A birthday party is a celebration of one person's special day. Can't we leave it at that? Let's teach our kids it is not all about them. You give your friend a gift because it is their day, not so you can get a little bag of unhealthy food or dysfunctional knick-knacks in return.
I'm not advocating dining and dashing (except on special occasions). Nor am I suggesting we return to the old ways of hunting and foraging for sustenance (a practice often referred to as "stealing" these days).