You can host a baby shower or any gathering and serve the most delicious and healthy dishes without giving in to refined sugar, food coloring, artificial flavors or slaving in the kitchen for that mattter!  From sweet to savory, I will share my simple menu, adornments and antics so that you too can entertain with ease!

If you ask any of my friends, chances are they were a recipient of my planning either a birthday surprise evening picnic at the beach with guitar player and all or a garden lunch in my backyard to celebrate the miracle of a baby!

However, you don’t need to have a resume of party hosting to get it right the first time!  With a little vision {pinterest} and planning you can create a special affair without sacrificing your health or sanity!  I like working solo in the kitchen but I must say it helps to have a partner with me.  Adriana, My 10 year old daughter, was a big help chopping herbs, creating games and hot gluing shells on the take home gifts!

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This particular gathering was in honor of our patient care coordinator, Kayla at the Natural Medicine Clinic for a Saturday afternoon lunch.  We wanted to celebrate with our patients as we welcomed Kayla & Brett’s baby girl into the world!  *Update since I wrote this post, their precious baby girl is here!  Liliana, 7lbs 8oz. and 21 inches,  made her way into the arms of her mommy & daddy!

 

Here is my easy menu for this lovely affair:

I suggest which recipes can be made ahead of time, but truthfully, I was able to do 90% of the cooking the day before. If you make your way around the kitchen with ease, I am confident you can do it the day before if your plan accordingly for games, gifts, flowers etc. ahead of time.

Avocado & Shrimp Gazpacho Soup– can be made up to 2 days ahead but add the avocado and cooked shrimp the night before or cold cooked shrimp the day of.

Sweet Potato Cakes– can be made 2 days in advance and heated up for party. I served mine in a hot plate warmer.

Butternut Goat Cheese & Pesto Bites— can be made 2 days in advance and assembled the day of the party. If time is of the essence you can buy a clean pesto or make it 2 days ahead.

Creamy Chive & Garlic Dressing for salad- can be made 2-5 days ahead.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls– can be made up to 2-5 days ahead.  You can even freeze them.

Coconut Layer Cake with Chocolate Ganache Center– should be made 1 day ahead and frosted night before to maintain fresh taste. If you are new to healthy cooking and using these alternative ingredients, the cake will take the same amount of care and time a conventional layered cake would.  So don’t let the ingredients frighten you.

Apple & Mint infused water– Sliced thin apples and fresh mint sprigs in cold water overnight.  In the morning change out apples for fresh slices.

Pink Lemonade- I bought Santa Cruz 16 oz. organic pure lemon juice, stevia to taste, 1 -2 tbsp. beet juice or dash natural coloring, and almost a gallon water. Mix 3/4 bottle lemon juice with water, stevia and natural coloring stir and serve cold.

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Let the Co-ed Games begin:

The Baby Food Tasting Game

Materials: Jars of baby food at least 7, answer key, sample spoons, mini plates, sharpie, paper, and pencils.

How to Play:  I have to say the folly of playing such a game turned out to be an adventure of fun perhaps not so much yum.  I did get the question are these organic?  If I were feeding it to my baby or eating it on a regular basis {gag} I would most definitely buy organic.  Purchase an assortment of baby food flavors and include a few common ones like banana, peach or sweet potato.  I did throw in the mix a turkey and sweet potato one too; just to make their taste buds spin {wink wink}.  On the 7 jars with the labels taken off number with a sharpie 1-7 {on glass jar}; making sure you write the flavors on an answer key.  Ahead of time in a clock wise fashion number 1-7 and leave a space for sample baby food on the plates needed for amount of guests. At the shower we gave each guest a plate, spoon, paper and pencil and on each plate add flavor to it’s corresponding number.  The grimaces of our tasters were priceless {especially the men} as each flavor was reluctantly tasted. After everyone jots down their answers, share the correct numbers.  The one with the most flavors correct, wins!  Or you can make it very interesting and blindfold a panel of contestants and spoon-feed the baby food and have them guess on the spot!

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The Diaper & Balloon Game:

Materials: Balloons, cloth or regular diapers with sticky tab cut off, big safety pins, and blindfolds.

How to play: Blow up the number of balloons needed for half your guests.  The object of the game is to see who can diaper the baby balloon with their eyes covered by another team player or keeping their eyes closed is fine too.  If it is a co-ed party, it is fun to have the men diaper and the ladies cover.  Place a diaper, pins and balloon in front of each team.  We did 2 teams at a time.  At your cue, have the teams cover eyes and diaper the baby balloons without a pop. I must admit, I cleverly popped a contestant’s balloon baby only to hear shrieks of, “Oh no poor baby”!

Flower Arrangements:

Materials: 2 foam topiary stands, decorative pots, 3 bunches daisies {Gerber work nice too}, 1 pack straight pins, scissors,

Blooming flowers always catch my eye!  This simple idea of cutting the daisy’s right up to the flower and pinning it on a topiary make it look like a professional florist job!  I found the topiaries at a local craft store and have gotten good use from them. I love that I can place them in any decorative pot for a new venue with flare. The only down side to these topiaries is the ball is firm and it does not hold water like that green sponge type does.  Therefore you need to do the arrangements the night before so the daisies don’t wilt. They only took about 45 minutes to do both so even the day of the event should not stress you out.  It is helpful to cut a bunch of the daisies down to flower and float them in water; so they get a last sip of water before pinning them. Take one straight pin and put it through the center of the ovule or ovary.  That is flower anatomy talk! We are studying Botany in home school. Keep topiaries in a cool place away from a sunny window until ready to use.

Aromatherapy Bath Salt Shower Gifts: 

Materials:  Epsom Salts, cute bags, plastic sandwich bags, tags, shells, essential oils

If we even have friends over for dinner, my daughter will ask what will the take home gifts be? She has grown accustomed to this thoughtful gesture because I always put a little gift at each child’s setting with a note of endearment, over the years. I found the cutest bags at Michael’s Craft Store in their $1 bins.  I used Do Terra essential oil blend Citrus Bliss. In a big bowl I blended the salts with about 25-30 drops of essential oils. Then we scooped salts in the plastic baggies and into the decorative goodie bags.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to comment below!

 

With a Spoonful of Health,

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