Party cake

Children have expectations of party food. They expect there will be lots of things they like to eat that generally are unhealthy. You can slip a few healthy things in, but remember, it is a party, they don’t eat like this every day and you want them to enjoy themselves.

A party is not the place to be pushing your food fetishes onto everyone else, unless you’ve only invited children of like-minded individuals!

If you are providing the food, keep it simple and as much pre-packaged as you can afford. Don’t over-do the sandwiches. Unless you have an unusual crowd, they won’t eat many. For younger children, keep the fillings simple and straightforward. Yours might eat brie-and-grape, or salmon pate, but most won’t. Safest fillings are strawberry jam, cheese and ham.

Older children are more varied. Grapes and baby tomatoes are easy health conscious options. Slightly more time-consuming are carrot, cucumber and sweet pepper sticks, cheese and pineapple-together or separate. Cocktail sausages, or big sausages cut up are generally acceptable. Chicken nuggets and sausage rolls I’ve generally found don’t go as well. Crisps of all varieties do well.

And of course cakes. Some of the nicest small cakes available are the Tesco Value ones, if you are able to decorate them yourself. Otherwise buy what is on offer. Biscuits likewise. Chocolate varieties always go well, but try for a balance. Breadsticks are iffy. Pizza can go well. Buy the cheapest margarita pizza and the strongest cheese you can find. Put thin slices of the cheese on the pizza before you cook it.

If you are vegetarian, and your guests aren’t, please remember that your guests are unlikely to eat as wide a range of vegetable products as your own child. And being children, many are unlikely to be willing to try new ‘stuff’ especially at a party. I’d suggest going for meat lookalikes, or cheese options such as pizza or rolls and avoid the issue.

Other options for food include pre-ordered take-aways – local chip shop, pizzeria, e.g. Pizza Hut, cafe etc.

Finally, there’s always the option of just having someone else do it all, e.g. Pizza Hut’s Birthday Parties package!