These ideas are courtesy of Mums Net in doing some research I couldn’t have written anything better!
- Grated mild cheddar and ham. Nothing more than that. I have learned the hard way.
- Doing food in party boxes? You need about five things to put in each box. A small yoghurt and plastic spoon. A cheese string. A homemade sandwich. Some crisps. Grapes or carrot sticks, maybe. A fairy cake. Chocolate fingers. A pretty napkin. Maybe a hat to wear if you want to jazz things up a bit.
- Small children do like sandwiches cut into shapes with biscuit cutters.
- Or make stripey finger sarnies. Use one slice of white and one slice of brown, fill, then cut into fingers.
- Open sandwiches, done like little boats – which is, basically, finger rolls, halved, then spread with things like cream cheese, or egg or Marmite and then a cocktail stick stuck in top with a little flag made out of a sticky note! Obvously, not advised for very small children who might poke their eyes out.
- Just butter soft rolls, then put ham, slices of cheese, cucumber etc. out in little bowls. Easier than making sandwiches and the children get to pick whatever they like.
- Fairy bread – white and brown bread slices, spread with butter/marg, with sprinkles on top.
- I gave seven-year-olds a tortilla wrap each and put a load of different fillings – tuna/mayo, ham, cheese, cucumber, tomatoes, mayonnaise, crisps and ketchup, so nothing fancy – in the middle for them to make up their own wraps. It was a big hit and they all ate well.
- Tiny pinwheel sandwiches, where you flatten the bread with a rolling pin, remove crusts, apply filling, then roll up tightly and wrap in clingfilm. Stick in the fridge for 30 mins, then cut slices so you get a lovely spiral effect.
Other sure-fire savoury hits
- Sausages. Sausages. Sausages.
- Garlic bread.
- Many flavours of crisps. They don’t want anything else. They don’t want lovingly made small sandwiches or cunning jelly boats made from oranges. They want crisps.
- Popcorn. Not for littlies, though – choking hazard and all that.
- Breadsticks with dips – children seem to like dipping things in goo.
- Mini pizzas, made on halved muffins.
- Pizzas they can make themselves. We provided the bases and some passata and lots of different fillings and the children did their own.
- Cheese cubes. And cherry tomatoes.
- Nigella’s cheese straws.
- ‘Lunch on a stick’: skewers threaded with a cherry tomato, a slice of cucumber, a cube of cheese, and a rolled piece of ham/turkey.
- Carrot and cucumber sticks. Put them out in big bowls at the beginning of the party – they will eat the lot. Put them on the table next to the cakes, they won’t get eaten.
[x_custom_headline type=”left” level=”h2″ looks_like=”h2″]Sweet Suggestions for Party Food Ideas for Kids[/x_custom_headline]
These are, of course, the main object of every small party-goer’s eagerly snatching hand. For the sake of your loose covers and post-party sanity, it makes sense to mix the (finger-smearing) chocolate treats with others of the non-chocolate variety – and (shock!) even a little bit of fruit.
- Sparklers. Plain breadsticks, with the end dipped in melted chocolate and then hundreds and thousands/choccy sprinkles. They look very pretty, the children like them and they’re not overly sweet as the chocolate element is pretty small.
- I do the Nigella-style number biscuits but make it easier by cutting the biscuit dough into circles, then pressing the number cookie cutter in the middle (enough for an imprint, not to go all the way through). Much quicker and easier to get off baking sheet.
- Do remember to have some sweet stuff that doesn’t contain egg – it’s a surprisingly common allergy. And, if you know a child with a nut allergy is coming, phone the parents beforehand and check what he/she can have. Better, in my opinion, to cross off the menu anything that might trigger the allergy than have to keep an eye and worry he/she might eat it by accident.
- Party Rings. Yuuuummmmmy. (I suppose they can have some, too.)
- Fruit kebabs – strawberries, grapes and bits of satsuma threaded on to half a wooden skewer. Always get eaten quicker than anything else. They have to be kebabs though’ plain old fruit just not as good.
- Fairy cakes with a dab of buttercream and a smartie on the top. My sister-in-law made delish buttercream once by putting raspberries in it, making it all pink and yummy.
- Chocolate crispies or Rice Krispies on Mars – make bite-sized ones – they always get scoffed and look pretty piled onto a large serving dish.
- Strawberries dipped in chocolate – they WHOOSH off the table.
- Melon balls. I almost got laughed off MN for considering these for my daughter’s 7th birthday but they were a huge hit. And nice and cooling when they’ve all been running around doing my head in.
- Mini strawberry tarts. Make mini pastry cases (just like jam tarts) and bake them while empty. Cool them, then fill with either whipped cream, or creme fraiche with a bit of icing sugar beaten in (it’s delicious) and top with a strawberry on each.
- Little mice made from a strawberry with Milkybar button ears and a jellylace tail.
- Chocolate fingers. There is no limit to the number of chocolate fingers that can be consumed in any party setting.
- Annabel Karmel’s chocolate martians – mini rolls stood upright with liquorice allsort faces. A faff to make but worth it.
- Different coloured jellies in clear plastic drinking cups. Colourful, and no washing up.
Gone are the days when no birthday tea was complete without gallons of lukewarm squash; dare to bring out such additive-packed stuff now and you’ll cause a full-scale E-number alert among all assembled parents. And as for fizzy drinks, well, this mum sums it up: “I just wouldn’t. Some parents do have very strong views about them – and about Coke, in particular – some kids react quite extremely to it.”
Which pretty much restricts your options to water and/or juice.
- Provide a bottle of water each. One with a sports type top. And buy lots of water because little ones get thirsty.
- If you go for juice, get those little individual cartons with straws. They’re pricier but they don’t spill (much) when they get knocked over (and they will). Saves a lot of hassle with cups and jugs and serving. But do have some water on hand for kids who aren’t allowed don’t like juice or you’ll find you’ve some poor, red-faced little child wilting in the corner at the end of the party.
For small gatherings of older girls (and impressively wannabe-metrosexual boys), you could venture down the “exotic fruit cocktail” route: take glasses of lemonade and pour a little fruit juice in each, then pour about a tablespoon of grenadine syrup down the side of each glass – you’ll be left with drinks that have separated into oh-so-sophisticated coloured layers.
Decorate with a cherry on a cocktail stick and a little paper umbrella for extra edge of almost-grown-up cool.
Something for the parents?
If any of your guests are under five, that generally means they come with parents, too. They’ll stand around in clumps looking anxious/falsely chirpy/bored but, above all, awkward. Which means you may feel duty bound to offer them something to eat – or at least, drink – too.
- I wouldn’t expect any food, but always grateful for a cup of tea.
- I have done crisps and dip with wine for adults in the past. Then normally let them at the leftovers when the children are finished.
- If you really feel you have to (and people don’t expect it in my experience), pass round some crisps or adult biscuits.
- I would just provide something very simple – dips, crudités and crisps would be perfect. But, then, I would try to ensure that I had enlisted enough helpers that the other parents didn’t feel they had to hang around.
I loved this article from mumsnet – it summed up some really great ideas for party food. My other top tip is to go to pin interest, there is a real wealth of ideas here and most are relatively easy to do – you will definately see some at Kidzplay Parties !
The only bit I would add to the article is that just consider when you are feeding them. If it is around lunch or tea time they will eat loads more than at any other time. Also you will need to supervise who is putting what on a plate, there is always one who takes everything so there is nothing else left for everyone else!
To see the full mumsnet article click here:
Kidzplay hosts loads of kids parties – to see all the options click here
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