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Seven healthy party foods for kids

HerCanberra Team

Kids parties are usually synonymous with junk-food.

Fairy bread, party pies, chocolate, chips with nary a vegetable in sight. Now, hold up a minute before you start calling us party poopers. It’s well-accepted that food high in sugar or fat shouldn’t be used to ‘treat’ kids, and by encouraging them to eat fresh, nutritious food—even for ‘special occasions—you’re teaching them good eating habits that will keep them healthy and happy throughout their lives.

Providing nutritious alternatives isn’t as hard as you might think – it’s all about getting a little creative. Give healthy recipes fun names, arrange food in different shapes and sizes, serve meals in decorated platters or bowls which match your party theme. We promise it’s every bit (if not more) delicious as that bowl of jelly snakes.

To get you started, we’ve rounded up eight simple, healthy recipes to make sure your next party goes down a treat (minus the sugar rush). Note that all recipes are for servings of four – for parties, you could either serve ‘bite-sized’ portions or double the mixture.

Hummus dip with pita chips


Replaces: Packet chips

If a bowl of dip doesn’t excite little taste buds, fill up some mini glass jars with hummus and pop in some vegetable sticks!


  • 2 x 400g cans chickpeas, drained
  • Juice of 3 lemons
  • 1 cup plain yoghurt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 1 packet pita bread, cut into triangles


  1. Place all ingredients, except pita bread, into a blender. Puree until smooth. Serve with the pita bread, which can be oven baked until crisp. 

Rice paper rolls

Rice paper rolls

Replaces: Spring rolls


  • 12 rice paper rounds
  • Shredded cooked chicken
  • ¼ Chinese or green cabbage, shredded
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • ¼ cup fresh coriander, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh mint, chopped
  • Juice of ½ lemon or lime
  • 3 teaspoons fish sauce
  • Sweet chilli sauce, to taste


  1. Combine chicken cabbage, carrot, coriander, mint, lemon/lime juice and fish sauce in a bowl.
  2. Place 1 round rice paper in a medium bowl of lukewarm water for 5 seconds, or until just soft. Place on a clean tea towel or paper towel.
  3. Arrange 1-2 tablespoons of the chicken mixture along the centre of the rice paper. Fold ends in and roll up firmly to enclose filling.
  4. Repeat with remaining rice paper. Serve with sweet chilli sauce.

Homemade Pizza


Replaces: Takeaway pizza


  • 2 x 30cm round pizza bases or 4 x wholemeal pita breads
  • 4 tablespoons salt-reduced tomato paste
  • 2 cups vegetables, sliced (e.g. mushrooms, capsicum, spinach, onion, olives, artichokes)
  • 1 small tin pineapple pieces, in natural juice, drained
  • 2 cups low-fat mozzarella cheese, grated


  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. Place pizza base on oven tray and spread with tomato paste.
  3. Place toppings over base and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
  4. Cook for 15-30 minutes or until base is well cooked and cheese is golden brown (15 minutes for pita bread).
  5. Slice and serve with a simple lettuce, tomato and cucumber salad.

Vegetable Fritters


Replaces: Biscuits


  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ cup low-fat milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 x 300g can corn kernels, drained 1 zucchini, grated
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • ¼ cup chopped shallots
  • ½ cup grated low-fat cheese


  1. Sift flour and baking powder into a large bowl. In a jug, combine milk and egg.
  2. Beat flour and milk mixture together until a thin smooth batter is formed. Fold in vegetables and cheese and mix well.
  3. Heat frying pan or BBQ plate, spray with oil. Spoon 4 heaped tablespoons of mixture into the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes each side, or until golden and cooked through. Continue until all the mixture is used.

Healthy Hamburgers


Replaces: Party pies

Fill your hamburgers with healthy lean meats and loads of vegetables. Try this variation, or experiment with your chicken breast and your child’s favourite vegetables!


  • 400g lean beef mince
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups of breadcrumbs, fresh or dried
  • 2 onions, finely diced or grated
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1 teaspoon mixed herbs (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 wholegrain or wholemeal bread rolls
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Beetroot, canned


  1. Place mince, eggs, breadcrumbs, onion, carrot and herbs into a large bowl and mix well using clean hands.
  2. Split the beef mixture into portions. Roll into balls and squash flat to make rissoles.
  3. Heat oil in a large pan and add rissoles. Cook for approximately 5 minutes on each side, until browned and cooked through.
  4. Cut bread rolls in half, top with rissole and salad vegetables and serve.  

Fruit Smoothies

fruit smoothies 

Replaces: Soft drink


  • 500ml low-fat milk
  • 1 small tub low-fat plain yoghurt
  • 4-8 ice cubes (optional)
  • Add one, or a combination, of the following:
  • 1 banana
  • 1 handful fresh or frozen berries
  • ½ cup drained tinned fruit (peach, mango, apricot)
  • 1 medium peeled fruit e.g. peach


  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and mix until frothy. Mix with a fork or shake in a sealed container if there’s no blender available.
  2. Serve and drink immediately. 

Apricot Coconut Balls


Replaces: Lollies


  • 1 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • ½ cup desiccated coconut
  • ½ cup skim milk powder
  • ¼ cup oat bran
  • ½ cup sultanas (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • Extra coconut to coat


  1. Put apricots, sultanas, coconut, skim milk powder and oat bran in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add boiling water and blend again.
  2. Using clean damp hands, roll teaspoons of mixture into balls.
  3. Place coconut on a plate. Roll apricot balls in coconut to coat.

Want more ideas? 

All recipes from ACT Health’s Good Habits for Life website – visit now to get your free personalised program for your family.

ACT Health runs a range of programs to support you and your children to set good habits, such as Fresh Tastes: healthy food at school and Ride or Walk to School. Check out these programs here.

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