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Birthday celebrations consumed most of my time and energy last week as by youngest child turned 5. I often struggle with the balance of doing what I believe is best for my children’s health and not wanting them to feel deprived. Our culture makes closely links birthdays and holidays with junk food. There always seems to be another party with more cake around the corner. It would prefer that we focused on the celebration rather than the sugar. Until then I will dread birthday party invitations from other children.

The custom in our house is that  the birthday boy/girl gets to pick the menu for the day.
The advantage of giving the kids of choice of menu is that I can control the ingredients in a way I can’t by ordering take out or going out. I also save a lot of money.

My daughter kept me hopping with requests for waffles, eggplant strata, roasted broccoli and cauliflower (vegetable side required) and blueberry cupcakes with chocolate frosting and sprinkles. This girl knows what she wants.

Lucky for us both that I have a slight addiction to cookbooks. The eggplant recipe came from Well Fed, and the waffles from The Paleo Kitchen. The cupcakes were simply a muffin recipe (I used one from Practical Paleo) with pretty liners and a few melted chocolate chips on top for frosting. I used crushed freeze-dried strawberries for the “sprinkles” and not the bottles of GMO sugar and artificial food dyes that are found on grocery store shelves.

My daughter loved her meal and the celebration and I got to feel good about feeding her real food. Win-win!

For the rest of the day we focused on celebrating this lively girl with experiences such as running errands in her favorite pajamas and going to the library. Some days the balance isn’t so hard.

Are birthday’s stressful?
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