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Delicious, Yet Healthy Birthday Party Snacks

Cornucopias of cake, cookies, and soda tend to dominate snack tables at birthday parties. The high-sugar and low-nutrient content of these traditional party appetizers have the tendency to leave partygoers feeling low on energy for hours after the event. Fortunately, the birthday party snacks you serve do not have to contain a surplus of refined sugars to taste delicious. You can serve relatively healthy snacks at your bash by combining naturally flavorful ingredients in new and exciting ways.

To keep your guests’ energy levels high, you can provide an arrangement of snacks filled with manganese, B vitamins, protein and fiber. When combined, these nutrients have the added benefit of keeping your guests satiated without causing a bellyache. You can create quite an impressive spread for your snack tables by focusing on foods that provide these nutrients, whether or not you also choose to provide traditional sugary treats; and, should you decide to serve a blend of healthy selections and traditional treats, nutrient-laden snacks can help balance out the negative effects of the sugar-filled, fatty foods.

Finding Balance

Whole grains, nuts, seeds and pineapples all provide your body with the important trace mineral, manganese. This mineral regulates hormone and blood sugar levels in your body (Ehrlich, 2013). When these levels stay within a healthy range, your body can regulate your energy stores and appetite much easier. Mixed nut trays containing pecans, hazelnuts, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds and roasted soybeans can help partygoers consume their full day’s worth.

B vitamins work together to aid digestion, regulate energy levels and promote rapid cell regeneration. Many products designed to increase energy and regulate the appetite provide supplemental B vitamins, but it is much more beneficial to obtain these nutrients from whole foods. There are eight B vitamins in total, so they are easy to work into your snack plan. You can provide the full range of B vitamins by following recipes that use dried fruit, cheese, eggs or low fat dairy ingredients (Laquale, 2006).

To provide your guests with a protein boost, set out tasty cheeses, nuts and veggies, like cottage cheese and black bean dips with fresh edamame or almond crackers for dipping. If you are feeling particularly adventurous, you can also bake treats using nut butter and whey protein as the principal ingredients. Protein not only provides your body with a gentle boost of energy, this nutrient also kick starts a chain reaction that sends satiety signals to the brain (Gray, 2012). By consuming just a serving or two of protein-rich foods, your guests will feel satisfied without the stomach distress often related to indulging in sugar-filled snacks.

Fiber-rich foods, such as nuts, seeds, flax, berries, broccoli, cauliflower, peas, peaches, figs and starfruit, regulate digestion and increase feelings of satiety (Slavin, 2013). You can serve these foods raw or choose a preparation method that increases their flavor profile. Your guests may enjoy nuts and seeds that are roasted and salted or coated with a delicious blend of herbs and spices. For fruits, you may want to consider a dehydrated mix, as that process tends to increase the sweetness without any added sugar.

Recommended Recipes

To assist in your journey toward providing a healthy, yet delicious plethora of treats and appetizers, we’ve created a collection of recipe and snack ideas that are perfect for any party. Your culinary creations will provide a boost of nutrition while keeping energy levels and satiety at an all-time high.

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers {gluten-free}

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers Recipe {gluten-free}

These delectable finger foods are an awesome way to get your partygoers the nutrients they need to stay happy and healthy for the duration of the celebration!
Ingredients: Quinoa, green bell peppers, canned lentils, fresh spinach, feta cheese, frozen corn (thawed), salt, black pepper.
Total Time: 40 minutes | Yield: 6 259-gram servings (8 half-peppers)

Homemade Granola Bars {gluten-free}

Homemade Granola Bars Recipe {gluten-free}

A classic snack for any situation, granola bars are easy to eat and packed with vitamins and minerals. Our recipe also includes plenty of protein and fiber to fill out your guests’ diet.
Ingredients: Dried mulberries, dried strawberries, raw cashews, organic peanut butter, ripe bananas, raw sunflower seeds, hemp protein powder, gluten-free rolled oats, chia seeds, flaxseed meal.
Total Time: 40 minutes | Yield: 12 76-gram bars

Chlorella Guacamole

Chlorella Guacamole Recipe

For a delicious dip or spread that supplies a healthy helping of vitamins and minerals, this guacamole contains the superfood chlorella in addition to its standard avocado base.
Ingredients: Avocados, tomato, onion, lime juice, fresh cilantro, garlic, jalapeno pepper, chlorella powder, salt, crushed pepper.
Total Time: 15 minutes | Yield: 3 cups (10 servings)

Healthy Vegan Chocolate Truffle

Healthy Vegan Chocolate Truffle Recipe

These tasty treats are made with fruits and superfoods to supply an abundance of nutrients with limited quantities of fat and sugar. Set out these snacks for a sweet that is sure to please!
Ingredients: Jumbo Mejdool dates, almond flour, chia seeds, flaxseed meal, cacao powder, agave or maple syrup, almond milk, unsweetened shredded coconut.
Total Time: 15 minutes | Yield: 24 truffles

Recommended Recipes

For snacks that are perfect for your child’s birthday celebration, check out our articles on healthy snacks for toddlers or older children. Looking to throw a party for someone a little older? Check out our suggested healthy snacks for parties.

References

Ehrlich, S. D. (2013, May 31). Manganese. Retrieved March 07, 2016, from https://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/manganese

Gray, N. (2012, July 9). \"Appetite-Suppressing\" Effect of Proteins Explained By Researchers. Retrieved March 07, 2016, from http://www.foodnavigator.com/Science/Appetite-suppressing-effect-of-proteins-explained-by-researchers

Laquale, K. M. (2006). B-Complex Vitamins' Roles In Energy Release. Retrieved March 7, 2016, from http://vc.bridgew.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1029&context=mahpls_fac

Slavin, J. (2013, April 5). Fiber and Prebiotics: Mechanisms and Health Benefits. Retrieved March 07, 2016, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3705355/