You may be a gourmet cook and known for your entertaining skills in your adult circle, but throw all that fancy stuff out the window when planning party foods for kids. Although food is an important component in a kids’ party, typically, food is not as important to kids as it is to adults. When planning what to serve for a kids’ party, keep the food fun and simple.
What Kind of Food
The kind of food you are going to serve depends largely on what time the party will be. If the children will be at the party during lunch or dinner times, you will need to provide a meal. If the party is mid-day, you only need to serve cake, drinks and maybe some snacks. If you are planning a slumber party, you will need to provide dinner, dessert (the cake and maybe ice cream), snacks and breakfast in the morning. If you are planning a theme party, then your food should reflect the theme. For example, a tea party calls for small finger sandwiches and a pirate party calls for eating food with your hands, such as chicken legs.
How Much to Serve
You can gauge how much food to serve by how much your child is likely to eat and multiply that by how many guests will be there. It’s good to have extra food, because you don’t want to run out. On the other hand, you don’t want to overbuy and have food go to waste. What you can do is to serve individually packaged foods, such as string cheese, fruit snacks and granola bars that you can use for your own children after the party, suggests the Kids Party Fun website. If parents are planning to stay, put out a vegetable or a fruit tray and a cheese and cracker platter that both age groups can enjoy.
Order-In or Make-Ahead
Ordering pizza or chicken nuggets or serving hot dogs or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and potato chips are equally good choices. The budget you have for your party and the time you have available are the factors you will want to consider. If you are having a theme party, it may be more cost-effective to make the food yourself. For example, chocolate-dipped strawberries for a tea party are much less expensive to make yourself than to buy ready-made.
Foods Kids Like
Some kids are pickier eaters than others. By including some all-time favorites, you will be more likely to make the kids happy. Typically, for the main dish, kids enjoy pizza, hot dogs, chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese. For sides, they like french fries, crackers, nachos and tater tots. Good snacks are cheese cubes, grapes, carrot sticks with dip, cookies, popcorn and pretzels. If you are going to serve breakfast, pancakes, cinnamon rolls and doughnuts are all popular choices.
You will want to have two to three drinks per child, according to the Kids Party Cabin website. If you are serving the drinks in plastic cups, write each child’s name on the cup with a marker. You can also serve juice boxes or pouches.
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