Who doesn’t love a birthday party? Food is key to transforming it into a fun and fantastic occasion. Here are some delectable menu ideas to make your child’s party a hit!
By Team ParentCircle
Birthday parties spell fun and excitement for all children. It’s a chance for them to invite their friends, get gifts, do what they want to do, and yes, have a wonderful time. But, for you, parties invariably mean tons of multi-tasking! After all, planning one will require you to take care of several things — from getting (or baking) a special or themed birthday cake to organising party games and even, getting the right or appropriate ‘return’ gifts for your child’s friends.
But what is most important, and always takes precedence over everything else, is the party menu. For, food is without doubt the key element to any party — more so when children are your main guests!
Of course, having a suitable menu can be challenging. As a parent, you do have to ensure that the food is tempting enough but also, not too heavy in terms of calories or unhealthy additives. That can be a delicate balancing act.
Here are some things to consider before putting together a menu for our child’s party. Keep in mind the following:
Now that you have accounted for these various aspects, it’s time to plan the party menu. With older children, it is a good idea to involve them in this process. Ask your child for a list of her favourite foods and create a menu around those dishes. In fact, you could even cleverly substitute a few, healthier alternatives here and there, and come out with a balanced menu! After all, great parties need great food so that all the special guests have a good time.
Here are few ideas to help you plan the menu:
Bite-sized snacks are easy to eat. You can do deep-fried ones, or to make them healthier, go for oven-baked versions. Since these are easy for even toddlers to eat, make sure you always have extra portions. Both children and adults (remember that small children are usually accompanied by their parents) tend to help themselves to more than a few.
Here are a few options for starters:
1. Cheese and corn balls: A firm favourite across age groups, these are addictive and easy to pop into the mouth. Besides, most children love cheese-based foods. Sweet corn kernels are also a healthy option when it comes to starters.
2. Chicken nuggets: Another easy peasy finger food. Kids especially love the dry crispy coating. Even picky eaters are quick to devour these!
3. Potato fries or wedges: Guaranteed to please everyone’s taste buds, children enjoy eating this long-standing favourite. If you prefer a healthier option, go for oven-baked sweet potato fries or thinly-cut wedges.
It’s always good to have a nice wholesome main dish that your guests will love to dig into. Avoid serving something that’s too heavy though, as you will also have other food items on the menu. If the party has younger children as guests, remember to choose something that they can eat on their own.
1. Pasta: A popular choice, this dish is always a winner. Add olives, colourful mixed vegetables, pesto and various options for the sauce — creamy, marinara or even, a mix of both.
2. Mini pizzas or tarts: As these are bite-sized, you can have a variety of toppings, Continental or Indian, that children will like. That they can also serve themselves means there is no mess and you will not have too much wasted food.
3. Chaats: For older children, chaat items like pani puri, bhel puri, dahi puri or pav bhaji are great options. The wonderful thing is these are healthy and can be easily prepared at home.
Although fruit might not be an obvious choice for party food, it most certainly is a nutritious and tasty one! Younger children will definitely be attracted by bright colours and innovative serving ideas. Choose from popular fruits such as watermelon, grapes, pineapple, apple, orange and strawberries. Make sure that the fruits you serve are local and in season.
Another party must-have. Children love guzzling drinks and since they are going to be running around excitedly, they are sure to become thirsty too. Try and avoid aerated or ready-made juices as these contain unhealthy amounts of sugar. Make the effort to come up with healthier alternatives instead.
1. Lemonade: This good old party staple is always a hit with both adults and children. You can even add crushed mint leaves for a flavourful twist on the traditional version.
2. Fresh juices: These are healthy and you have several options to choose from. Serve at room temperature and parents will be happy too!
3. Milkshakes or smoothies: These can be made at home and are another popular choice.
The birthday cake and the cake-cutting is usually the most exciting part of a birthday party. But, apart from the main cake, you can have other delicious options as dessert or sweet treats.
So, there you have it, simple yet super food ideas that will transform your child’s birthday party from a regular party into an extra-fun one. Put in some effort, think up innovative and ingenious party games to make things even more exciting for your child and the little guests. More important, these are occasions and memories your child will cherish for years to come.
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