Refined Sugar Free Kid’s Birthday Party

He was right, I was wrong – about sugar.
I may end up editing out this admission. We’ll see.
I’m answering a husband’s plea.
He’s prolly on the couch watching Russell Brand’s (The True News) = The Trews.
Side note: What a brain that fellow has. The speed at which he can talk, and the height of which he can articulate. I like his parody of voices too, and the Buddhism or potent compassion that weaves its way through his ‘monologue’. Very good Russel Brand. Very good.

Our little EB with the eczema (which has, since making changes to the diet and using coconut oil, more or less gone) has started again to occasionally sleep through the night whilst back molars are carving their way into her being. Scuse the violent imagery. Our little EB has recently turned 2. We threw a couple of birthday parties for her over the past 5 days. Both refined sugar free, gluten free and mostly dairy free (except the cream we tall people added to our red bush chai tea, and coffee respectively).

I even wrote welcome to EB’s gluten free…party on our blackboard in a moment of triumph for getting this far. Getting this excited about food with limits. Sharing it with our whanau who are not so acquainted with such dynamics.

Now I wanna share with you. I found some treasures.

Birthday Party Number 1 (for family during the weekend)

Birthday Cake recipe came from Love Bake Nourish. I made the Citrus, honey and pistachio drizzle cake (especially because I get a kick out of using local seasonal food and it gave me an excuse to hamu off my neighbours for their windfallen navels). Amber Rose’s recipes use maple syrup or honey (as a substitute for refined sugar) and spelt flour (as a replacement for white flour). She has a small nut flour cake section. I used kamahi honey which I have since learned is a stronger honey than I would have liked. Next time I’ll try clover or tawari (if I remember rightly). I may also give the liquid honey a go, as so far I’ve used creamed which is a bit of a bugger to measure and get off the spoon or spatula. Her / my Citrus, honey and pistachio drizzle cake had a sweet syrup poured over it and was served with thick yogurt. It was deliciously moist but was very sweet or very honey (as my dear friend Sezza calls the flavour of strong honey – ‘a bit socky’). The flavours reminded me of the middle east? Next time I may even try her Flour-free orange, almond and pistachio cake a few pages over.

Westmere Butchery Sausages (bought in Auckland). Pork and fennel and Merguez. The slender ones.
Hellers’ Country Pork Sausages (bought from any? New World). The slender ones.
Served with Kellie Thompson’s recently homemade tomato sauce (without refined sugar folks). Recipe to come.
I had dreams of stuffing the sausages’ bottoms with ice cream sticks (like old school fish and chip shops sausages) but time did her beastly thing to me and vanished.

Pineapple. Tenderly cut by Nana.
Could’ve done oranges cut into smile segments. Time.
Picked up the Australian strawberries at New World. Put down the Aussies. Decided I could wait. Be loyal.

Chocolate Chills (Dairy Free) homemade ice-blocks akin with storebought Chills. Go buy ‘the cookbook ‘My Darling Lemon Thyme’ or go to Emma Galloway’s blog.

Petite Kitchen’s Lemon and Coconut Truffles.
A visitor’s Cacao Bliss Balls.


Homemade hot kumara chips.

Wished time had been kinder and I’d achieved devils on horseback (prunes wrapped in freedom farms streaky bacon and put in a hot oven to çaramelise). And banana cupcakes. And My Darling Lemon Thyme’s Dark Chocolate Coconut Bites aka ‘bounty bars’. I’d tested them out the week before and my. oh my. oh my.

We had fresh coffee, red bush chai tea, guava and soda streamed water for the tall people and soda streamed water and lemon juice for the short people. The shorties squeezed it in one of the ‘party games’ where halved citrus, cups, little jugs and multiple citrus juicers were stationed strategically.

Birthday Party Number 2 (for little people and their parents during the week)

The chocolate beetroot (dairy free, gluten free, refined sugar free) birthday cake recipe came from The Nutrition Guru and The Chef. I nailed it. They nailed it. Marijke nailed it when she chose it for A Mighty Smith Celebration. I nailed it when I became friends with Marijke, got invited to her party, ate the cake, then asked her for the recipe. This cake is SUBLIME. Not a morsel was left. We ate it with thick ‘The Collective’ Yogurt. Nailed it. I will say it’s not a cake for someone on a budget. The olive oil, almond meal and real chocolate (I used green and black’s dark chocolate) put it into the slightly more extravagant bundle of bundles.

Guests bought/brought plates instead of presents and platters of vege-sticks with homemade aioli and pesto, roasted almonds, rice crackers and hummus, bliss balls, packeted kumara chips (sooooooo moreish) and will find out the make and model soon (I promise), purple corn chips, miniature banana cupcakes, raw chocolate coin sized biscuits…were put atop the tablecloth.

Some of the kids spent an age juicing themselves their drinks, others circled around the playdough table crafting additions to the menu. At our 4 year old’s party ‘ the make your own pizza’ game was a sensation. We used small pita breads (instead of dough) and set up two stations to streamline. A playcentre trick is to then line the baking tray with baking paper and to circle around the pizza and name the inside of the porowhitu with the child’s name. This means your discerning child gets their creation. Final dare: adults allow your children to make the pizza entirely themselves i.e. leave the abundant lumps and bumps and hills of bacon or pineapple or cheese just as is. It’s quite an art staying silent and still. A little like sitting alongside a child at a puzzle. Dare you.

I felt all happy on the inside when one parent said to me:
I usually stand sentinel at the table, ready to say that’s enough sugar now, before things get out of hand. But today I can completely relax and they can eat whatever they want, and as much as they want, cos I know it’s good for them.

An interesting note:
We had 16 children and their parents in a small lounge which opened onto a deck I had major party plans for until the rain wouldn’t stop her tears and meant we were all inside. And only at the end (at 5pm) was there a ruffling of feathers between two 4 year olds over some playdough. Food for thought or should I say peace?



  1. Super inspiring Em! I might have to come back here when it’s party time in this house. Congratulations on your last baby, I met you when we were pregnant with our seconds 🙂

I love reading your comments, kia ora for taking the time to share your thoughts

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