We all want children’s birthday parties to be fun and memorable. Throughout the year, kids can go to a lot of parties at which high energy foods and drink loaded with sugar and fat are offered.

If they average one party every month that adds up to a lot of party food over a year! Here is an example of an average party intake:

Meat Pie 1 x party pie = 500 kilojoules
Chicken Nuggets 3 x chicken nuggets = 600 kilojoules
Chips 1 serve of crisps (20 g) = 400 kilojoules
Muffin Slice of birthday cake or cupcake = 1200 kilojoules
Lollies and Chocolates Party loot bag with 8 jelly lollies and 2 mini chocolate bars = 1000 kilojoules
Orange Fizzy 1 cup orange soft drink = 485 kilojoules
Total consumed 4163 kJ


Keep the fun but make it healthier

Get off to a great start by discussing party ideas with the birthday girl/boy. Here are some healthier food and activity party ideas that will mean the fun won’t disappear:

Party tips

Spend some time with the kids, planning and preparing food for the party

  • Cut fruit and sandwiches into shapes with cookie cutters
  • Make some healthy dips with the kids
  • Create some fruit kebabs
  • Small pikelets are a popular party food
  • Add chopped fruit and vegies to platters. 

Use LiveLighter’s recipe search function for delicious recipe ideas and snack options.

Loot bag tips

You don’t have to exclude all the ‘treat’ items. Try reducing the amount and adding some healthy and non-food treats:

  • Dried fruit
  • Homemade biscuits
  • Balloons, whistles, party poppers, stationery items

Active parties

Play active games:

  • bobbing for apples
  • musical chairs
  • limbo
  • duck duck goose
  • tug-of-war
  • balloon/sack races

Plan your party outdoors
At the park or playground, use the equipment, or encourage guests to bring their scooters or bikes. Play a game like cricket or grip ball. Plan a beach or pool party. Get the kids (or their friends) together and decorate the backyard

If your party is outside, remember to be sun smart! Remind people to bring a broad brimmed or bucket hat on the invitation, look for a shady spot and provide sunscreen.

Drinks – flavoured fun

Tap water is best and cheapest! But mix it up and add some fun with the following ideas:

  • Provide small cups to help with smaller portion sizes
  • Add some frozen berries or squeeze some lemon or lime juice into water to add extra taste to tap or sparkling water.
  • Freeze water with fruit or mint leaves in ice cubes trays for colourful and pretty ice cubes the kids will love.
  • Provide straws with fun shapes or colours.

  • If you’re going to provide juice, choose 100% fruit juice and water it down with tap water or sparkling water for a special ‘Jungle Juice’.

Saving money

  • Select fruit which is in season
  • Buy raisin bread/ pikelets when they are on special and freeze until needed.
  • Borrow cookie cutters from friends or family
  • Buy cheaper popcorn kernels for the stove instead of microwave popcorn packets

Party Themes

Wild Wild West

  • “Sheriff badges” star shaped sandwiches
  • Loot bags with toy water pistol, toy horse, skipping rope (lasso)
  • Bobbing for apples party game

Farm Animals

  • Hay bales – stacked vegetable sticks
  • Vegetable teepee – create teepee with celery or carrot sticks, join with dip.
  • Loot bags with animal stickers
  • Sack race