Last weekend we celebrated my nephew Oscar’s 1st birthday. Oscar was born at 27 weeks 5 days’ gestation and spent three months in NICU following his birth – that little snippet of information inadequately describes the endless expressing, tubes, machines, antibiotics, hospital commutes, stat checking, beeping and worry. All first birthdays are a celebration, but Oscar’s felt extra triumphant given his rocky start to life. I eagerly put my hand up to cater his party and would love to share some pics of his very special day!

Oscar and family get ready for cake

We chose these cute animal plates, napkins and cups by My Little Day – a great gender neutral, fun style and easy to mix and match with favourite colours, such as the blue we used in the base plates, straws and tablecloth.

Packed party theming

Keeping with the animal theme, we made spelt gingerbreads sweetened with coconut sugar and rice malt syrup. The eyes and nose are ‘Gems’ – little chocolate buttons coloured with beetroot, turmeric and spirulina – naturally!

Spelt gingerbread bunnies with “Gems” for the faces

Keeping everyone happy, we had party favourites like sausage rolls made with 100% beef sausages and no nasties. We use the Gewurshaus sausage roll spice mix along with tomato sauce, homemade breadcrumbs, parsley, egg and onion, which gives a gorgeous flavour. We thought we may have overdone it with about 85 for 40 adults, but they were gone as soon as they were out of the oven!

Packed sausage rolls

Chicken sandwiches were on simple Baker’s Delight wholemeal chia loaf – Baker’s don’t use any preservatives, so for a ‘regular’ loaf, they are a pretty good option. Some Baker’s stores don’t use vegetable oils, which is even better, but you would have to ask around. The chicken was an organic Milawa chicken, poached and stirred through with whole egg mayonnaise and finely chopped chives. Bonus, I got to keep the chicken stock!

Classic chicken sandwiches (organic of course!)

Kids sandwiches were lined up in easy fingers – Barambah organic tasty cheese, cream cheese + cucumber or strawberry chia jam (sweetened with rice malt syrup).

Packed kids sandwiches: organic cheese, cream cheese + cucumber, strawberry chia jam

Vanilla bean cupcakes were an easy gluten free option. This recipe can be found in the Well Nourished lunchbox ebook. I love doing these for parties, because they taste delicious, but also by some strange miracle, they taste better on the second day, so they’re great to make ahead for low stress party day. The icing was organic butter whipped with rice malt syrup.

Packed vanilla bean cupcakes

Rice crispy treats are a favourite with my boys. Again these are gluten free and sweetened with rice malt syrup. I used butter in these, but they work out really well using cacao butter for a dairy free option. I get my kicks stirring chia seeds through and watching kids devour them with delight. You can find the recipe here.

Packed rice crispy treats

We also had fruit skewers with a plain marshmallow.

Nephews enjoying fruit skewers

Given there were plenty of toddlers, I did a mixed veggie plate with cheese and crackers so that parents could choose what was age appropriate for their kids. The party fell over lunch time, so I wanted to make sure everyone could have a good lunch and not just dose up on the yummy treats!

Packed veggie plate

I really don’t believe in drinking sugar. If there’s one thing you do for your health, stop drinking soft drinks or bottled juice and replace with water. Water can still look festive by adding some fresh fruit to a water dispenser and using fun cups. We hire this one out for parties if you don’t own one.

Packed fruity water

It was extra special to be involved in catering my little nephew’s birthday party. We love parties at Packed and can create your menu, work with your theme, help you choose a theme and even source your party plates and decorations for you. If you would like to enquire about your next party, drop me a line at hello@packed.com.au .

Psst! If you love a good party, keep an eye out for an exciting Instagiveaway coming up soon!

All images courtesy of: Bianca Virtue photography

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