Party food can be something delicious… or, you can lay out a delightful looking buffet, only to find that the children all opt for crisps and cakes!
With party catering supplies being so important and food being the centre of any party, we have put together 10 great part food ideas that guarantee to win over the fussiest of eaters…
The key to great party food: choice
Preparing party food for a child’s party is not difficult; with fore-thought, planning and as much advanced preparation as possible, catering for small to large parties will be something you breeze through with ease.
But, times have changed and now, as hosts of children’s parties, we need to be aware of the differing number of tastes, intolerances and allergies out there, as well as religious and cultural issues. And so, the key in making sure any party food you prepare goes with a bang is choice. It can help to ask and check if any of your small guests have allergies or intolerances that need to be taken in to account; this way, you can plan accordingly.
Great party Food 1: The Trusty Sandwich
Invented long ago in the midst of time, the process of putting a filling between two slices of bread has remained as strong, hundreds of years later. But don’t think that the filling choice has to be over the top or complicated; grated cheese, jam, honey, ham and cheese, chicken and mayo, ham and the like are all still perfectly acceptable. However, ring the changes by investing in some fun-shaped biscuit cutters and create platters of shaped sandwiches.
Ultra-modern: opt for wrap instead. They are great for older kids!
Great party food 2: Sausage rolls
You may think they are a throwback to the buffet food of the 1970s but, if you haven’t taken a look at this original convenience food, then it is time to look again. Supermarkets, as well as delicatessens are not only stocking flavoursome sausages, but they are making sausage rolls out of them too. Why not ring the changes with pork and sage sausage rolls, or one of the many other flavours on offer?
Ultra-modern: opt for vegetarian sausage rolls too, from cheese and onion to soya ‘sausage’.
Great party food 3: dips and dippers
Anything from shop-bought to homemade dips can be used here; opt for usual flavours such as mayonnaise, yogurt and mint, as well as a lightly spiced option too (don’t forget, children’s tastes are more acute than ours!).
And the dippers can be anything from breadsticks to crisps, or maybe something more substantial such as chicken and fish fingers.
Ultra-modern: introduce ‘new’ flavours such as hummus and guacamole – and don’t forget, parents and helpers love dipping too!
Great party food 4: pizzas!
Who doesn’t love pizza and again, you can really go to town on all the different combinations of toppings, from the run-of-the-mill and universally loved cheese and tomato to catering for more adventurous tastes, such as ham and pineapple.
The great thing about pizzas is that they can be made well in advance and frozen; defrosting 24 hours before ensures they are ready to eat. Or, prepare them the day before, cook and then cool, refrigerating overnight. Again, another great food for the adult guests too!
Ultra-modern: use different cheeses, as well as remembering some of your vegan or dairy intolerant guests with soya cheese.
Great party food 5: Toad in the hole
A great and filling meal, mini-toad in the holes are perfect as finger food at an older kid’s party. They can be bought pre-made and simply slipped in the oven, or using a shallow muffin tin, with tasty mini-sausages and batter mix, you can make fabulous tasty, dinky toad in the hole nibbles.
Ultra-modern: swap the mini sausage for a small meatball; and don’t forget vegetarian and vegan options too.
Great party food 6: Homemade cheese straws or twists
Well… nearly homemade! Unless you are a dab hand at creating your own puff pastry, used shop-bought pastry and roll out. Sprinkle on tasty cheese and a few herbs, roll up and twist, cut to size and bake. You’ll have tasty treats galore!
Ultra-modern: add some chili flakes for some spice, as well as adding ham or salami for a really modern twist.
Great party food 7: Homemade jelly worms!
A great talking point and a brilliant way to make your own sweets, pack bendy straws in to a clean tall glass and with lukewarm jelly mix, pour in to each individual straw, leave to cool and set as normal. When completely set, peel away the straws and you will find you have jelly sweets that look just like worms!
Ultra-modern: vegetarians and vegans will need a jelly made without gelatine; there are several products on the market suitable!
Great party food 8: Cereal cakes
Always a firm favourite, melting a bowl of chocolate – milk, dark or white – and then adding cereal to make chocolate cereal cakes have been a winner for a long time when it comes to parties. Ring the changes by decorating with bright sweets and small jelly shapes. Can be made days in advance and stored in an air-tight container in a fridge (if you can resist the temptation to eat them!)
Ultra-modern: carob is a great dairy free alternative to chocolate and great for those guests that are vegan or dairy intolerant
Great party food 9: Cupcakes
Who can resist the lure of a cup cake and the only limitation is your imagination! From colouring your cake mix to working with different flavours, the options are, quite literally endless.
Ultra-modern: rice paper cake toppers that can be personalised with a photo of the birthday girl or boy; look online!
Great party food 10: Party biscuits
Make a batch of biscuits using funky shaped cutter and also cut out a shape in the middle of the biscuit. Using a well-oiled and non-stick baking sheet, place these biscuits on the baking sheet and placed a jellied sweet in the centre. Bake gently; the jelly sweet will melt and create biscuits with a delightful stain glass affect. Leave to completely cool before you remove from the sheet.