It goes without saying that settling on a cake design is often one of the major decisions to be made when one starts planning a kid’s birthday party. But remember that the little bellies will need more sustenance than mere sugar. Whether serving a full meal or some small snacks, it’s important to keep everything balanced.
Timing is Everything
Plan a menu that matches the schedule. A dessert-and-snacks party is par for the course, but hold it early evening – a time when attendees would not be expecting a larger meal.
Take into account the Age Group
Put out foods that are easy to eat and have broad appeal. Older children can and will eat just about anything– greasy pizza, fritters, ginormous sandwiches, tubs of popcorn, whatever.
However, toddlers aren’t that easy to satiate. You’ll have to cut up pizza–or anything you serve –into smaller pieces. You also have to be wary about handing out anything that’s too hard or crunchy or food items that may cause choking in young children.
Some nifty ideas
You can innovate with fruit kebabs by cutting up pineapple, watermelon or cantaloupe into bite-sized pieces and threading them onto plastic or wooden skewers. Be sure to promptly remove the bare skewers away from the kids after the fruit has been finished off so that they don’t use them as weapons. You can also use more blunt stuff, like chopsticks with younger kids.
Watch the Sugar
Birthday parties are an occasion to indulge a bit so don’t worry much about lavishing some cake and ice cream on the kids, but take care to avoid an all-out sugar fest. It’s not uncommon to see frosted cookies awaiting guests as they arrive, followed by cake and then everyone gets a goody bag full of candy to take home. Kids’ will tear up when they come across a sweet feast, but they’ll likely end up with a bellyache or a much more significant behavior problem once they are back home. Always keep in mind that moderation is the key.
Beware of Allergies
It’s always better to ask parents beforehand whether their children are subject to any food allergies or intolerances and prepare your menu accordingly.
Exercise special caution as you prepare the food items, including carefully cleaning knives, cutting boards etc to avoid contamination and it’s also to set out cups either colored or even labeled with the kids’ names so that children who are allergic don’t inadvertently take some other kid’s stuff. You need to take allergies with utmost seriousness, since eating the wrong thing can turn into a life or death situation for some kids
Don’t forget the Overall Theme
Always be sure to choose foods that match the fund ambiance of a birthday party theme. All this can be wonderful if you adore planning parties and preparing food! But if toiling in the kitchen is not your thing, there’s no need to sweat. Order some catering and focus on those aspects of the party you enjoy, like decorations and performances.
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