“Food is not about impressing people. It’s about making them feel comfortable.” Ina Garten, ‘The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook’
When planning the menu for your party, consider the theme, age of children and time of the party. If your party is for very young children, you will likely have several parents in attendance. Plan to have party food for them, as well.
Party day is probably not the time to stress about healthy eating. However, you can provide some healthier choices. Providing adequate protein can help prevent some post-party melt downs. The other parents will thank you.
Hopefully you know the invited guests well enough to know if there are any serious food allergies that must be considered.
Here are some tried and true party food favorites:
• Pizza—don’t get too exotic with the toppings. Cheese is a safe choice.
• Hot dogs
• Sub sandwiches
• PB&J sandwiches cut with cute cookie cutters
• Veggie tray with ranch dressing
• Cheese cubes with pretzel sticks inserted instead of toothpicks
• Fruit trays
• Goldfish crackers
• Chips and dip
• Tortilla roll-ups
Be sure kids have the option of water to drink. I also like to provide a punch or lemonade.
Cake and Ice Cream
“Without ice cream, there would be darkness and chaos.” Don Kardong
Newsflash: Most kids like cake. A custom made cake from an upscale bakery. A cake selected from a laminated book at the grocery store. A gigantic cake purchased from a warehouse store and averaging something like 20 cents a slice. A homemade cake made from scratch and decorated by the expert hands of a loving mother. A semi-homemade cake made from a mix and decorated with canned frosting and good intentions. Cupcakes in little paper liners. You get the idea. Most kids like cake.
I have served all of the above (well, except for the scratch cake and expert hands one!) and I am here to tell you that they were all well received by the kids. I can also tell you that with each of those cakes, most of the guests took a couple of bites of the cake, scraped off the frosting and left the rest. Do not stress about finding the “perfect” cake!
The only cake my kids still talk about is one that was botched by the overpriced bakery. I was irritated when I picked up the cake, but it was too late to do anything about it. Instead, kids and parents alike had a good laugh and the guests argued over who got the piece with the “messed up part”. It ended up being the highlight of the party!
I am a fan of the big ol’ tub of ice cream. It can either be served on a plate with the cake or used for root beer floats.