June 2, 2011

Fewer calories and fat in 10-inch pizza than plate of children’s party food

Parents may be shocked to learn that a standard plate of children’s party food could be more calorific and laden with saturated fat than an entire pepperoni pizza. But our new party pack shows how parents can still lay on tasty treats without the usual gut-busting nutritional content.

Watch our video

Our colourful and interactive pack provides parents and teachers with easy-to-follow recipes to create party favourites such as mini pizzas, chocolate buns and jellies with lower amounts of sugar, salt, fat and saturated fat than standard party foods.

Animal themed

Children's party packThe animal themed packs aimed at four to eight year-olds also come with glossy game cards to inspire a string of fun games and craft activities to get the party in full swing, as well as animal invitations and placemats and a big book of stickers to decorate them with.

Our senior heart health dietitian, Victoria Taylor, said: “Parties are a time for celebration and treating our children. But I’m sure few parents would give an entire 10-inch pepperoni pizza to a young child for a meal. Yet giving them a standard plate of party food means they’d actually consume more calories and saturated fat.

“It’s not about banning cakes and biscuits, or serving up a plate of boring vegetables. But many young children have busy social lives with parties being a regular occurrence. A few small changes can mean the difference between them regularly having too much saturated fat, salt and sugar and instead eating treats that are not only fun and tasty but much better for them too."

Handy tips and suggestions

Few parents would give an entire 10-inch pepperoni pizza to a young child for a meal

The pack includes a handy guide with tips on how to prepare food, entertainment and goody bags for children’s parties as well as colour-coded charts showing the nutritional content of standard party food and healthier options.

Suggestions include swapping traditional pizza slices for ‘muffin monster’ pizzas made with bread muffin bases. This can cut the amount of calories and salt by two thirds (calories down from 248 to just 84 and salt lowered from 1.4g per portion to 0.5g). While baking the suggested ‘cocoa cat cake’ has a 80 per cent less saturated fat per portion compared with a slice of standard chocolate birthday cake (0.8g compared with 7.1g).

The pack adds to our healthy resources for children as part of our aim to reverse the increase in childhood obesity. Around one in five children in England (22.8%) are overweight or obese the year they start school.

Children's party pack invitationIn five year olds, 82 per cent of boys and 86.3 per cent of girls in England don’t get their five a day in terms of fruit and vegetables, while a third of children get less than the recommended amount of physical activity each week (32%).

The pack costs £6.99 plus postage and packaging.