Are you having a children’s party and want to make sure you cater for all children’s needs – dietary and otherwise? Here are some good tips for being a great host.
1 – Understand that kids aren’t attending the party for healthy food.
There’s both a time and a place for focusing on healthy food and the best possible nutrition, and a birthday party is neither of these. This is even more true for older kids who are going to rebel even harder against the healthy snacks you’re peddling. We suggest that you go with the flow of the food provided – birthday parties don’t happen every day and you can always serve an extra vegetable at dinner.
2 – Put off bringing out the sweets for a little while.
If you delay the cookies and cake for a little while, you may be able to convince the children to eat some of the entrees or focus a bit on more savoury food. Focus on savoury foods at the beginning, delaying bringing out the sweets for a little while. This can help make sure that the guests eat a bit more before the sweets come out.
3 – Plan the quantity of food that you’re serving based on the time of the party and the activity that you’re hosting.
You’ll want to make sure that your guests don’t leave hungry, but you’ll also want to avoid eating birthday cake leftovers for the next week.
This can also be avoided by the way you time the party itself. If you time the party over a mealtime, you’ll need to provide the meal, while if you plan it for mid-afternoon or mid-morning, providing light appetizers is acceptable.
If the party involves an active game or event like swimming, the kids may be hungrier, as well. Keep in mind that some kids may take more food than they actually eat, so be prepared to limit this politely, and plan for extra food to accommodate the behaviour.
4 – Dress up simple foods with a special presentation.
Avoid overcomplicating the items on your menu, and instead, present simple food items in fun new ways so that you can make a more impressive impression on guests. Try making these mummy cake pops.
5 – Convert the food itself into an activity for the party.
Make the food the center of attention and let the kids create ice cream sundaes, have a pancake bar, or top their own pizzas. If you have space and can tolerate the mess, consider renting a chocolate or fondue fountain and providing fun foods to dip into it for a party that’s sure to be remembered for years to come.
6 – Be aware of allergies and food intolerances.
If you or any of your guests have food allergies, it’s often best to avoid having the foods present at all instead of trying to keep them away from one specific person. Keep an eye out for products that have allergens as a cloaked ingredient and be sure to read all ingredients lists carefully.
7 – If parents will be sticking around, serving drinks and snacks for them will also be greatly appreciated.
Although older children’s parents often drop teens off, younger children’s parents who stay for the party are sure to enjoy having adult food offered. For pick-ups after sleepovers, a pot of coffee and some bagels are sure to be appreciated as parents arrive to get their children.
8 – Don’t have enough seating or tables? Consider setting up a picnic – either indoors or out
If your outdoor party gets rained out, grab a few blankets, move your furniture, and plop everyone down on the floor for an indoor picnic. If you opt for this, consider serving everyone with individual juice boxes or small paper plates to continue the picnic theme.