Just as Eskimos have many terms for the word “snow” because snow is a big part of their lives, Americans have many words for finger foods–appetizers, hors d’oeuvres, starters and amuse bouche recipes. Children and adults alike love finger foods at birthday parties. Once you know some tricks of the trade for serving finger foods, the possibilities open to you are endless.
Make Children’s Food Look Fun
Children typically like simple foods at birthday parties. They are at a birthday party to have fun, and the finger foods you serve should reflect that. Make your food look fun to eat. Cut mini sandwiches or quesadillas with a cookie cutter, turning plain-looking foods into hearts, stars or animal shapes, recommends the Happy News website.
What Children Like
Sandwiches that children like are peanut butter and jelly or American cheese with a deli meat. Popular quesadillas contain shredded chicken and barbecue sauce or mozzarella cheese with pepperoni slices. It’s easy to serve dessert items that children will enjoy. For finger foods, choose foods that are easy to eat, such as cookies, brownies and cupcakes. You can make desserts more festive by decorating them with cake frosting, a dollop of whipped cream or with sprinkles. A healthy fun finger food dessert is strawberries or bananas dipped in chocolate.
What to Serve Adults
When you are serving finger foods for an adult birthday party, make sure that nothing is too messy, recommends the “Digs Magazine” website. The four ideal types of easy-to-eat finger foods are dips, chips, stacked foods and speared foods. Various dips are sour cream, salsa or guacamole. Chips can be pita, tortilla or potato. Stacked foods are mini pizzas, quesadillas, sandwiches, canapés and bruschettas. Grilled and marinated meats and vegetables make good skewered fare.
Presentation for Adults
Just as you want your food to look fun for children, you will want your adult food to make a good appearance, too. You can garnish your serving tray with lemon, lime or orange wheels. Shaving some Parmesan cheese curls is a nice touch for a serving tray, too. You can also sprinkle fresh herbs, such as basil, dill or mint, over your food or top food with sesame, poppy or sunflower seeds. Toasted pine nuts and walnuts also help to improve the looks and tastes of your food.
How Much to Serve
It’s better for any party to have too much food versus too little. Hungry guests are cranky guests, points out “Digs Magazine.” If your party is not during lunch or dinnertime, you can serve less food, about three to four servings per hour. If your party will extend during a meal time, double that and serve more substantial foods, such as pizza, sandwiches or bruschettas with substantial toppings. Ideally, you will want to serve between three and six different types of foods. You can always round things out by putting out bowls of candy or popcorn for children or trays of marinated olives or fancy nuts for the adults.
- antipasto fingers 1 image by Brett Mulcahy from Fotolia.com