You want to serve foods at a birthday party that children will happily eat. You also want to serve foods that require as little preparation and clean up as possible and that won’t leave you with a group of sticky fingered, messy children. While a party is a special occasion and some junk food is expected, try to incorporate a few healthy snacks into the mix as well.
Birthday cake and ice cream are usually considered essentials to a birthday party. Usually, you will want to serve other snacks or even a full meal, in addition to the cake and ice cream. For a large party, you may want to set out a buffet of snacks and let the children pick from the buffet throughout the day. If the party has 10 guests or fewer, you could serve a dinner or lunch without feeling too overwhelmed.
To cut down on the risk of food spoilage, you may want to set it out right before the children will eat it, especially if it is something perishable, such as fruit or dairy, or a hot meal, such as hot dogs or pizza. Give guests something to munch on throughout the party, such as chips or pretzels. Be wary about leaving dairy- or egg-based dips out for long periods. Avoid serving foods that some children may be allergic to.
Put Away the Forks
Nix any foods that require a fork or spoon to eat. Instead of cake, serve cupcakes or frosted brownies. Ice cream cones are a great alternative to ice cream in a dish. You can cut down the amount of work even more by serving ice cream pops. You still may need to break out the wet wipes after the children eat their ice cream, though.
Keep Things Healthy
For everything sweet or salty snack you put on the table, try to balance it with something parents would be proud to have their children eat. Many children love to snack on baby carrots because they are small and have a pleasant, sweet taste. Cherry tomatoes and cucumber slices also usually go over well with children. Salsa and guacamole are healthy dip options. Keep the vegetables and dips in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.
Guests are bound to get thirsty as they run around and play at your child’s party. Small plastic bottles of water are an easy way to make sure guests stay hydrated. If you want to serve something sweet to drink, make a pitcher of lemonade or iced tea to serve along with the cupcakes and ice cream. Make up a bowl of fruit punch, complete with seltzer and sherbet, for a fun, classic drink.
- young boy eating an ice cream cone image by John Steel from Fotolia.com