Tips for planning a party for children
While birthdays are fun for kids, they can feel overwhelming for parents. From themes to invites and healthy recipes, there are numerous things to consider to make the day enjoyable for your young guests of honour.
If you’re looking for party finger food ideas on a budget, we have some tasty treats to add to the menu. Read our handy checklist to ensure you have everything you need to pull the big day together.
Plan your guest list
Ask your child which friends they’d like to join the celebrations. If your little one is younger, grab a class list from their teacher. If you’re concerned about numbers, you could consider putting on an ‘all-girls’ or ‘all-boys’ event, for example.
Send out invitations a few weeks beforehand. Include an RSVP date and space for parents to fill out allergy information or special dietary requests.
Set a budget
The cost for birthday parties can quickly add up, so consider how much money you feel comfortable spending on each guest for food and drinks - and stick to it.
Choose your favourite menu options to eat
For children’s birthday celebrations, it’s always helpful to keep things simple. Prepare and cook foods that are easy to eat and can be held in small hands. If you’re not making your own cake, make sure to order one well in advance.
You can serve some tea, coffee, wine, beer or themed cocktails and mocktails to keep the grown-up guests happy.
Select a theme and party decorations
Themed parties are great, but you may find you won’t reuse the decorations. Instead, opt for a themed cake - for this, all you need are some coloured decorations and a few themed add-ons. Then you can save them to mix and match for next year. You’ll find an amazing wealth of ideas on Pinterest.
Allergies and fussy eaters
First, check your RSVPs for any allergies or special dietary requirements. Then, alter your recipes accordingly and ensure you have some ‘free from’ snacks and desserts. As a general rule, avoid peanuts, shellfish, and dairy to sidestep the most common issues.
Plan with your kids and let them help with the preparations
An amazing way to build memories is to let your children get in on the action. Allow them to build personal pizzas, garnish cupcakes or help with the decorations.
Get the guests involved
Roping in extra help is key to successful party planning, so ask friends and family members to help out. As guests join the celebrations, ask if they can help serve a plate or two, greet people, run games, and clear up. This frees you up to host!
When it comes to eating, little ones love to use their fingers! So, forget about cutlery, platters and plates. Instead, consider serving snacks in paper cones or individual boxes, which means less mess to clean up at the end. Cook hot dishes beforehand, and keep warm in the oven until guests arrive.
Here are some birthday favourites that are sure to be a hit:
Savoury Party Food
- Sausage rolls
- Hot chips
- Finger sandwiches
- Garlic bread
- Puff pastry cooked with your choice of fillings
Sweet Party Foods
- Mini cupcakes
- Fairy bread
- Plain breadsticks dipped in melted chocolate, then hundreds and thousands
- Yoghurt or custard in cups topped with fruit
- Strawberries dipped in chocolate
Healthy Party Food
Create an eye-catching display that makes their mouths water with these yummy and wholesome snacks:
- Carrot cheesy bites
- Melon balls
- Peas & sweet corn
- Fruit kebabs
- Apple & sliced strawberries
- Yoghurt & fruit drops
- Baked potato wedges
- Vegetable fritters
- Soy & garlic chicken nibbles
- Skewers—a cherry tomato, a cucumber slice, a cube of cheese, and rolled ham
- Carrot and cucumber sticks served with a bowl of tzatziki, salsa, or hummus
Water is the best and healthiest drink to quench thirst, so have some jugs on the table or ask children to bring their water bottles. Fresh juice is a healthier alternative to fizzy drinks, and juice boxes are the easiest way to avoid spills.
Here at Kiwigarden, we believe party food doesn’t need to be loaded with sugar for little ones to enjoy themselves! So shop our nutritious, delicious, on-the-go snacks today. Save with free shipping on all New Zealand orders over $45, and pay just $9.50 for orders over $50 to Australia.