Notes from a 3 year old’s birthday party

 

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I just wanted to share some food ideas for little people’s birthday parties, having just hosted one that went well, thanks to parents helping out, as well as my husband and eldest daughter, amidst the  chaos. And I wanted to show you don’t have to resort to beige party food, and tons of sugar for kids to enjoy it.

DIY pizza

We made wholemeal spelt flour pizza bases. My bread maker had broken and I was in a bit of a panic about it as I usually make the pizza dough in it. Then I found this great recipe on Doves Farm website. I use spelt flour as, based on experience – mine and lots of parents, I know, while it’s not gluten-free, people who have gluten intolerance seem to be able to tolerate spelt. Because its gluten content is low compared to modern wheat flour.

My new favourite thing in the kitchen is this pin and board, which was made by my brother-in-Law, Garry, I am going to be selling some of his products in the not-too-distant future. He was inspired by  a vintage Welsh pin and board. If you want to roll the perfect pizza base or pie crust this is for you, though as you can see from the photo, I need a bit of practice. Anyway it is a really rather lovely thing to use. My eldest took over the pizza making – always a good idea to delegate.

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Passata

Passata is easy to make. We had about 12 children and I made the passata by heating 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, adding finely chopped garlic and dried mixed herbs, letting it cook for a couple of minutes then adding 2 tins of chopped tomatoes. After stirring I let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes before taking off the heat and blending til smooth – I then put it in two bowls and let it cool.

Toppings – do as many as you can think of. We did chickpeas, organic ham, peas, sweetcorn, orange and yellow pepper, mushrooms, grated cheese and I forgot the basil. You can drizzle with virgin olive oil which adds a lovely flavour.

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Hubster kept a tab on who’s pizza was who’s with a plan of the oven shelves on our kitchen blackboard.

Sides and drinks

We did sides of vegetable crudités, sliced cherry tomatoes, low salt crisps and popcorn, water and watered down juice (1:1).

CAKE!

I found this amazing chocolate cake recipe which is gluten free, and dairy free and has no processed sugar (just 125g maple syrup which is effectively 62g of sugar – so is very low), it is delicious and because it’s so moist you don’t need icing. If ever my kids have a cupcake the icing gets eaten first, and if it’s butter icing (which I know is really yummy) then it’s packed full of sugar. Per 100g, this cake contains about a third (11g) of the amount of sugar found in shop-bought iced chocolate cakes (29-34g). Portion sizes for the kids were about 20-30g.

There were no complaints (even from older children) about the lack of icing and the cake went down really well with vanilla ice-cream and mango. I also made gluten-free mini Victoria sponges with reduced sugar jam from this Dove’s Farm Recipe.

For the chocolate cake, I used a bundt tin and lined it – painstakingly with greased parchment paper, in strips all the way round, otherwise the cake sticks to the tin. I also replaced vanilla extract with orange oil. I made two cakes and cut sections out to make it into a 3.

Party bags

I had these paper bags, which some of the kids decorated at the party, and some took home to decorate, and put a dried fruit snack in (instead of sweets or chocolate), a small pack of coloured modelling clay and a wildlife colouring book, bubbles were meant to go in but were forgotten in the chaos.

I’ve just realised a couple of days later that while the kids had a great time, it was relatively calm amidst the chaos and we didn’t have any tantrums or meltdowns…I wonder why…

What I did wasn’t perfect, am sure you have lots of other ideas you have for your children’s party – would be great if you could share them using the comments section below….

 

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