Whenever you invite a group of kids over to your home, you need to plan on feeding them. Creating the right birthday party menu for your child’s birthday can be a bit of a struggle. You need to find the right balance between cost, ease and foods that kids like. Fortunately, a good menu will tame those beasts.
The components of your birthday party menu depend on the time of day that you’re having the party. Of course, you’ll need to serve cake, which is the focal point of the party. If you’ve planned the party for lunch or dinner time, though, you should plan to serve a meal. Whether you serve a meal or not, you’ll also want to include some snacks, which can range from cookies to chips to small sandwiches.
One way to plan the menu for a kids’ party is to choose a theme for the foods. For example, if you choose a Mexican theme for the foods, you could offer a build-your-own taco bar as the meal, have a pinata for snacks and decorate the cake in a Mexican theme. You could also use a color as a theme, choosing foods that are all that color. Of course, one of the easiest things to do is to purchase food from a restaurant, such as a pizza or sandwich shop.
Food for a kids’ birthday party should be easy to make and foods that kids are most likely to eat. Kids may not appreciate your sushi spread or caviar dip, for example. Pasta, pizza, sandwiches and hot dogs are usually safe bets. You also want to offer small portions of the food. Many children have small appetites; you don’t want to waste food. Serving small portions allows light eaters to get their fill and big eaters can always go back for seconds.
Think about all the other things you’ll need to do to get ready for the party–decorating, shopping and preparing games, for example–and use that to determine how much time you’ll be able to spend making food. Some foods you may be able to make ahead of time and keep in the freezer or refrigerator, which can save you time the day of the party.
Food allergies can be lethal. Peanuts are perhaps the food that children are most likely to be allergic to, but you can also find children who are allergic to shellfish, wheat or eggs. You may also have children that follow restricted diets, like a vegetarian of vegan diet. Ask parents ahead of time to tell you about any food restrictions.
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