Party Food Ideas

Party food is one of the things our children most look forward to. You do not have to go mad and spend hours in the kitchen to have a fantastic party spread that the children will love. This blog gives you some ideas about the types of food you can serve, and how to theme them easily...

Star cut sandwiches Star cut sandwiches

Obviously the food you choose will be guided by your child’s (and their friends) likes but it is wise to check whether any guest has a food allergy.

Presentation of food.

You could pre-prepare plated food or put out a buffet. My children really enjoy the buffet style. Both are easy to theme...

Plated food.

If you have bought our Party in a Box you will already have themed plates, cups and napkins. If you are plating the food the easiest way is to p

Fruit Party Snack Plate Jungle theme party plate with fuit

ut a few sandwiches, sausages, pieces of fruit extra on the themed plate.

But if you wish you could theme the food itself...

  • Arrange each plate in the shape of a character
  • Use cookie cutters to cut sandwiches into a themed shape
  • Use food in the colours of your theme

The pros of this is that you can tailor the plates to children's likes and dietary requirements. You run less of a risk of wasting food.

The cons include that it is more time consuming and ensuring you cater for the fussy eater!

Alternatively you could go for my kids’ favourite...

The party buffet.

Minion Party BuffetYou can go all out and spend time colouring and arranging food into elaborate displays, or you can simply name foods in the theme of your choice.

Pros include you will be surprised how much fruit and veg children will eat when it is put on a party table, especially if it's made to look fun!

It is less time consuming.

Children enjoy the excitement of choosing their food.

Cons include that it is more difficult to keep an eye on allergies, and judging the right amount of food to supply.

Sourcing Party food

Of course you can go to the shops to buy items, but in the past when I have been busy I have found it easier to order on-line from a supermarket and have the items delivered to my house on the morning of the party. I have not tried it but most supermarkets will deliver to a different address, so you could always get it delivered to a hall or different party venue.

Most supermarkets also do party platters, as do local cafe's and sandwich bars. These will need ordering in advance and collected in store, normally on the morning of the party.

Below are some ideas about what you could serve. And because sometimes it is difficult to guess how much to buy I have included a suggestion of amount to try and help you reduce waste…

Cold food ideas

Pirate food Pirate food

A simple way to theme your party food is to give it a name...

  • Carrot sticks (cut your own or buy a bag of carrot sticks which normally services 8 children)
  • Cucumber 1 per 8 children
  • Grapes – 1 bunch per 8 children. Best avoided for smaller children as they can be a choke hazard. For safety they are best sliced length/long ways.
  • Sausage rolls (one small one per child)
  • Small sausages (one small one per child)
  • Sharing crisps (two bags for 8 children, alt one small bag each)
  • Sandwiches – aim for 2 small quarters/triangles per child. If you have smaller children try cutting the sandwiches into shapes using biscuit cutters. Filling ideas include cheese spread, grated/sliced cheese, ham, jam, chocolate spread…
  • Mini quiche
  • Pizza – 1 slice per child (can be cooked in advance and serve cooled/chilled
  • Cupcakes (one per child) you can bake these yourself or buy them.
  • Vegetable dips
  • Vegetable sticks can be served with dip or on their own.
  • Biscuits – 2 different packs per 8 children, for example party rings, iced gems, chocolate bourbons and jammy dodgers go down well

Hot food ideas

Yummy Mini Pizzas Yummy Mini Pizzas

If you have time you could offer a hot selection. But be aware that either you will need to enlist some help in the kitchen, or leave the party guests to do this yourself. However I have been to parties where the parents have ordered take-out food which went down well!

  • Chicken nuggets – 3 per child
  • Burgers (can be cut in half)
  • Pizza
  • Chips/French fries

Don’t forget your tomato sauce!


  • Squash – orange, blackcurrant and water (the children will get thirsty so have a jug of each on hand from the start)ice cream float
  • Fizzy drinks – one large bottle normally serves 8 children but you may want different flavours. Add some ice-cream to turn them in to a float drink!
  • Milkshake
  • Water. If you are in a Hall and you are not sure about the water it is advisable to buy bottled water

For the adults...

Be aware that adults will often stay. Many of them will be your friends and will give you a hand which is brilliant. However do not forget to cater for them…

  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Sugar
  • Milk
  • (Wine if you are inviting any of my friends!)
  • Posh snacks (best biscuits and crisps)
  • Teaspoons, cups (if you are in a hall check to see if they are available)
  • Don’t be surprised if they help finish the party food as well!

Birthday Cake

Fantastic Mad Hatter Tea Party Birthday Cake Fantastic Mad Hatter Tea Party Birthday Cake

If you are not up for baking one yourself, not only does your local supermarket stock a good variety of birthday cakes, but, if you want something special I recommend searching for a local to you cake maker. I am lucky and one of my friends makes the birthday cakes for my children!

One thing to remember, which we are unable to supply in our Party in a Box, is something to light the birthday candles don't forget those matches!

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