Better Birthday Treats Save 8,000 Calories

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Screen shot 2012 10 10 at 9.27.36 AM Better Birthday Treats Save 8,000 Calories “My daughter’s school principal is requesting ideas for alterna- tive snacks for parents to send to school to celebrate their child’s birthday, rather than the usual cake/brownies, etc. Do you have any handouts/suggestions that I could use?”

– Mary Therese Maslanka, RD, LDN, Registered and Licensed Dietitian, Mount Prospect, IL

Our guidelines:

  • Desserts should have fewer than 100 calories.
  • Parents can make it quickly.
  • Kids want to eat it
  • Can’t make too much mess

Mary pointed out that some of the classes have 23-30 students, so with 36 weeks of school, that is almost 1 sugar-laden treat per week! If you were serving cake or regular cupcakes each time, that is about 9,000-12,000 calories per school year from birthday parties!

Our treats below ring in annually at about 2,500 calories and this saves, on average, about 8,000 calories per child per school year, which is quite a bit.

Use candles, sprinkles and decorator’s frosting for a fun, festive touch. It is best to offer a variety of cookies and fruit - even if you had the perfect ice cream cake there are kids who don’t like that - they always love a choice.

Here are 4 different presentations:

Screen shot 2012 10 10 at 9.28.44 AM Better Birthday Treats Save 8,000 CaloriesRice Krispies Bowl - 90 calories each ($3.99 for 16 of them) Arrange in a bowl and unwrap one, placing it in the center. Dec- orate with frosting and a candle for a treat that is easy to serve.

Dip Me Sheet - 60 calories per serving ($12 for cookies and fruit) Place a variety of fruits, cara- mel dip and vanilla wafers in an attractive square pan. Decorate with balloon candles.

Screen shot 2012 10 10 at 9.29.34 AM Better Birthday Treats Save 8,000 CaloriesNewton’s Fruit Cake - 85 calories cookie/fruit ($12 for cookies, fruit) Place cookies around the outside of the pan and fill with dried or fresh fruits. Add sprinkles and then adhere 8 candles to the tops of the cookies with frosting

Rice Cookie Cake and Fruit - 50 calories cookie/fruit ($5 for rice cakes and berries) Arrange them in bowls and garnish a few with frosting and candles – yummy!

One more idea: cut layers of cake out of a melon and decorate with grapes and berries on skewers.

You can also see these in greater detail on - click on What’s Cooking and then Happy Birthday to You.

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