Mouth-Watering Menu Ideas For Your Child’s Birthday Party

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

Mouth-Watering Menu Ideas For Your Child’s Birthday Party

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.

Before putting together a menu

Here are some things to consider before putting together a menu for our child’s party. Keep in mind the following:

  • Age group of the guests: Smaller, younger children means appropriate portion sizes and food that is less spicy
  • Food preferences: Make sure you provide both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options
  • Allergies: Keep in mind that common food allergies in children include reactions to peanuts, milk, eggs, strawberries and shellfish
  • The weather: Avoid serving frozen desserts like popsicles or ice creams, or chilled juices/soft drinks during rainy or cold weather
  • Foods that are easy to eat: Finger foods are best for children. Try and avoid foods that tend to drip or crumble easily as this can make eating a very messy affair

Planning the party menu

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:

Starters

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.

Mains

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.

Have a fruitful party

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.

  1. Fruit on sticks: You can serve an assortment of small pieces of different fruits on sticks. Some fruits can even be cut into the shapes of flowers or fruits using cookie cutters. However, when catering to younger children, do remember to use the safer option of ice cream sticks instead of skewers.
  2. Fruit with jelly: You can set jelly in little cups and top with small pieces of fruit. You have a variety of flavours and colours to choose from for the jelly, which will be a sure-fire attraction.
  3. Fruit platter: An assortment of neatly cut fruits on a platter is another option. You can arrange the fruits creatively in the shape of an animal, or smileys, or whatever else you can think of!

Thirst-quenching juices

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.

Delicious desserts

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.

  1. Cake pops: These miniature cakes-on-sticks resemble lollipops. The little balls of cake can be dipped in chocolate sauce, slivered almonds/cashews, or any frosting of your choice. You could even decorate them to go with the party theme too.
  2. Cupcakes or muffins: These are perfect if you want to get creative and personalise them for your little guests. Why not have an assortment of two or more flavours, to make them more attractive?
  3. Brownies: Fudgy or nutty brownies are another great dessert option. You can arrange appropriate-sized brownie slices as a decorative stack so that your guests can help themselves to as many as they want.

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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