I need to get the sugar monkey off my back straight away. The ratio of sweet to savoury at a children’s party is a hard one to master. I’ll talk more about the timing of parties in an upcoming ‘Kid Wrangling’ party post, but I think if you start late afternoon you are not as obliged to do a full lunch or dinner option than if you scheduled the party earlier or later in the day. A two o’clock start is my favourite, ending at 4.30 pm. My thinking is that parents generally feed their child a nutritious lunch in advance of a 2 o’clock party and I run with that notion.
At each party I put out some kind of fruit option and some kind of healthy savoury option (home-made sausage rolls, mini-quiches and meatballs are all stand-bys) and the rest is just plain not-good-for-anyone party fun. That’s how we party at this place. So, apologies, but I’m not going to be a font of healthy party food options, although I might explore this at some stage.
Party food doesn’t have to be complicated, but for me it needs to tick three boxes:
1. It’s fun and not ‘every day’
2. It’s simple to put together on the day or can be prepared in advance.
3. It ties in with the theme I’m working.
If you’re not a baker, you don’t have to bake. Party centres don’t bake – they just throw frankfurts and chicken nuggets down into the centre of a table ladden with lollies and chips and the kids go nuts. You could do that.
I like a ‘half and half’ approach. One half baking: the cake, cupcakes and biscuits and, formerly, cake pops. The other half: no baking. I can’t bring myself to do chips, franks and nuggets, but no-bake items with maximum impact include lollies stacked by colour in a bowl or ‘fairy wand’ breadsticks dipped in chocolate and rolled in sprinkles or ‘things on sticks’ like marshmallows or fruit. It is also a tradition of ours to have cheezels at every party, mainly because we love cheezels so much we need to ban them from the house on all other occasions.
Depending on your theme, here’s a round up of some other really fun, really easy party foods that are special and delightful. Oh, and we’ll talk about making food look good (aka ‘tablescapes’) in our ‘Tables’ party post.
I used to love them, but now I hate them with the passion of a thousand burning suns. Or something like that. Regardless, there is no denying that these little morsels should be part of your go-to foods for parties. They are fiddly, but achievable and with a few tweaks they will work with any theme. Bakerella is your goddess of foodspiration here.
Portable, easy for little hands… Stuff On Sticks are awesome party food. Things you can put on sticks include kebabs, scrolls, marshmallows, sausages, swirls of chocolate, fruit, rice balls, meatballs, cakepops, slices, cheerios… let’s face it, pretty much everything tastes better on a stick.