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Birthday Party Food Ideas

Last Updated: Jul 18, 2018

Being the host of a birthday party is a very important job. From picking a theme, to sending out invitations, there is a lot to be done. Getting the right food to fit the crowd is one of the most important parts of party planning. To make sure your party food is a hit, we have compiled some birthday party food ideas that are sure to please both kids and adults.

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smiling kids in party hats

Easy Kids Birthday Party Food Ideas

Kids can be picky about the kind of food that they eat, so choosing food for a birthday party can be difficult. Before deciding what you want to serve, make sure you ask if anyone has allergies. You can include it on the invitation or ask the parents of the children individually.

If there is a theme for the party, certain parts of the menu can reflect that theme, such as the cake. However, the following food ideas can fit to any party regardless of theme. The key is to be creative and interactive, especially for kids.

Interactive Food Ideas

Not only can food be for eating, but it also can be used as a party activity. Having food that is also interactive is a good idea for kids birthday parties. Kids like to be entertained, and what better way to entertain them than by having them help cook!

Pizza biscuits are a simple and quick way to have interactive food. Buying flaky biscuits is a quick way to make delicious pizza dough. Set out sauce and various toppings like cheese, pepperoni, and olives. You can even ask the birthday boy or girl what they want for toppings and buy that. Then, have the kids top their biscuit dough with whatever they choose. Finally, place in the oven and cook based on the biscuit dough instructions.

If you don’t want to wait for an oven, you can always a make your own taco bar. It is the same concept of being interactive, just without the oven. Cook all of the protein beforehand and then reheat it right before you plan to eat in order to save time. Set out toppings such as cheese, lettuce, salsa, and guacamole. Kids can top their soft or hard shell taco with whatever they choose.

Not only are these two ideas simple, but they are also time and money saving! Having the cooking done by the children is also a fun way to give yourself a break from all of the craziness that is a birthday party.

Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids

Trying to incorporate healthy snacks into birthday parties can be a difficult task. However, keeping the snacks creative and fun will draw the attention of the kids in a positive way.

Making fruit skewers is a healthy way to give kids sweets during the party. Place strawberries or pineapple on a wooden skewer and set out on a festive tray. You can choose whatever fruit is your favorite or goes with the theme best. If you want to make the skewers into dessert, consider dipping them in dark chocolate!

If your kids like vegetables more than fruit, ants on a log is the perfect snack. Make sure that nobody at the party is allergic to peanut butter before doing this. Spread peanut butter on sticks of celery and stick raisins in the peanut butter. This will make it look like there are ants on a log, and is especially good for a bug-themed party.

Fun Drink Ideas for Kids

Birthdays are a special occasion, and what better way to celebrate than making kids feel like fancy grownups? Making Shirley Temples is the perfect way to do this! You can also have sparkling cider in flute-like glasses if you want the party to feel more sophisticated. If you do not want the kids drinking soda, have an assortment of juices in cute cups like mason jars. Include fun straws to add extra personality to the drinks. They can be striped or even curly depending on the occasion.

Dessert Ideas

Last, but not least, is every kids favorite part of a birthday party: the dessert! If you want another interactive food idea, buy plain sugar cookies or make cupcakes without adding frosting. Then, compile different colors of frosting and sprinkles. The children can decorate their dessert however they want.

cupcake with sprinkles on it

Birthday Party Food Ideas for Adults

Many times people think they need to spend time and money on catering for birthday parties for adults. Luckily, there are ways that you can make delicious and affordable food for your next party.

Fun Finger Foods for Adults

Finger food is not just for kids. Parties with adults can have little appetizers as well, and they can be fancy but affordable.

Prosciutto wrapped melon is the perfect appetizer if you are going for something more sophisticated. To make this, buy a melon and slice it into smaller cubes. Wrap pieces of prosciutto around the melon and stick toothpicks into them. If you are looking for another healthy and easy to make appetizer, slice a cucumber into rounds, and top with cream cheese and smoked salmon. This is extremely quick to fix up and looks beautiful on a plate.

Place whatever finger food you make on a decorated plastic plate. Consider placing a festive napkin or doily on the plate to make it more decorative.

If you are looking for something a little more casual, put hummus or artichoke dip into a nice glass bowl. Surround with pita chips or sliced vegetables for dipping.

Party Drink Ideas for Adults

Making drinks for parties does not have to be a hassle. Have a close friend play “bartender” for the day, and stock up your pantry with common alcohol and juices. If you want something even easier than that, place an assortment of beers in a cooler and have guests help themselves.

For those attending the party that don’t drink, crush up mint and add in lemon-lime soda to make virgin mojitos. This is easy to fix up and can be made in bulk. Once made, you can place the mix into a large pitcher or drink dispenser.

Dessert Ideas for Adults

If you want to give the adults at your party more of a choice in what they are eating, serve chocolate fondue! Melt multiple kinds of chocolate and place into separate bowls. You can have a platter with an assortment of fruit on it. You can also have a platter that has more sweets, such as cookies. Doing dessert this way, the guests are able to have more of a choice in what they eat for dessert.

chocolate fondue with fruit

Birthday Party Food Budget

When planning out the menu for your birthday party, make sure that you set a budget so your spending doesn’t get out of hand! Contrary to popular belief, parties don’t have to cost over $500, especially if you are willing to make all of the food yourself. If you make your food and are smart with your choices, it should only be under $100 depending on how many people you invite. If you are serving alcohol at your parties, it can cost between $100 and $200 dollars if you include alcohol expenses.

Besides having food at your parties, make sure that you are including some fun activities. Have fun with the planning and get creative. Creating food that is delicious but also cost-effective is a good goal to have, and your wallet will be sure to thank you later.