It's your little one's birthday, and you've got the decorations, the activities, and the cake. Now for the last piece of the puzzle: what do I serve at a kids party? Picky eaters beware, we're diving into a birthday party food list that's sure to please all ages.
Children's Party Food Ideas - Buffet
First, you probably already know that a kids party isn't a dinner party - buffet-style is key! Take the serve-yourself model one step further and make your kids party finger food-only, so there's no need for utensils. Set out the food, eco-friendly serve ware, like biodegradable plates, and recycled paper napkins, and let people help themselves.
What are good finger foods for a birthday party? Choose options from the lists below to create your own custom birthday party menu that's no-muss, no-fuss, and of course, kid-friendly.
Main course options
Everyone knows that pizza is a staple of kids party food. But have you considered buying frozen pizza to bake at home? If you have gluten-free or vegan guests, buying specialty frozen pizzas ensures that everyone is able to enjoy the food. Some other options for the main course (finger food style) include:
- chicken fingers: buy a frozen value-pack from your local supermarket, and pop in the oven the morning of the party; serve at room temperature later
- meatballs: buy some frozen meatballs, bake, and serve with ketchup on the side. Stick a toothpick in each one for a cute and easy presentation.
- turkey and cheese pinwheels: roll turkey deli slices and sliced cheese with a dash of mayo in a wrap; secure with toothpicks. Slice into 1 1/ 2-inch pieces.
All of these choices can be made vegetarian by subbing in veggie chicken nuggets or meatballs, or using sliced bell peppers or cucumbers instead of turkey slices in the pinwheels.
Cold buffet party food ideas
What are good snacks for a birthday party? If you're throwing a party in between meal times, or if you're having your party outside and won't have immediate access to your kitchen or oven, cold kids finger foods are what you need. Some bite-sized options are:
- hummus and cut up veggies, such as cucumbers, celery (bonus points if you peel the outside with a vegetable peeler, to get rid of the fibrous strands), and raw or lightly steamed broccoli and cauliflower florets
- popcorn, pre-portioned and served in eco-friendly disposable cups - either buy premade popcorn, or make your own salted caramel popcorn
- cubed cheese and sliced red and orange bell peppers
- mini bagel bites: slather whole wheat bagels with cream cheese, and use a serrated knife to cut into bite-sized pieces
Fruit and sweets
To supplement the savory options above, set out an assortment of cut up or small fruit (like berries) and bite-sized sweet nibbles. Err on the side of more fruit, so guests can save room for cake!
- make a fruit rainbow: on skewers, thread through purple grapes, blueberries, green grapes, cubed pineapple, cubed cantaloupe, and cubed watermelon
- make a watermelon bowl: cut a small slice off one end of a watermelon, then cut the watermelon in half crosswise. Use a melon baller to scoop out watermelon balls from both halves into a separate bowl. Pour excess watermelon juice from the half with the cut end, then stand it upright so it's resting on the flat end. Pile melon balls into the bowl.
- apple slices with sunbutter: sprinkle apple slices with a little lemon juice to help prevent browning, and spoon some sunbutter into biodegradable sauce cups
- mini chocolate chip cups: keep it simple! Serve a spoonful of mini chocolate chips in the same biodegradable sauce cups and watch the kids go nuts. With all the antioxidants in chocolate, you'll feel good about letting them indulge a little.
At the end of the day, we all know what that the kids are most excited for the cake. But that doesn't mean that kids party food has to be just pizza - think outside the box, and all of your guests (big and little) will appreciate the extra thought.