Sarah - posted on 07/04/2011 ( 6 moms have responded )
At my kids' birthday parties and other get-togethers, I serve the same things I serve for special events with just the family. But I'm a bit uncertain whether I should provide things for the people who may not be of the same mind as I about eating healthfully. I don't feel I go at all overboard; but I do serve fresh fruit and veggies, rice crackers and organic cheese, and fruit juice, water, and milk instead of chips, cheese puffs, cookies and soda. At birthday parties we will have cake and ice-cream, which is all gluten-free (I have Celiac disease, and as long as I'm breastfeeding, my bf'd child is gluten free as well.) made with healthy alternatives to the less healthy ingredients. I usually use a naturally sweetened fruit topping on the cake instead of frosting, but will use frosting on occasion.
I'm planning my second son's third birthday party, and a friend recently confided in me that a few friends of ours grumble about having to take their kids to our events because there won't be anything "good" to eat. She says they feel like I'm trying to push my lifestyle on them and make them feel guilty for not eating better. That had never even crossed my mind! In all honesty, I don't like most junk foods. I got into healthy eating because fast food, processed foods, and sodas made me feel terrible, not because I think I'm some super mom! I'm not offended that they didn't come to me; I understand why that would be an awkward thing for them to bring up to me, (though I do wish I'd known how they felt so I could let them know I don't think poorly of them!) but I am at a loss. The kids always seem to really enjoy it, and I've never had a child complain because of the food served. In fact, one friend has twins that will jump out of their car and greet me with "Did you make carrots this time?!" :)
Should I be responsible for providing sodas and such for the people who don't enjoy the type of foods I'm serving? I did that for my eldest son's first birthday and was left with several bottles of soda and bags of chips that we ended up giving to a food pantry. I don't want to spend money on things that won't get used. Would it be rude to simply list a brief menu on the invitation along with a note that guests are welcome to bring dishes or beverages that would better suit their palate?