Children’s birthday parties need candy, savory bites and cake. But, when your child and their friends have barely learned how to walk, how can you put together a menu for adults while still keeping the babies in mind? It’s possible many of them haven’t even tried sugar yet, seeing as most pediatricians recommend parents avoid sugar-filled foods and drinks before 24 months of age. What should you offer them?

What initially might sound like a problem can actually work in your favor: besides including healthy and sustainable options on the menu, you can also be budget-friendly. Check it out:

  1. Fruit skewers

Cheap and healthy, fruit on a skewer tends to be a hit not only amongst the kids. You can use barbeque skewers to include whole grapes and cut up pieces of other fruits – pineapple, kiwi, cantaloupe, strawberries – or ice cream sticks to hold bigger pieces of watermelon, for example, to make it look like a popsicle. The colorful hues of the fruit can also double as decoration and, if you have fun cookie cutters, you can make different shapes that are more appealing to kids – a star at the very tip of a skewer could become a magic wand!

2. Cookie cutters

Simple cheese sandwiches can become more popular in the shape of butterflies, hearts, or stars with the help of a cookie cutter – and they can brighten up the decoration as well. But, attention: the cutters must be big enough so you can use up as much of the slice of bread as possible. Use the smaller ones for the fruit skewers.

3. Jell-o

An economic solution that can also be an absolute hit at parties, Jell-o can also be a big help in decorating the cake table. In shades of green and blue, for example, you can pretend it’s a lake or the ocean. You can even add gummy bears inside or put little sails on top, as though it’s a boat in the water. Because babies are more prone to developing allergies – and they should avoid consuming sugar – offer sugar-free Jell-o options, sweetened only with apple or grape juice. You can also add pieces of fruit, if you’d like.

4. Popcorn

Another very accessible option and very popular at parties, albeit not recommended for the little ones. In this case, you can make “pretend” popcorn by popping little balls made with tapioca flour – that way they don’t have kernels and are safe for the little ones to eat.

5. Flavored water

Most kids at this age solely drink water and you’ll have to offer the drink at your child’s birthday party. But, one way to make it more appetizing even for the adults is by infusing it with citric fruits and leaves. You can pick between orange slices, lemon, kiwi and strawberries – or mix them up – and add some kind of leaf, be it mint, spearmint, basil… It’s a refreshing alternative and eye-catching – if you don’t have a jug, glass jars will do the trick.

6. Reusable cups

This idea has become increasingly popular in children’s parties: repurposing your plastic cup (but it needs to be made of firm plastic). Each guest takes a cup and writes their name on it, that way they can reuse it until the party is over. This helps reduce waste and, at the end, guests can take it home with them. You can also opt for paper cups, but those certainly cannot be reused as much.

7. Reusable straws

These are all the hype right now. Reusable straws made of plastic or metal can be offered for kids to use at the party and then take home with them – there are different options in terms of shape and material, such as acrylic, silicone and metal. Besides, this way you can help foster the idea of sustainability from a young age!