Are you throwing a birthday party, but would prefer to serve sugar-free food to your guests?
Do you want to host a birthday party that doesn't send the kids home with a sugar overload?
Discover how to have a sugar free birthday party PLUS a FREE sugar-free birthday party eBook to download. Enjoy!
The complete beginner's guide to how to have a sugar-free birthday party
First and foremost, don't make a fuss that it is sugar-free. Don't make it a big deal. Be excited and enthusiastic about the fun you have planned and what will be served. I will show you how to have a sugar-free birthday party and still enjoy pizza, ice cream, and most importantly, have fun. Fun shouldn't = junk food.
How to cut back on sugar (easily)
Firstly, let's see how we can cut back on sugar that has slowly crept into every party in recent years. I for one was completely guilty of this.
- Does food need to be involved in every activity? - instead of the 'decorate the cupcakes' activity, what about making a clay animal? Paint ceramics? Or any other art activity. Just get a bit creative.
- Do games have to involve a candy/chocolate prize? - play pop the balloon but instead of candy inside, add a little toy. Hand out erasers, pencils, stickers, football cards, or even create a collectors card and at the end of the party, the stamps = prizes.
- Does pass the parcel have to have some sweets/candy in between each layer of wrapping? - place stickers, erasers, stamps, balloons, and pieces of a puzzle in between each layer, then set the children the task of making the puzzle at the end.
- Does the birthday cake have to be a sugar bomb? - rather than have icing/frosting plus fondant plus sweets/candy plus chocolate plus edible decorations plus any other sugary treat that can be crammed on top?
- Do children need to be served sugary soda, juice, or flavored milk? - Serve cute flavored waters or set up a water station where children absolutely love to make their own combinations. Add cute straws, umbrellas, cups, or bottles with no sugar hype.
- Do you really need to add extra sweets/candy to your party bags? - instead look at this incredible idea from Sarah S, the most fabulous sugar free birthday party ninja over at TypeOneGrit. Instead of having a candy buffet, she made a party bag buffet. 6 months later and people are still talking about how much fun the party was.
5 Top Tips On Catered Party Venues
I asked politely for some simple changes when I booked my last 2 parties at the bowling alley and laser force. The staff was delightful and happy to oblige. The more requests they receive for healthy alternatives, the more they will see the value of adding healthy food options (birthday parties are big $business$).
- I asked for water to be served instead of jugs (yes jugs) of soda.
- I asked for the platter of chopped vegetable sticks and dips, but leave out the crisps. Ask for the vegetables to be served while doing their first activity. Children are hungriest when they first arrive at a party. The children tucked into the veggies and dips whilst bowling. They didn't even realize they were grazing on vegetables. By the time their meal arrived, most of them couldn't finish it. The prior vegetables 'crowded out' their junk. Sneaky huh?
- Take a look at their menu to see which is the best option. Chicken strips vs chicken nuggets (run, don't walk, away from those), real meat sausages vs hotdogs, fish pieces vs fish cakes (mainly cooked starch and a little undefined fish 'part'), wraps, sandwich bar (let the salad crowd out the junk and no sticky sauces) or hamburger patties. None of the options may be great, but you may just have to choose the best of a bad bunch. Ask for no tomato sauce/ketchup to be served.
- Ask to bring your own cake.
- Ask for the sweets to be left out of their party bags and supply an extra treat yourself (I added toys, football cards, and erasers).
Sugar-free birthday cakes
My absolute go-to cake is my chocolate heaven cake. It is nut-free, gluten-free, grain-free, and has no added sugar. I would ice it with a simple chocolate ganache or a cream cheese frosting. Be creative with decorations and use toys, not sweets. The cake below (left) is decorated with green-colored cream cheese frosting and green-colored coconut and toys. So easy and zero talent is required. It does even need to be smooth, in fact, the messier the better to appear like grass. The cake on the right, however (found on Pinterest) is a sugar bomb!
