Survival guide for parents of 4-year-olds attending birthday parties

“Mum, I’ve been invited to a birthday party,” your kid says to you gleefully. Birthday parties are a great source of joy and fun for every child. What is there not to like? Every birthday party is about colourful balloons, goody bags, presents, games with friends and lots of treats.

As a parent, you want your child to have a wonderful childhood and that includes going and enjoying birthday parties. Still, you will worry and start to wonder whether all the yummy sugary snacks and finger foods are going to hurt his health.

With 20-30 classmates, he could be overeating twice a month. Here are five ways you can address your worries, help your child stay in great health, and battle the extra calories from birthday parties:

Plan Meals Around the Birthday Party

Be more mindful of what you feed your child a few days before and after the birthday party. Stick to healthier cooking methods and food choices and reduce meal portions slightly.

When he gets older, you can share with him this healthy hack. He will thank you later when he is able to maintain a healthy weight.

Speak to the Little One

Start the conversation by asking him what he loves about parties and what are his favourite party foods.

Teach him to make healthier food choices so that he can put these skills into practice at the birthday party.

The idea is to make him aware that he does have a choice and that he can simply choose to eat something healthier or say ‘no’ if he believes he has had enough.

Everything in Moderation

You want your child to have a good time so it may be really hard to deny him finger food, ice-cream or birthday cake when he is having so much fun at the party.

Try instead to reduce the amount he eats by encouraging him to share his food or asking for smaller portions (e.g. a smaller slice of birthday cake).

At home, halve hot dogs or puff pastries and other snacks. This will help him to learn portions and portion control.

More Sweet Treats = More Exercise

If your child is going to be eating more calories than usual, then he needs more activity to burn that extra energy.

Spend an extra 20 minutes at the playground the next few days or go for longer walks to help him burn off the extra calories he ate at the party.

Offer Healthy Children’s Party Food Ideas

Be part of the solution! Offer to come up with as many healthy, 4-year-old birthday party food ideas as possible based on the party theme.

Go a step farther and whip something up for the party that’s healthier. You could bake some healthy wholemeal cookies or wholegrain blueberry muffins or make some yoghurt cups.

What to do for a 4-year-old birthday party to help your kid survive the extra calories

Download the HealthHub app on Google Play or Apple Store to access more health and wellness advice at your fingertips.