Kids Party Food
Planning a menu for your miniature guests may seem like an easy task. However, there is more to consider than you would think! Kids are typically rather picky eaters to start with, so serving food that everyone will enjoy proves to be rather difficult. The trick to serving a meal fit for everyone's taste is to offer a variety of foods, giving each child a choice resulting in fewer tantrums and more smiles!
There are a few important tips to remember when preparing food for your young crowd. First, make sure you are aware of any allergies that your guests may have before you even begin planning the menu. Some children have severe allergies that are triggered simply by being in the same room as foods, such as nuts. Secondly, keep in mind the "audience" you are serving. While you may enjoy an upscale grilled cheese with fancy ingredients like gouda or bleu cheese, kids would much prefer a slice of classic yellow cheese! Keeping things simple and familiar ensures each child will feel comfortable eating the food that is offered.
Another thing to keep in mind when planning your child's birthday party menu is to ask the guest of honor what he or she would like to eat! After all, this is his or her big day. Serving things on a smaller scale allows kids to pick a couple of different items that they would like to eat and cuts down on the amount of waste at the end of the day. Below are some ideas that are outside of the box while staying within the familiar food groups any child should be familiar with to help get your kids birthday party menu started!
Snack foods are great for keeping kids satisfied until the main dish comes or for continuous munching throughout the duration of your child's birthday party. Fun treat cups and popsicle sticks are going to be your best friend to avoid unnecessary messes.
- Watermelon Pops ' Simply skewer a wedge of this juicy fruit along with a paper baking cup to catch those pesky drips! The popsicle stick makes a great handle and keeps sticky fingers to a minimum.
- Deli Tray ' Just like the popular packaged lunch boxes, kids love snacking on meats and cheeses and making little sandwiches with crackers. A tray with simple deli offerings cut into bite-size pieces will have kids snacking away!
- Snack Mixes ' Naturally, kids are drawn to bite-size snacks like goldfish, chex mix, small graham cracker bears, and popcorn mixes. Avoid messes by pre-portioning out a scoop of your snacks in hot or cold paper cups that can easily be picked up and carried away.
- Fruit and Dip ' Encourage healthy eating choices with a round compartment tray of sliced fruit and a yummy dip, like peanut butter or a traditional sweet dip made with marshmallow fluff, cream cheese, and vanilla.
Try to offer at least two to three mini-sized main courses for those kids who wont eat a lot or want a variety. Serving things in smaller portions will cut down on wasting a whole hot dog for a child who will only eat half.
- Corn Dog Muffins ' Simply fill muffin tins with corn bread mix and insert a chunk of hot dog in the center before baking. Now you have a fun twist on the all-time favorite corn dog! Make sure you provide dipping sauces like ketchup and mustard.
- Mac & Cheese Bites ' Make these kid-friendly sides by using muffin tins and a basic mac and cheese recipe. Line each space with a foil baking cup before filling up with some pasta and a little extra cheese sprinkled on the top. Bake until the cheese is melted and serve warm.
- Mini Pizzas ' Get your guests involved with the menu by allowing each child to make his or her own personal-sized pizza! This could really turn into a fun focal point and highlight of the party.
- Sliders and Mini Hot dogs ' Mini food is so popular now it's easy to find tiny hot dog and hamburger buns! Try making little cheeseburgers and cut hot dogs to lengths that will fit a small bun. Kids can dip the little offerings in their favorite condiment to cater to their own tastes.
It's no secret that kids go crazy for sugar! Here are a few unique ideas outside of the traditional birthday cake!
- Cupcake Cone ' Try baking your cupcakes inside of ice cream cones for a fun presentation. You can decorate the top of each cake to look like an ice cream swirl with different sprinkles and toppings.
- Rice Crispy Treats ' Another kid favorite! Use popsicle sticks to create-mess free handles and try dipping your marshmallow treats into chocolate and various sprinkles or chocolate chips for a fun update!
- Smores Sticks ' Using a lollipop stick or popsicle stick, skewer two halves of a large marshmallow at the top. Dip each side in melted chocolate and sandwich between two graham crackers to create a ready-made campfire favorite!
- Milk 'n Cookies ' When it comes to kids birthday parties, everyone thinks of cake and cupcakes, but so many kids love a big chewy cookie and refreshing glass of milk! Dress up your milk glasses by dipping the rim in melted chocolate and brightly colored sprinkles for an extra special birthday treat.
Try to avoid serving soda pop at your child's birthday party. Many parents do not allow their kids to drink pop and it is always better to be safe than upset a fellow parent.
- Kool Aid Cubes ' This is a fun way to jazz up a simple glass of water! Freeze concentrated Kool Aid ahead of time and at the party, simply pop a few cubes in each glass. Not only does this look really cool to kids, but as the ice melts, the water will begin to taste like Kool Aid! Let kids create their own flavor combinations for an interactive experience.
- Juice Boxes ' This is great if you want a hassle-free beverage option. Try shopping at big-box stores for good deals on a large case of juice boxes with a variety of flavors. This will help to avoid spills and make clean up easy as well.
- Water ' it's inevitable that your guests are going to be running around and working up a thirst! Promote healthy choices by offering mini water bottles as an alternative to sugary choices. Make the bottles a fun option by allowing kids to write their names on them or cover with a creative party-themed label!