Interesting price comparison. My chocolate heaven cake cost me $13NZD ($ 8.83USD) and the cake on the right cost $59NZD ($40.23USD). Now maybe, just maybe, the junk food lovers will stop complaining how expensive real food is.
Sugar-free recipes - savoury
TOP TIP: Remember to make everything bite-sized. Kids tend to eat bite-sized portions and miniature food looks cute too!
Cream Cheese Stuffed Meatballs by Ditch the Carbs - Add some cute toothpicks for children to hold and there's no cutlery to wash.
Sugar-Free Sweet and Spicy Bacon Chicken Bites by Sugar-Free Mom - Low carb, sugar-free, and easy to make, this is the perfect finger food to serve the kids!
Ready-In-A-Snap Low-Carb Ketchup by Low Carb, So Simple! - This homemade ketchup is ready in five minutes and the best: it contains only 5 natural ingredients and no sugar!
Top tip from Elvira at Low Carb So Simple "At my son's 5-year birthday party, kids loved when they were given long pom-pom cocktail sticks with their name written in them (it was also practical so the sticks couldn't get mixed!). Kids could fill the sticks with their favorite veggies, fruits, meatballs, and sausages."
Mini Pepper Nachos by All Day I Dream About Food - Who says you have to use tortilla chips to make nachos? Kids love to scoop up their favorite fillings with these little mini peppers. It's more colorful too!
Ham and cheese roll ups by Ditch The Carbs - a super simple idea for adults and kiddies alike.
Sour Cream and Chive Crackers by Low Carb, So Simple! - These cute little crackers will be a huge hit at any birthday party. Cut out different shapes like butterflies, cars, hearts, stars... season with your favorite seasonings. Rave reviews are guaranteed! (Btw, Elviira served these at her son's 5-year birthday party and used curry as a seasoning. Kids loved them!)
Mini Zucchini Pizza Bites by Sugar-Free Mom - The best way to get your kids to eat their veggies? Cover 'em up with cheese!
Salmon Cream Cheese Bites by Ditch the Carbs - These are always so popular, that the mums often ask for the recipe.
Fathead Keto Crackers (4 ingredients) by Ditch the Carbs - Ditch the crisps and serve these instead.
Ham and Egg Cups by Ditch the Carbs - Fantastic for little hands to hold. Cover in plenty of cheese for a crispy crust.
Chipotle Chicken Bacon Bites by Low Carb Maven - These little chicken bites are fun to eat with decorative toothpicks. Omit the chipotle chile for a mild flavour.
Spinach and Feta Parcels by Ditch the Carbs - Rice paper is perfect for little hands to grab hold of and you can make these the day ahead.
Paleo Scotch Eggs by Ditch the Carbs - Children may only want half or a quarter of these, add some sugar-free tomato ketchup and you're almost done!
Radish Chips by Low Carb Yum - Radish chips are a perfect alternative to potato chips. And, the mini size is great for little hands!
Pepperoni Pizza Muffins by Low Carb Yum - Use a mini muffin pan to turn these pepperoni pizza muffins into perfect-sized appetizers! It's much easier than baking pizza.
Crispy Baked Buffalo Drumsticks by All Day I Dream About Food - Finger food is fun! These crispy baked buffalo drumsticks are easy to make and kids love them.
Pizza Waffles by Ditch The carbs. The pizza waffles can be made ahead of time then put a selection of toppings on the table. Each child makes their own pizza which is then quickly cooked for 5-10 minutes in the oven. It's a fun activity and each child gets exactly what they want. The picture below shows what I serve when I host a teenage sleepover. No dial out pizza here!
Sugar-free - drinks
Sugar-free gummies - make your own maltitol-free sugar-free gummies.
Sugar-Free Berry Chia Fresca by Ditch the Carbs - Now how cute does this look? Use any berry and a variety of colours straws for a fun party.
Witches' Brew by Low-Carb, So Simple! - Amaze the little guests with this stunning colour-changing drink which contains no sugar and nothing artificial, just 5 natural ingredients!
