Kids Dinner Party5:02
Kid's review prestigious Melbourne restaurant Dinner by Heston Blumenthal to celebrate it's second birthday
REMEMBER how good parties were when you were a kid?
Pass the parcel, pin the tail on the donkey, party pies dripping in tomato sauce. Fairy bread, chocolate crackles and a big bowl of red frogs. Maybe a game of hide and seek or musical chairs before a yummy piece of cake and off you skipped, bulging lolly bag tucked under your arm to hide from your brothers and sisters for as long as humanly possible.
Gosh life was sweet, wasn’t it?
Today the humble party has had a modern day facelift. There are slime parties. Cheerleader parties. Lego parties. Nerf gun parties. Princess pamper parties. Every party under the sun — but in a few weeks a whole new kind of party is set to begin — mums and dads, please welcome the … sugar-free party.
Have I lost you?
Yes. The sugar-free party. Sky Zone trampoline parks have introduced a sugar-free menu for their kids’ parties, available from July 28. The new menu includes sugar-and-gluten-free stone baked pizza, (with baby bocconcini, charred capsicum and pink sea salt, no less), shaved rainbow vegetable chips and ‘local seasonal fruit kebabs with raw honey drizzle’ for dessert.
It’s a far cry from the anything-fried, anything-sugary that normally dominates a kid’s menu — and yes, in that way, it’s refreshing.
But is that what kids want at a party?
Lolly bags filled with sugary treats, rainbow cake covered in thick, creamy icing, chips, jelly and juice. That’s what the kids want.
That was pretty much the menu at my daughter’s eighth birthday party last week — oh and pizza for dinner and buttery popcorn during the movie. Sugar, sugar, sugar — salt — and a bit more sugar.
The kids loved it. We eat really well most of the time, but it was a party after all, so we knew the sugar high was as inevitable as the pile of presents left in its wake.
So, will parents order the sugar-free menu from Sky Zone?
Only time will tell. I know I won’t. Life is about moderation — there will always be a place for junk food and if you ask me, a party is it.
The point is one of balance — cut up a watermelon, add some hummus and carrot sticks or cucumber sushi to the party spread and I guarantee it will be hoovered up as fast as the cupcakes.
But it’s not all cheese-sticks and egg sandwiches. Sky Zone has completely removed the chance for children to have a bit of traditional party fun. So no party pie followed with watermelon.
Of course, parents can opt for a less healthy menu in the first place.
But shouldn’t kids be given the chance to have a choice for themselves? To enjoy their birthday party treat when the rest of the year is dedicated to eating healthy?
Sky Zone isn’t the first to focus on a healthier alternative, either. Jungle Buddies play centre at Five Dock in Sydney’s inner west has fruit salads, super food veggie burgers and garden salads with chickpeas and free-range chicken on their menu. Chipmunks Playlands in Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney have the token ‘sandwich and fruit’ meal along with its nuggets, hot dogs and fairy bread.
The tide is turning, and we all know why.
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, one in four Aussie kids aged between two and seven were overweight or obese in 2015. The rate of type 2 diabetes is continuing to rise in children, and as we know, it causes other health issues like sleep apnoea, breathlessness and exhaustion.
That’s not what we want for our kids. It’s certainly not what I want for my kids.
BUT. Kids who eat well almost all of the time, and are allowed a treat at a birthday party will learn that parties are just that. Treats.
Balance is where it’s at. Show them that food is fuel. Food is energy. If you’re filling yourself with crap all the time, you’re not going to feel great. Have a lolly or two — and then go and play. Sneak in a chicken salad sandwich — and then come back for cake.
They’re kids. It’s a party. Let them have their cake, and ENJOY IT.
Before they’re grown up enough to feel guilty about it.