Catering for kids’ parties can be tricky. While you may want to provide some food and snacks with at least a semblance of nutritional value, chances are the kids will just want sugary treats. It can be tough to strike a balance between giving them something vaguely healthy and ruining their fun with hummus and kale chips. But with these great menu ideas, you can provide a fun and healthy mix of foods that everyone can enjoy.
Variety is the Spice of Life
As any parent will know, while sugary sweets and fried foods may be favourites, they often lead to tears. Treats packed with sugar and saturated fats can leave kids peaking and crashing. Providing a variety of healthy and balanced snacks though will help slow down the blood sugar roller coaster.
A party is also a great time to get fussy eaters to try some different flavours and foods. If they see others trying the food, they’re more likely to as well. This can help expand your child’s diet, making sure they get the nutrients they need. Plus, having a range of foods available means that even the pickiest eaters won’t go hungry.
Finally, serving different foods can take the pressure off you as the host. Have a selection that can be purchased and others that can be quickly made up on the day. Our menu below has easy dishes even the most novice chef can whip up.
Healthy and Fun
Part of getting kids excited about healthy food is making it interesting. Make sure your food is colourful and visually stimulating and find ways for kids to be hands-on with their food. Try these great options:
- Mini Tacos
Make sure you have a range of fillings available for kids to construct their own tacos. Fill bowls with shredded carrot and lettuce, grated cheese, beans, and chopped tomato ready for kids to make their own rainbow taco.
- Rainbow mini pizzas
Get kids involved making their own mini pizzas with all sorts of colourful veggies and toppings.
Kids will love getting to create their own skewers with lunch meat, cheese and veggies.
- Frozen yoghurt
For summer parties, have some frozen yoghurt popsicles ready to go. You can make your own — it only takes five minutes in the blender and four hours in the freezer — or purchase some. Kids will be grateful for a cool treat that keeps them full of energy.
- Zucchini slice or mini quiches
Sneak lots of hidden veggies in these egg-cellent foods. Plus, the egg means plenty of protein to fill kids up and keep them going.
- Chopped veggies and dip
Sometimes simplest is best and nothing is simpler than some chopped veggies with a selection of dips. For some added fun, arrange the veggies into fun patterns or designs.
- Fruit salad
Choose fruits that are in season and watch as kids gobble them up. To make things even more special, put your fruit salad on skewers. Then use a star-shaped cookie cutter to create a magical topper. Voila! You’ve got some magic fruit wands ready for casting spells and satisfying hungry tummies.
Of course, kids’ birthday parties are special occasions, which means it can be okay to have some special treats on offer too.
- Sausage rolls and party pies
These traditional favourites are a tasty savoury treat. And don’t forget the tomato sauce!
- Cake pops or cupcakes
Kids can help decorate these sweet snacks and enjoy them as a dessert option. This can be a great budget party activity too.
- Fairy bread
An Australian classic; no party is complete without some fairy bread.
- Jelly oranges
Don’t throw out the orange peel from the fruit salad. Instead, use it to serve jelly. Kids will love this fun twist.
And don’t forget the most important special treat: the birthday cake!
These simple yet fun party foods will have everyone feeling satisfied and avoiding those dreaded sugar crashes. If the kids have ample opportunity to get involved and you add a little whimsy wherever you can, you won’t have any leftovers to worry about.