Flavoured Water Ideas by Ditch the Carbs - Why not make a "flavoured water station" and each child can make their own combination of their favourite flavours. Add some cute straws and bottles to serve.
Sparkling Raspberry Limeade Mocktail by Low Carb Yum - Ditch the soda and serve some sparkling berry mocktails instead! So easy, the kids can make their own as a fun activity.
Sugar-free desserts, sweets & cakes
Sugar-Free Mint Ice Cream with Magic Shell by Ditch the Carbs - Now who doesn't like a chocolate magic shell at a party?
Chocolate Dipped Pear by Low Carb Maven - Chocolate dipped fruit is not only easy to make but it's delicious. Have the kids dip their own fruit for a fun snack or activity!
Hazelnut Butter Cookies by Low-Carb, So Simple! - These super easy 5-ingredient cookies are a one-bowl wonder and they are ready in minutes. Even better: they contain only natural ingredients and certainly please even the pickiest palate!
Chocolate Mint Fudge Pops by All Day I Dream About Food - Perfect for a hot day!
6-ingredient Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies by Low Carb Maven - These peanut butter chocolate chip cookies only have 6 ingredients. Use almond butter for a peanut-free option.
Three Ingredients Instant Ice Cream by Ditch the Carbs - For a pink-themed party perhaps?
Low-Carb Lemon Cupcakes by Ditch the Carbs - A party isn't complete without cupcakes. Don't let your guests miss out on this yummy treat!
31 Healthy Low Carb Popsicle Recipes by All Day I Dream About Food - What's a warm-weather birthday party without popsicles? The great thing about these frozen treats is that they can be made with virtually anything... yoghurt, juice, frozen fruit, and the kids never even know they are sugar-free.
Chocolate Mini Muffins by Low-Carb, So Simple! - You need only 5 natural ingredients for these sugar-free, gluten-free yummy chocolate mini muffins. Kids will LOVE them!
So let's put it all together, and this is how to have a sugar free birthday party packed with colour, fun and excitement.
Still, need more ideas?
For even more ideas on how to have a sugar-free birthday party, take look at my Pinterest board I have set up. Sugar-Free Party Ideas.
If you are new here, this page may help you get started and this page will show you what is in my pantry and kitchen to get you on your way. And finally this page will help you learn how to start low carb.
Now available is the sugar-free "PARTY ON" eBook. Click here to access it and enjoy the fun-filled book with sugar-free recipes, tips, tricks, and party bag ideas. How about a teddy bear picnic? It's all in there so take a look.
Any good vanilla/yellow cake recipes?
This is my absolute go-to sponge recipe Coconut Flour Raspberry Fingers. Simply omit the raspberries, add plenty of vanilla and sweetener, and you have a simple sponge cake that you can use.
Where can I get the recipe?
Thank you for all the amazing recipes. ?
GiGi Eats Celebrities
Easy! I go out for sashimi and rice-less sushi rolls. NO sugar there 🙂
You've put some great ideas and recipes here, thank you.
All the best Jan
Can you explain a party bag buffet? I can't find it from the link. I'm a little challenged as I am not certain how a can't buffet works. But have to say that one doesn't sound appealing, lol!
A party bag/loot bag buffer allows the children to pick out some favourite goodies and toys from all those amazing jars and make their own party bags to take home. Some people have candy buffets which as you can imagine is jars of candy to fill their party/loot bags - and the party bag buffet is a great idea from Sarah to cut back on all that necessary sugar. The jars could be filled with whatever you love - pencils, erasers, toy cars, colouring pens, fun jewellery, stamps, toys, bouncy balls, mini playing cards, etc etc. The kids absolutely loved it and are still talking about it months later.
That's great, thanks!
Kim | Low Carb Maven
Great ideas, all! Thanks for including my recipe in the great round-up of party foods and this great resource.
LOVE IT!! Thank you!!