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How To Plan A Green Birthday Bash For Your Child

By Maria Cook

Children's birthday parties are memorable for adults and fun for kids. Unfortunately, they can be wasteful and unhealthy affairs, with disposable plastic cups and plates heaped with sugary juice and cake. Gifts of plastic toys, though given with the best of intentions, are often added to a child's already enormous stockpile. If this scenario sounds familiar to you, fear not. There is something you can do! You can plan an eco-friendly birthday party for your child. Here are some ideas to help you get started on a low-waste party that is fun for your kids and good for the planet. 

Swap out traditional birthday party snacks with healthy alternatives 

Just like any social gathering, food is at the heart of children's birthday parties. But the foods traditionally offered are enough to make any health-conscious parent cringe. Cakes packed with sugar. Juices packed with sugar and artificial coloring. If a meal is eaten prior to cake, it is almost always pizza, laden with carbs and preservatives.

So when planning your healthier, more eco-friendly party, food is a good place to begin making changes. Of course, no parent wants to forbid their kid from having treats, particularly on their birthday. And luckily you won't have to! Many bakeries offer sugar-free (and sometimes even allergen-free) options. If you're making the cake yourself, even better! Many recipes for lower-sugar cakes and frostings, such as this popular one (which uses no-sugar-added applesauce) can be found online. As for beverages, try homemade juice, lemonade, flavored water, or buy from a brand that uses all-natural ingredients, such as Suja.  

Food often determines the location of the party, too. If kids are going to be eating pizza, the party is usually held at a local pizza spot. To gain more control over the party's main course, simply change the location to your backyard or living room. Now you are free to serve delicious sandwiches with real meats, veggies, and cheeses. Or, if the birthday boy or girl is set on pizza, healthy recipes exist for them as well! 

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