance 4786

Photo credit: http://www.r2l2countrydance.com/resources/School%20Kids%20Dance%204786.jpg

Step 2: HeAlThY TrEaTs There will be cake, it is a birthday. However, let’s use the “everything in moderation” rule. Below are some delicious eats that can keep the sugar in check.

Photo credit: http://www.stayingclosetohome.com/healthy-birthday-party-snacks.html

Photo credit: http://www.stayingclosetohome.com/healthy-birthday-party-snacks.html

Fruit and Veggie Bar: Slice up some fresh vegetables and offer pairings with different yummy hummus flavors. Take a variety of colorful fruits and encourage kids to mix and match and create their own fruit salad!  Finally, make some whole grain pita sandwiches with lettuce, tomato, turkey and oil and vinegar and you’ve got a party. It really does look like a beautiful spread!

Birthday water: Ahead of the birthday celebration, take some time to test different flavors of homemade water. To make: take a picture of water and ice and add fresh herbs or fruits. I recommend a citrus explosion with slices of lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruits. Leave the juice and soda behind. The children will enjoy trying something new!

Watermelon popsicles: These refreshing treats are an easy and delicious treat way to supplement a piece of cake. Offer children a slice of cake, or a watermelon popsicle. Simply stick a popsicle stick in the rind of a watermelon. Delicious!

Step 3: A Fantastic Favor is the perfect way to end a birthday party! Consider putting your minds together and selecting a charity to donate a dollar in each guests honor. Print up some cards and give each guest a note telling them about your special contribution. You can also give out bubbles, sidewalk chalk, a copy of the song they learned to country line dance to  or fancy new water bottles. Be creative and think of something that will be meaningful for your guests.  

Come back and check out the Fit4Kids blog next week when I’ll be sharing healthy breakfast recipes with a special guest!