Parents are becoming more and more concerned about what their kids eat, and rightfully so. More parents are making a conscious effort to feed their children with healthy foods over junk foods. Also, many children today have food allergies. It is becoming increasingly difficult to plan a menu that can accommodate a dozen kids each with their own potential dietary requirements.
Junk food's appeal is its convenience. It's cheap and easy to order for a large group. There's no mess in the kitchen and kids love it. Like I said, convenient. But is healthier food any less convenient?
Since it's really not that difficult anymore to offer healthy alternatives, what it really comes down to is choices. As a host, do you want to go with the classic junk food, or the healthy alternative? There is no right answer here, it's really up to you. I know that while my brain says I should eat healthy, I certainly love a slice of pizza. I also know that I can find a balance between the two.
Here's what I recommend: First, make a choice for your main course. Junk food or healthy foods, whatever you choose is OK. Next, pick the alternate as snack and sides. In other words, if you're going to be serving hot dogs, also have a veggie platter and some fruit snacks. If you're serving healthy food, also have a few bowls of chips or maybe some candy. This way, everybody wins.
You're not quite done your planning yet. Whatever choice you make, you should always inform the guest's parents. The best option is to include the menu on the birthday invitation. Also include a statement that reads something like this: "If your child has any food allergies or special dietary requirements, please let us know ASAP by calling us at (555) 555-5555. We'll be happy to accommodate you." This will allow parents to feel better about what is offered and give them a chance to address any concerns they may have.