Goody bags for kids often contain chewy chocolate candies, sugar-filled paper sticks, lollipops, tart chewy candy and little else of nutritional value. If your child attends friends' holiday and birthday parties, and is now ready to have a party of her own, give her party guests and parents a taste of how delicious a healthy party goody bag can be.
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A Good Reason
Although party goody bags are fun for children, the sedentary lifestyle, frequent unhealthy snacks and consumption of too many calories contribute to the fact that about one in five children in the United States is overweight, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You have the opportunity to feed your child healthy food every time he eats -- whether feeding him lunch or handing him a goody bag.
Instead of fruit-shaped candy, give the children dried and whole fruits in their party bags. A 4- to 13-year-old child needs about 1 1/2 cups of fruit a day. Use the goody bag as a way to include antioxidant-rich fruits. Include small boxes of raisins, dried mixed fruits or dehydrated apricots in the goody bags. Dry apple slices yourself or purchase dried apple slices and wrap the slices in plastic wrap tied with a bow. When clementines or small tangerines are in season, include one in the goody bag.
Although you can fill a goody bag with only healthy fruit or fun stickers, you can add one healthier sweet treat to each child's bag as a special dessert. Dark chocolate in small amounts is a healthier choice for kids and adults, due to the higher amount of flavonoids in dark, or more bitter, chocolate. Put individually wrapped squares of dark chocolate or 1 tbsp. of dark chocolate pieces wrapped in plastic wrap in each child's bag. Cookies such as ginger snaps, animal crackers and graham crackers are lower in sugar and fat than creme-filled chocolate or vanilla cookies.
Crunchy foods are fun for children to eat, and if you choose unsalted, roasted nuts, sunflower seeds or lightly salted pretzels, you avoid the fats and sodium in chip bags. Wrap up a stack of whole-grain crackers in wax paper and tie with a ribbon, include small packages of organic, low-sodium fish-shaped crackers in the bags or make a bowl of trail mix and allow children to scoop out 1/4 cup each to place inside their own goody bags.
A package of gum or sugar-free mints is a nonfood addition to a healthy party goody bag that adds little calories or sugars. Crayons, small coloring books, markers and maze books add interest to the goody bags. Put a blank food pyramid chart in the goody bags for the children to fill out at home. Ask parents of the guests if any of the children have food allergies before packing the bags. If hosting a party for small children, avoid nuts or foods that present a choking hazard.