My son’s seventh birthday is approaching. He has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and reacts badly to sugar. What are fun party foods that are low in sugar?
If you’re prepared to cook, there are plenty of party food options that don’t involve huge injections of sugar. Cut veggies into sticks and serve with homemade dips such as hummus, yogurt and cucumber and guacamole. Homemade pizza made with wholemeal dough and heavy toppings is also a hit. For sandwiches, try mini-wraps with chicken and cucumber. Try cubed pineapple and cheddar cheese on toothpicks – sticking them into an orange made to look like a hedgehog is still a guilty favorite of mine.
If you want to serve something sweet, opt for reduced-sugar oatmeal cookies, banana bread, and apple or oat bran muffins instead of chocolates or cookies (which tend to be eaten in large quantities at great speed due to their low fiber content. For drinks, stick with diluted juice (make it fizzy with sparkling water), fruit smoothies or milkshakes and water.
Avoid plain white sponge cakes, which deliver sugar to the bloodstream in a flash. Go for carrot cake, banana cake, or something made from wholemeal flour or cornmeal. Serve the cake yourself and limit portion size.
My daughter has Celiac disease and has to avoid wheat products. This presents a bit of a problem whenever she plays at friends’ houses, but sending her with her own food makes her feel left out. Any ideas?
Put together an info sheet to briefly explain her condition and outline what she can’t eat; send the note to the friend’s parents in advance. Have a chat with them before and ask if they can all have a gluten-free meal that night so she is not left out. Suggestions could include rice with pork, broccoli and red pepper stir-fry (avoiding any gluten-containing sauces), baked potato with tuna and salad, or chicken and mushroom risotto.
Instead of packing her own food supply with your daughter, send something that the whole family can enjoy, like nuts, dried fruit, yoghurt, and gluten-free cookies.
Nina Lenton is a UK-registered dietitian living and working in Beijing. Have a question for Ms. Nutrition? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.