It’s HealthBarn USA’s Birthday! This month marks our 9th birthday, giving us a lot to celebrate and be grateful for at the Barn. In April 2005, the HealthBarn USA seed got planted and it has sprouted big time at Abma’s Farm, Wyckoff, NJ which resulted in a seedling at Hilltop Hanover Farm, Yorktown Heights, NY and a sprawling strawberry patch with my new book Appetite for Life. Our mission to empower families to lead strong energetic lives is robust with our latest accomplishment of reaching more the 5,000 students for March: National Nutrition Month. Our growth and achievements are possible because of the TLC from kids, families, schools, community groups, educational partnerships, Life in Sync charitable organization and my awesome team. Thank you for committing to living a healthy-lifestyle because your success is ours!
Throwing a healthy birthday party? Moms want to know how to celebrate a fun, healthy birthday party in the comfort of their own home and at school. Don’t despair about the ban on cupcakes, we have the right party mix to keep kids entertained, engaged and smiling — so much so, that you’ll need sunglasses! Here are our top ideas:
- Chefs for the Day. Choose a hands-on naturally, nutritious recipe that everyone can help create and eat! The top party recipe picks are: Yum! Yum! Dumplings and the Whole Wheat Pizza Challenge, Appetite for Life, pg 196.
- Garden Party. It’s the perfect time to start your child’s friends garden right in your own backyard! Rotate between planting seedlings (herbs, zucchini, cucumbers, etc); painting terra cotta planting pots; and making and eating the Hydration Salad, Appetite for Life, pg 131 or fruit, vegetable and cheese kebabs.
- “Girls Only” Sleep Over Party. Hire a certified kids yoga instructor for 45 minutes of downward facing dog and more poses or pop in a yoga DVD, then serve up fresh herbal tea (mint from the garden) and have fun making and eating the Peach and Honey facial mask, Appetite for Life, pg 255! Serve up the yummy Sweet Potato Pancakes in the morning.
- Birthday Apples. Move over cupcakes, it’s all about the apples. Serve one apple on a special plate or create an apple cascade with candles and sing away! Use an apple slicer to speed things up and serve up these delicious slices during all of the above party ideas!
Don’t despair about the ban on cupcakes in schools, creative healthy ideas definitely get the thumbs up from kids and teachers and sets a great example for other parents to follow, too! Here are the top school-approved recipe picks from the Barn:
- Popcorn with Brain Butter, pg 138 (bring in the air-popper to pop fresh, many schools are investing in the popper being kept safely in the nurse’s office!);
- Yogurt Sundaes, pg 176 with our homemade granola, pg 52;
- Raspberry Crumble, pg 236, a delicious way to eat raspberries;
- The Perfect Pop, pg 172, a chocolatey party in the mouth with bananas;
- Caprese Salad on a Stick, pg 166, fun to make as a group activity.
Interested in a HealthBarn USA birthday party? We have hosted several HealthBarn USA birthday parties at private homes with much success, and now we offering the Birthday Barn Bash in partnership with Spring Lake Day Camp, Ringwood, NJ. Leave it to HealthBarn USA to give parents peace of mind and kids a ton of healthy fun!
– Stacey Antine, MS RD, author, Appetite for Life, founder, HealthBarn USA, co-host, Family Food Expert Internet Radio Show, and recognized as top 10 dietitians nationally by Today’s Dietitian magazine for her work with HealthBarn USA