The venue’s booked, you’ve invited all the friends – 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 fussiest eaters will go for.
One of the classic kids' party food ideas, pizza is great for fussy eaters and veggies. Choose mini, sliced or DIY. Buy bases or basic pizzas and let the kids choose their favourite toppings – mushrooms, peppers and sweetcorn always go down well. If you're short of time call a delivery service such as Domino's.
Kids love bite-sized food and any leftovers will be devoured by the grown-ups! 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 mixture of beaten egg and milk. Bake at 180C, Gas Mark 4 or 350F until golden brown.
Mini-sausages are always a winner – they disappear in seconds! Make them go a bit further by encasing them in pastry, or making mini toad in the holes. Serve with small bowls of tomato sauce for dipping.
Keep fillings simple, then cut the sandwiches 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. Serve them first before you bring out any of the sweet treats.
Slice potatoes into chunky wedges, toss in a little olive oil and cook at 200C, Gas Mark 6, 400F for 30 minutes until the skin is crispy and they’re soft inside. Serve with ketchup and watch them disappear.
Make fruit fun! Dip strawberries and other fruits in chocolate then put the chunks on cocktail sticks a la kebabs. If you omit the chocolate, this is a colourful healthy option and you’ll get brownie points from other parents for inspirational kids' party food ideas!
Chop carrots, celery, cucumber, peppers and baby corn. Serve with hummus, yoghurt or cream cheese dip. Yummy!
If you're looking for homemade, healthy kids' party food ideas, this is an alternative to shop-bought coleslaw which often comes with buckets of mayo. Mix six tablespoons of plain yoghurt, two tablespoons of mayo and a teaspoon of mustard with grated white cabbage, carrot and onion. Delicious!
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 - £7 with free delivery. Alternatively, to avoid any hassle and save money, buy plain cakes from the supermarket and have fun with the kids decorating them before the party.
Rice krispie cakes
An easy treat the kids can help make! Slowly melt 100g chocolate, 60g unsalted butter and 3 tablespoons golden syrup. Add 90g rice krispies and mix well. Spoon into 12 cupcake cases and leave to cool.
Sweet popcorn pots
Place some popping corn in the microwave for 2-3 minutes. Meanwhile, melt 140g of salted butter in a pan, tip in 140g light muscovado sugar, heat gently until dissolved and then pour over the popcorn. Cool and serve in paper party cups – the perfect sweet treat the kids will love and they can get involved in the making too! If you just want to save time though, pop to the supermarket to find a big bag for around £1.
No party is complete without jelly and it’s a great way to sneak in extra fruit. Catering for veggies? Most jellies contain gelatine, so check the labels or make your own using fresh juice and vegetarian jelly crystals
Homemade ice lollies
Ice lollies are a treat for kids at any age and the great thing about making your own is you know what’s in them. Buy plastic moulds at any supermarket or discount store and make a batch in advance, storing them 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.
Most kids love ice cream. 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. Place 4 cups of frozen strawberries in a bowl, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar and toss to combine. Place the bowl in the microwave at 30-second intervals until the strawberries soften slightly and the sugar dissolves in the juice. Add the bananas and strawberry mixture to the blender and blend until they reach the perfect consistency – about 2-3 minutes total blending time.
Birthday cake ideas
When you’re looking for kids’ party food ideas, don’t forget the all-important birthday cake! Often the highlight of a birthday party and a treat to remember as it goes home in the party bag, birthday cake can be a major stress! But it needn't be a worry. Don’t pay over the odds to give your little ones their perfect birthday wish. Here are some great money-saving ideas:
Don’t dismiss heading to the supermarket for an affordable but still scrummy birthday cake that’ll do the job as one of your main kids' party food ideas. You can buy tray-style birthday cakes for around £5 that’ll fill the tums of 15 party guests.
You don’t have to spend a fortune or all day baking a birthday cake. You can cheat by buying a supermarket sponge or fairy cakes and decorate however you wish. Take inspiration from these unique birthday cakes on pinterest.
Here’s a selection of MyFamilyClub cake recipes that might just tantalise your taste buds!
- Chocolate mayonnaise cake
- Raspberry Swiss roll
- Victoria sandwich
- Warm chocolate surprise
- New York cheesecake
If you’re looking for budget ideas for good quality cake tins, this three-set cake tins set at £7.90 may be just what you’re after.
It's easy to get carried away, but there’re plenty options to keep the costs down yet still throw a fantastic birthday bash!
These boxes are a great idea for something to give at your kids' birthday party. There’re loads of different designs to choose from including food trays and boxes the guests can take home. 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 are sent straight to your door. You can save time and purchase pre-made party bags from £1.50 each.
Children love fancy dress and you don't have to pay through the nose to kit your kid up in a Superman outfit. Angels Fancy Dress has costumes starting from £5.
We love Annabel Karmel's party planner book for great ideas and recipes.
Want to have a party of your own? Check out this round-up of how to make easy party food so you can do a Delia in the kitchen with minimum expense and fuss!
How was your party? Tell us in the comments below!