Last month, my little Saff turned FIVE years old! We celebrated her many times throughout the month, but this post will be specifically about her Little Red Riding Hood themed party that we had at a local park with our family and friends.
For Saffy’s party I really wanted to have as much healthy, real food as possible. This is pretty similar to parties I have had for her in the past, I just haven’t documented it before.
Fruits and veggies: I like to make (or put together) as much of the party food as possible because it is not only healthier, but also cheaper to do so. Instead of buying pre-made fruit and veggie platter, I bought our favorite fruits and vegetables and put together the platters myself. I also served hummus to go with the veggies.
Chips: I served some Organic Blue Corn Tortilla Chips (gluten free) from Trader Joe’s because they are my favorite and because I knew I would have at least one party guest that cannot eat gluten.
String Cheese: I don’t usually buy string cheese because of how much packaging is used on them, but I bought them for the party because I knew they would be popular with the kids. In fact, many of the adults enjoyed the string cheese as well!
Bagels: This is the one thing that I did not put together myself. I decided to order a bagel platter from Whole Foods, which my mom picked up on her way to the party. It was actually a great value because of all the extras that came with the bagels. I think I paid about $27 for 18 bagels plus cream cheese, butter, and strawberry jam. We had TONS of bagels left over, which of course I froze and have been using for breakfasts and lunches. They gave us so many packets of butter that I was able to fill an empty one pound butter box in my fridge and still have leftovers. Needless to say, I won’t have to buy butter for a while.
In addition to the other toppings, my mom brought smoked salmon for the bagels.
For drinks, I kept it fairly simply serving water, apple cider, and hot coffee (also ordered from Whole Foods). We usually only drink tap water at home, but since we had the party at a park I had to bring a 2-gallon plastic jug of water with us.
Saffy really wanted a piñata for her party, but there aren’t a whole lot of Little Red Riding Hood themed piñatas out there (or any Little Red Riding Hood party supplies at all), so my mom very kindly offered to make one! She used paper mâché to create the wolf piñata and it turned out amazing! Saffy was thrilled to get to smash it, because the wolf is still a little bit scary for her.
The piñata was filled with three kinds of candy that I found at Whole Foods: Annie’s Halloween Bunny Grahams, Annie’s Halloween Fruit Snacks, and Unreal Candy Chocolates (the kind that look like M&Ms). These were a huge hit with Saffy and her friends and they devoured them before we even served cake.
I have always baked Saffy’s birthday cakes because I like to control the ingredients going into them and I enjoy baking, too. Also, I am a little bit of a cake snob. There aren’t many cakes that I like and I much prefer other baked goods like brownies or Rice Krispie Treats. To me, homemade cake just tastes better than store bought, especially the kinds that I made for this party.
I made a pumpkin cake and a chocolate cake for Saffy’s party because I did the same thing last year and our party guests really enjoyed them. The pumpkin cake was in the shape of the number 5 and was frosted with cream cheese frosting. I put Trader Joe’s dye-free chocolate drops around the top and bottom borders of the cake in rainbow order (a time consuming process, but a beautiful end result!) This is the recipe I used for the pumpkin cake and cream cheese frosting, but I reduced the sugar in the cake to 1 cup. I baked this in an 8-inch square pan and an 8-inch circle pan to create the number five, per the directions I found here. It was much easier than I thought it would be, and everyone at the party was impressed by this cake!
The other cake that I made was a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, as requested by Saffy. I used the Alice’s Tea Cup Chocolate Cake recipe and this recipe for the chocolate frosting. Saffy also asked for it to be a Little Red Riding Hood cake, but as I mentioned before it is very hard to find party supplies (such as a cake topper) for this theme. So, I decided to DIY it and print out some clip art from Google, cut them out, glue them to card stock, and duct tape them to bamboo skewers. It took me all of 20 minutes to do this and it looked great on the cake! I also decide to add fresh raspberries around the bottom of the cake because I am not great at making borders with frosting and because added a nice pop of (natural) color.
Non-food party favors
This isn’t even a real food item, but I just wanted to point out the fact that we minimized the junk food at the party by giving non-food party favors. We bought a whole bunch of mini pumpkins ($0.69 each at Trader Joe’s) as well as some paper tags with twine and woodland animal stickers at A.C. Moore to make these adorable pumpkin favors. The kids loved them and I think the parents were pleased to leave the party without a favor bag of toys or candy.
I hope this post gave you some good ideas for your next (mostly) real food party! For more food pictures, please follow me on instagram (@sarahmakeslunch)!