KIDS’ PARTIES REQUIRE A BIT OF PLANNING AND PREPARATION TO ENSURE ALL ATTENDING ARE CATERED FOR AND NOT LEFT FEELING ALIENATED DUE TO A FOOD INTOLERANCE, OR WORSE A CHILD FALLING ILL DUE TO A FOOD ALLERGY.
In previous articles I have covered food and drink options and a little research the number of children having allergies and intolerances ever increasing, it is worth having a look at the background of party foods. Traditional options are now, for many, no longer an option. It was only two generations ago that intolerances were few, so what has happened in that time? Many things have changed, more than just foods, but as this article is about parties and foods, food will be the focus. Wheat, dairy, eggs and sugar are the basis of many party foods. Two generations ago, cows ate grass and were grazing in minimal numbers per hectare. Two generations generations ago sugar was unprocessed, sourced from cane, again from large natural acreage. Two generations ago, eggs were from your own chooks that were running around feeding on whatever nature provided. Two generations masses using the least raw product. Or, indeed technology-created foods, that is, foods that do not occur naturally. Oh dear, didn’t that just take the fun out of the party?! Food for thought though! For this generation, the consumption of dairy, as an example, means consuming a product that may not even be whole milk. It may be hydrogenated, standardised, homogenised, reconstituted and certainly pasturised. Down line products such as cheese and yoghurt etc will be also hectare, which also makes it necessary to supplement feeding. Stock feeds grains. Stale bread, lollies, biscuits and chips, for example, that are less than consumer perfect also go into stock feed. The net result of this is that you may have a reaction to dairy more so from what comes through the milk from what cattle are being fed, than the milk itself. The other food groups mentioned earlier have gone through a similar progressive change to the point where it is easy to lose sight of the original natural food source. So back to the party… Where possible, source foods that are additive free, key word here. Keep sugars to a minimum and hydration to a maximum. Throw in some digestive foods such as paw paw, papaya and pineapple. Fermented foods are a great way to help little tummies cope with party excesses. Dress things up a bit. As an example, serve fresh grape juice garnished with mint or sweet lemon in a chilled cocktail glass (preferably a food grade plastic glass). Most importantly keep it light and fun, with activities that suit the age group you are catering for.