The 'Healthy' Birthday Party Is One Parenting Trend That Needs to Disappear ... Now

blowing out candles Have you been to one of those healthy birthday parties yet? The pinata is stuffed with kale chips. The snacks are raw. And the cake, well, who are you kidding? You don't give kids cake!

Welcome to 2013. Say goodbye to just letting kids be kids.

The healthy birthday party is officially a trend. And I, for one, am refusing to buy in.


Parents, feel free to keep your kids home from my daughter's yearly shindig, but my kid doesn't celebrate another year without sugar, food dyes, and more sugar.

It's tradition, and none of the mom blogs about the parents who, gasp, give their kids juice dyed pink with chemicals and turn out a cake with rainbow hues are going to convince me otherwise.

Those types of moms assume that moms like me are irresponsible (at best), throwing our kids' health away (at worst). Those moms are making some giant assumptions. And we all know what happens when you assume, don't we?

The fact is, I do care about what my daughter eats. I am very careful about what chemicals are in my daughter's nail polish and her body wash too.

Although I don't buy much organic food -- it is not widely available where we live and what is available isn't necessarily affordable or fresh -- I am a regular at the farmers' market, and I stick to the Environmental Working Group guidelines for safe fruits and vegetables. We don't eat a lot of junk food in our house, and what we do eat is largely homemade.

That's how we roll 364 days a year.

On the 365th, we party. Hard.

Yes, we are a "bad stuff in moderation" kind of family in no small part because I refuse to pass on my history of disordered eating to my daughter. But my husband and I also believe birthdays are something every kid should celebrate -- truly celebrate. 

To all the healthy birthday party folks, I offer this reminder: it's one day a year, people! It's one day when my kid gets to be sugared up and revel in still thinking birthdays are the bee's knees (rather than a sign of how much more her knees hurt these days!).

Do you remember those days? I'm trying. I haven't really "celebrated" one of my own birthdays in years.

Fortunately, my kid is still young enough to have a blast on her birthday, and I'm going to make sure it happens. She will indulge in a rainbow cake with my famous cream cheese frosting, break open a pinata filled with candy, and suck down juice straight from a box.

If you've got a problem with that, stay home. Eat your kale chips. Drink your water. We'll miss you!

Do you serve junk food at your kids' birthday parties?


Image by Jeanne Sager

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