The venue’s booked, you’ve invited half the class – now you just have to feed them! If like most parents your budget doesn’t stretch to a caterer, here are a few kids' party food ideas that even the most fussy eaters will go for.
One of the classic kids' party food ideas, pizzas are great for fussy eaters and veggies alike. Go for mini, sliced or DIY – just buy in bases or pittas and let them loose with their favourite toppings – mushroom, peppers and sweetcorn always go down well. If you're feeling lazy... just call in a custom-made pizza with an on-line delivery from a place like Domino's.
Kids love anything bite-sized, and the leftovers will soon be hoovered up by any stray parents. Cut out circles of shop-bought puff pastry and line a 12-cup muffin tray. Fill with grated cheese, softened onion and a little ham or chopped veg, then pour in a mix of beaten egg and milk. Bake at 180C until brown.
If you’ve ever watched a plate of these disappear by the fistful at a party you’ll know you’re onto a winner. Make them go a bit further by encasing them in pastry or making mini toad in the holes and serving with small bowls of tomato sauce for dipping.
Keep fillings simple, then cut into fancy shapes with pastry cutters to make them more appealing. Roll up tortilla wraps or plain white sliced bread into colourful pinwheel bites or make mini ‘club’ sandwiches using layers of white and brown bread. Just serve them first before you show them the sweet stuff.
Keep everyone happy with this healthy, homemade version. Slice potatoes into chunky wedges, toss in a little olive oil and cook at 200C for 30 minutes until the skin is crispy and they’re soft inside. Serve with ketchup and watch them disappear.
Make fruit fun by dipping strawberries in chocolate or threading chunks onto cocktail stick ‘kebabs’. A colourful healthy option – and you’ll get brownie points from the parents for inspirational kids' party food ideas!
Maybe this is wishful thinking, but you’ll feel better putting some vitamins on the kids' party food menu, and if the kids don’t eat them the mums will. Chop up carrots, celery, cucumber, peppers and baby corn and serve with hummus, yoghurt or cream cheese dip.
If you're looking for homemade, healthy kids' party food ideas this is an alternative to shop-bought coleslaw which often comes with bucketfulls of mayo. Mix up six tablespoons of plain yoghurt, two of mayo and a teaspoon of mustard with grated white cabbage, carrot and onion.
Make a batch of cupcakes then arm yourself with various icings, marshmallows, liquorice strings, chocolate buttons and plenty of sprinkles. Animal faces, footballs, monsters and flowers all go down well. You can pick up a set of 12 silicone cupcake cases for just £6 at John Lewis. For inspiration and ideas on how to make them, take a look at this Cupcake book - £8 with free delivery.
Rice krispie cakes
An easy to prepare treat that the kids can even help make! Mix together melted chocolate or golden syrup with rice krispies and leave plenty of time to set in the fridge.
Sweet popcorn pots
Place some popping corn in the microwave for 2-3 minutes and meanwhile melt 140g of salted butter in a pan, tip in 140g of light muscovado sugar, heat gently until dissolved and then pour over the popcorn. Cool and serve in paper party cups for a sweet treat the kids can munch on.
No party is complete without it and it’s a great way to sneak in extra fruit. Catering for veggies? Bear in mind most normal jellies contain gelatin so check the labels or make your own using fresh juice and vegetarian jelly crystals.
Home-made ice lollies
Lollies are a treat for kids at any age, and better still, you’ll know what’s in them. Buy plastic moulds at any supermarkets or discount store then make a batch in advance by storing in individual freezer bags. Keep them simple by diluting juice with a little water, or puree any fruit and mix with juice, yoghurt or cream.
Ice-cream is an easy winner that most kids love to tuck in to. You can buy a whole tub for under £2 or if you're feeling adventurous make it yourself the healthy way by whizzing up frozen bananas and frozen strawberries in a food processor. Delicious!
Birthday cake ideas
If you’re looking for kids’ party food ideas then you can’t forget the all important birthday cake! Often the centerpiece of a birthday party and a treat to remember as it's sent home in the party bag, birthday cake can be a major stress - but it needn't be that way. Don’t pay over the odds to give your little ones their perfect birthday wish. Here are some money saving ideas:
Don’t dismiss heading to the supermarket for an affordable but still scrummy birthday cake that will do the job as one of your main kids' party food ideas. You can buy tray-style birthday cakes for around £5 that will stretch to fill up the tums of 15 party guests.
You don’t have to spend a fortune or all day baking a birthday cake. You can even cheat by buying a pre-made sponge or fairy cakes and decorating with icing or marzipan of your choosing. Pick a theme and take some inspiration from some of these unique birthday cakes on pinterest.
Here are a small selection of MyFamilyClub cake recipes that might just tickle your fancy:
- Chocolate mayonnaise cake
- Raspberry swiss roll
- Victoria sandwich
- Warm chocolate surprise
- New York cheesecake
If you are looking for budget ideas for good quality cake tins then these three-set cake tins for £8.05 might just be the thing.
Party food sorted? What about the party accessories? It's easy to get carried away but there are plenty of options to keep the costs down yet still throw a fantastic birthday do!
These are a great idea for something to give out at your kids' birthday party. There are plenty of different designs to choose from including food trays and boxes that the guests can take home too. Pre-pack with goodies so you don't overspend on food that may end up being wasted.
Party bag fillers
You can treat the kids for less with these party bag and loot ideas. Some party bag fillers are under 50p and sent straight to your door. You can even save time and purchase pre-made party bags from £1.50 each.
Kids love getting dressed in fancy dress. You don't have to pay through your nose to kit your kid up in a Superman outfit. Angels Fancy Dress has costumes starting from just £5.
We love Annabel Karmel's party planner book for more great ideas and recipes to get us on the right track.
Want to have a party of your own? Check out this round up of how to make easy party food so you can pull a Delia in the kitchen with minimum expense and fuss!
How was your party? Tell us in the comments below!