A Paleo Birthday Party


My little man turned two on Saturday and we threw him a pool party at our neighborhood clubhouse. We’ve been in a heat wave here, and because we were transporting the food from our house down the street, I wanted the menu to be easy and not require lots of oven time. I also wanted to incorporate all of Asher’s favorite foods, but make it adult friendly too since the majority of the guests were our friends and family. And of course, I planned on it all being grain and dairy free.

Asher is currently obsessed with eating everything with a toothpick, so I also wanted the menu to be finger foods with as much skewered on toothpicks as possible. As to be expected with a toddler, especially when there’s friends and games around, he didn’t touch 1 bite of the food I prepared! Not even a cupcake. He’s not much of a sweets guy, but I keep hoping for those quintessential birthday photos of cake and frosting smeared all over his face and he never pulls through! All of the guests thoroughly enjoyed the food though and didn’t even know it was grain & dairy free, so mission accomplished!

Instead of making burgers into patties, I quadrupled the recipe and rolled them into 60 bite-sized meatballs to avoid the use of forks. I used my sugar-free U.S. Wellness Meats bacon and omitted the bbq sauce and added a little dry mustard and garlic powder. Nearly 6 pounds of meat is pretty difficult to mix with your hands, so I used the dough hook with my kitchen aid and it mixed the meats together perfectly. I also omitted the chili powder and paprika to make sure the littlest guests would be able to enjoy them. We skewered the “meatballs” with lettuce, a pickle and a grape tomato and they were the perfect bite. The platter was cleared out before everything else and people kept asking “What is making these taste SO good?!”

Here is the full menu:




Just a little disclaimer because I’m asked this so often – No, Asher is not 100% Paleo. We eat the way we do primarily because of my auto-immune disease, but also because we’ve learned so much about the science of food now that we wouldn’t go back even if I didn’t have this disease. Asher doesn’t have any food allergies and his tummy can handle everything just fine, so he eats certain grains and grass-fed dairy frequently. He is 100% gluten-free. When we’re home he eats what I make, but he also loves brown rice cakes, gluten-free Canyon Bakehouse bread, plain grass-fed yogurt, and french fries (usually a treat when we’re out to eat). He’s fruit obsessed, so that’s in my favor, and he will also down his vegetables when they’re in a Thai curry sauce.

  • Denise

    Help! I am having a double birthday party tomorrow for my children (4 & 6). They have the same birthday (no that wasn’t planned 😉 so this is a big day at our house. I wanted to do a veggy spread with dip and love this menu. Where are the recipes?
    We eat an almost pure paleo diet. I have made many of your recipes and they never fail me. We started eating like this because of health issues and allergies, but even as we heal and are able to eat more outside of the paleo diet, I choose to stay within the perimeters with very few exceptions. Mainly, because this is such a wonderfully healthy way to eat and feed your family.
    I would like to make the ranch dip but can’t find the recipe.

    You are an amazing woman and mother. I have been so criticized for feeding my children the way I do. People feel sorry for them because I don’t feed them garbage. Americans truly have no idea what deprivation is. I ignore the ignorant and walk the narrow path for our peace, health and happiness.

    Thank you so much for the countless time and energy you have put into these recipes and sharing them with us. I appreciate all you have added to our dinner plates and our desserts! Many many blessings to you and your family – who are so blessed to have you!

    • Against All Grain

      Sorry for just responding to this now, but I hope everything out well!

  • Julie

    Thank you so much for this post and your disclaimer. I have many food intolerances and follow a diet very close to Paleo. I recently have eliminated all grains to see how my body reacts. I am a mother of a beautiful 8 month old baby who is my pride and joy. From the time I started announcing that I was pregnant I started being asked how I would feed my son. And now that he is eating solids the comments and questions are becoming more and more critical. I swear to all that is holy, I’m on the brink of cutting the next person that suggest that they know what is better for my child than I do. ; ) kidding, kinda. All that aside, I have been looking for a book or website that focuses on introducing solids and raising a child on whole foods. Do you know if something like this exists? Thank you!!

    • Against All Grain

      Yes! There’s a book I found very helpful with my little one, called “The Healthy Baby Code” by Chris Kresser.

  • Tamara

    My daughter is having her 6th birthday party this week and I’ve been stressing over what to serve as I have recently started paleo eating and the thought of filling my table with junk causes me anxiety, but so too does a room full of fussy 6years olds used to sugary party food. So glad I found this site! I will still do some non-paleo food but at least I have some great ideas and plenty of healthy and yummy food to serve. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • Elena

    Wow, great post! in september I have the first birthday of my little son Unai, and this recipes will be for sure!
    And about the disclaimer.. well, I live in Spain and people think I am crazy, including doctors (and some almost suggested that I am not such a good mother) only for not giving him cereal creams, and other baby food, but only organic homemade food…
    but in the end, one just stops giving explanations to people and doing what you think it’s better for him!!

    Sorry for my english!!

  • Leslee

    Where is the recipe for these?

    -Double Chocolate Chip Cupcakes (in the book!)

    I have the cookbook but don’t see them? Which boo are you referring to for the double chocolate chip cupcakes? Is it the brownie recipe made into cupcakes?

    • http://againstallgrain.com/ Danielle

      Leslee, those cupcakes are my chocolate layer cake recipe from the book baked as cupcakes! :)