Birthday parties and other celebrations are often an excuse for unhealthy food. And as a plant-based family, we’ve been to events where the crudité is the only option for us. But a plant-based party is easy, and can appeal to anyone! How do I know? Because I keep throwing them and this one was the BIGGEST hit yet! We were the ONLY plant based family there yet EVERYONE was happy with the food (and even “impressed!” to quote one Dad!)
Need some suggestions? Read on!
This birthday was the first one my daughter was really excited for and aware of. She just started really speaking a few months prior so it was actually very exciting for us too! We were eager to celebrate her as much (or maybe more!) as she was!
She was very specific – she wanted a pool party. I knew the answer, but just for fun I asked what color cake she wanted. It was her favorite color of course: blue. When I asked what she wanted to eat at her party she excitedly answered, ‘Avocado Toast!’ (which she requests daily and for almost every meal. So very Californian, I know! But she was born in NYC!) When I asked if here was anything else she wanted, she said, “Watermelon!”
So how to combine a blue cake, pool party, watermelon and avocado toast in one celebration?
She hasn’t seen many movies yet (only 3 actually!) but her favorite is MOANA! Have you seen it yet? It’s truly a wonderfully female empowering, beautifully visual movie! I highly recommend it! She sings the theme song all the time and requests I play the CD in the car all the time (with that theme song on repeat!) So a blue Moana themed birthday party seemed appropriate! 🙂
In addition to the personal touches below, I got some vegan & gluten free Hawaiian pizza from a local place to round out the meal and all the guests (conventional and otherwise) had a blast!
I hope this gives you some starting points for your own celebrations!
I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below! 🙂
Heart of Te Fiti Rafts
These are fun for kids of all ages, and really easy! Take some gluten free bread (I use Canyon Bakehouse!), spread a little vegan butter (I use Earth Balance soy-free buttery spread) then add some smashed avocado! They were a huge hit!
Shark Teeth and ‘Crab’ Legs
I cut up some cucumber in triangle shapes to make them look like shark teeth! No one got hurt in the eating of it! 🙂 In keeping with the theme, I served it up in a small pail.
Organic baby carrot sticks fit the theme as cute (and healthy) crab legs from Tomatoa!
Popcorn with a tiny sprinkle of blue plant-based food coloring from India Tree in a white serving bowl! I love the white-and-blue mix of color! (It’s always so much better using food coloring based on real ingredients, since synthetic food dyes have been linked to so many behavioral issues, and even many “naturally derived” dyes are so processed they are indistinguishable from synthetic dye.)
This one is really easy too! Pour a bag of GF pretzels into a glass vase (so you can see them), and you’re done!
This is an easy one for a tropical party. Quarter pineapple, cut into chunks, add some hibiscus umbrella toothpicks and voila!
This one took a little patience, but looks super cute! You can find video tutorials on YouTube if you get stuck! This makes a great starter served next to cucumber slices and hummus for dipping!
Cut a good sized watermelon into 1/2″ – 3/4″ disks, and cut out the number with a cookie cutter! This is becoming a tradition in our house. I did this for her 2nd (watermelon themed!) birthday too! This can also be a great activity to get your kids involved with.
With a baby, toddler and business to take care of, this year I did something I’ve never done before: outsourced the cake! Luckily, my friend Celine (whom you may remember from her Babysitter Blog guest post!) has an amazing vegan/kosher/gluten free bakery here in LA! She and her team made a beautiful blue (vegan) fondant, and I found some Moana cake topper figurines that went perfectly.
Since the cake was 2 tiered, my daughter got to choose TWO flavors. She picked cookies ‘n cream cake with cookies ‘n cream filling and the other layer had chocolate cake with strawberry filling. She loved both! It was the first time she had a chocolate cake… well chocolate ANYTHING! She’s still new to ‘regular’ sugar (I only cook with natural sweeteners at home) and I think I successfully kept her from chocolate until now. Anyway, she thought it was great, and the guests LOVED it too!
Ocean Water & Heart of Te Fiti Drink
Hydrating, refreshing, no sugar and FUN! For the ocean water, take a mason jar pitcher of filtered water, and add a few drops of blue natural dye. For the Heart of Te Fiti green drink, I used organic lemonade plus natural blue and yellow dyes. (This is made with India Tree plant-based food coloring! Many common food dyes are petroleum-based, and have been linked to a wide range of issues like hyperactivity and cancer. Children are more at risk for side effects than adults, as well. I always recommend using natural foods, like red beets or blue blueberries or yellow turmeric for coloring, or using a plant-based dye like this one!)
Sun protection is super important, so make sure your guests are taken care of! I used ThinkBaby, but make sure to cross reference your sunscreen with the Environmental Working Group’s EWG Sunscreen Guide!
Some blue food dye and 10 water bottles turn the extra Kakamora from the table into a fun yard game!
Tiki Bubble Machines
It’s not a kid’s party without bubbles, right? Bonus points for coming from a tiki g-d! 🙂
Paper Straws in Tiki Cups
Eco-friendly paper straws make any party better, but these cute ceramic tiki cups fit the party theme perfectly! (Why paper straws? They biodegrade, and don’t contribute plastic waste to the waterways and landfills.
Don’t forget to wear something festive!
And… Have fun!