A themed party can sometimes take care of the thorny health and ecological issues all by itself. Why not arrange an outing to a local pick-your-own farm or a field walk in a local park focusing on common wild edible plants? Or make the environment the theme with a party where everybody wears green and brings something ecologically friendly, and where the food is proudly organic and locally sourced. Or hold a fairy tale party where everyone dresses like their favorite character and contributes to the adoption of a relevant zoo animal in lieu of gifts (the "big bad wolf," for instance.) A puppy-themed party might benefit an animal shelter and have relevant snacks and decorations. An old-fashioned party could involve making hand-cranked ice cream and having bowls of soap suds for blowing bubbles.If gifts are to be part of the birthday party, specify that they arrive unwrapped or enclosed in something non-commercial like newspaper cartoons or fabric. One family we know created a personalized gift wrapper for each family member, using scraps of cloth sewn together as patchwork. They were reused year after year and became a record of each person's history as birthday and holiday events were embroidered on them marking things like "First Bicycle," "Sweet Sixteen" and so on.