My little V is now an official two year old! My son really wanted to have a pool party for her birthday. I know, I know- it wasn’t his birthday, so why was he picking? Because he’s nearing five and has ideas and opinions about these things, and V doesn’t know the meaning of a birthday yet. 😉
So I ran with J’s ideas and said we could do a pool party with our inflatable kiddie pool. It turned out to be a smashing hit with the kids, and the brain work required for planning games and activities was almost zero. These guys were having a blast.
Our ingredients for success with a small group of toddlers and preschoolers? (This post contains affiliate links.)
- An inflatable kiddie pool
- A sprinkler and a hose
- Cheap water guns like these
- Water balloons (They make biodegradable ones now?!? Wish I had seen that before picking up tiny rubber bits all over the yard post-party!)
The only “game” we planned was a water balloon fight. Which is very easy for kids this small. Just give them some buckets filled with balloons and let ’em have at it!
We set everything up in the backyard, with the adults mostly centered around my hubby’s home-built fire pit, and the kids playing with all the water stuff right nearby in our only semi-flat stretch of grass.
Now that I’ve properly digressed from the title of this post, let’s address the food.
Most of you know that I try to eat relatively healthy, and our big passion is sourcing a lot of our food from our own backyard, local sources, or at least with healthier versions of the prepared stuff. But we are also on a journey– and we most definitely aren’t whole-food-traditional-diet-only-perfectionists!
The party was no different for us. We tried to serve up a lot of healthy options and avoid most of the junk that comes with typical kids’ parties. (Plastic-tasting pizza and lots of Coke at the bowling alley, anyone?) But I didn’t panic if I used a couple of prepared sauces and crackers. For me, balancing health-consciousness and sanity was key in preparation for this party. And a couple prepared items really did save my sanity. 😉
Here’s what was on our menu:
- Grilled chicken, four ways: BBQ, Buffalo (using this recipe), Teriyaki-ish (with my dad-in-law’s homemade “Piggy Pork Sauce”), and plain-ish, with only olive oil and spices.
- Grilled veggies with olive oil, salt, & pepper.
- Corn on the cob.
- Summer salad: Greens (some store-bought organic spinach and some homegrown arugula), sliced organic peaches, crumbled feta, pecans, and this homemade balsamic vinaigrette (with the olive oil cut in half).
- Pasta salad: regular old bow-ties, lots of veggies, pepperoni (gasp!), cheese cubes, and Italian salad dressing. (At least the dressing was organic?)
- Sprouted sweet potato tortilla chips, crackers & cheese, plus a few other snacks.
- Lemonade, water, & homemade iced tea
For dessert, we used the basic chocolate cake recipe found in The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook (using our goat’s milk & pastured eggs!), topped with homemade whipped cream and pureed strawberries and blueberries.
For the kids, I made some of the cake batter into cupcakes, and tried to turn the fruit purees into a ladybug design. Tried being the key word.
These guys donned chocolate chip spots and candy eyeballs to turn them into critters. (Remember, real food compromise, people. 😉 ) We also made homemade frozen yogurt from our goat’s milk to go alongside the cake.
Overall, I felt like we did a fair job of offering healthy options for food without killing ourselves making absolutely everything from scratch. And I’d say the kids had a lot of fun, too!
What are your favorite real-food party options? Share your recipes below!
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