As my son recently turned 1 year old, I had a birthday party to plan. Although I am not one to get all crazy with decorations, I am one to look at what’s going on the food menu. The big decision to make was if it was ok to skip the “smash cake” or “birthday day” or if I would be robbing my child of his childhood by restricting the sugar intake.
I know it’s not the easiest for some to eat healthy or feed their family healthy meals but for me it’s my way of life, passion and career. Some may think of a birthday celebration as a time to have a “free day” or a “cheat day.” But for me, it’s another day of eating healthy. I got excited to host my son’s first party as I get to share my clean, nutritious foods with family and friends and enjoy the deliciousness.
So, how did I throw a party for my 1-year old son? What was on the food menu? Paleo sloppy joes was the main dish (buns were available for those who request a bun). For my family and I, we use lettuce wraps or chips (Siete or Boulder Canyon chips) to eat our sloppy joes with. For the kids, I bought grass-fed, uncured hot dogs that were real beef! The kids ate them up, one kid even wanted a 2nd hot dog. Then I had a fruit bowl with strawberries, cantaloupe, and blueberries layered together. I also had some homemade guacamole and chips (Siete chips), a veggie tray and corn on the cob that my husband made on the grill. I had my pink Himalayan salt and grass-fed butter next to the corn to top it off. I also had my husband cook some different brats (Kettle Range Meat Co.) and sliced them up, putting a pretzel through them. I also made a cheesy potato casserole that was a fan favorite! I loved it because it was easy and I could replace the ingredients with clean ones. And lastly, dessert. I made chocolate cupcakes (Kalyana’s-sold at Nourishing Wellness) with frosting (Simple Mills).
For my son’s “birthday cake, I decided to purchase raw vanilla ice cream from my CSA farm and saved a small, naked cupcake for him to enjoy. But he was not interested. I will continue to keep my son’s sugar exposure to a minimum as this is the time where I am building his health for both now and his future. And I think his childhood isn’t being robbed at all. If anything, he’s being given the best childhood anyone could ask for!
With all this being said, it’s possible. It’s possible to have a 1st birthday party or any celebration with clean, nutritious foods. It’s possible to eat healthy and still have a great time!
The article below spoke to me very clearly.
Are Kid’s entitled to sugar?
It’s not a news flash that Americans eat too much sugar.
According to SugarScience, a group of experts at UCSF who study the impact of sugar on health, the average American adult consumes about 19.5 teaspoons (82 grams) a day, or 66 pounds a year.
The problem is even worse for kids and teens, who get 16 percent of their total calories from added sugars.
And, according to a recent study, even some babies are consuming added sugar that exceeds the recommended amount for an adult. The researchers found that 99 percent of babies just 12 to 18 months old consumed over seven teaspoons of sugar a day—more than the amount in a Snickers bar!
This is insane.
Countless studies have shown that excess sugar intake contributes to obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and many other modern chronic conditions.
There are many reasons that babies and kids are eating this much sugar. Money is one of them. Big Food spends millions of dollars a year convincing parents to buy sugar-sweetened cereals, snacks, and other packaged foods that are loaded with sugar.
But I’ve also noticed that there’s a pervasive idea in American culture that kids are somehow entitled to eat sugar. Whether it’s cotton candy at a fair, ice cream on a hot day, juice boxes in school lunches, sodas at the movies, or Froot Loops for breakfast, sugar seems to be woven into the fabric of what is now considered to be a “normal” American childhood. (Of course, the same is true for the UK, Australia, and the rest of the developed—and increasingly, the developing—world.)
The mentality seems to be that restricting our kids’ sugar intake is akin to robbing them of their childhood. I’ve heard (and overheard) parents say as much on several occasions.
This has to change. Today is the first generation of kids that is expected to live shorter lifespans than their parents—and there’s little doubt that excess sugar consumption is part of the reason for that.
You can be part of the solution—whether as a clinician, health coach, nutritionist, or “citizen activist.” Keep spreading the word and leading by example.
– Chris Kresser LLC 1810 E Sahara Ave Suite 402 Las Vegas, NV 89104