Party food checklist

Children’s Party.. Food for thought

So you’ve finalised the venue for your child’s party.. Phew! That’s a huge task sorted. What’s next.. food.. OK well that’s easy enough, right?.. Well.. it can be, with a bit of planning and by running through snozzcumber‘s checklist for kids’ party food.

Our 11 Point Children’s Party Food Checklist

There will be some points that you will have considered, as well as a few which could easily be overlooked..

  1. How many mouths to feed? – Well ok say 20 children are coming, but are any parents coming too? Helpers, friends, the bus driver, the entertainer?
    Count up how many adults you plan to feed and how many children.. and don’t forget you!
  2. What’s your food budget? – Whatever your figure, divide it up by the number of children.
    Count 1 adult as 2 children. e.g. 20 kids + 5 adults = 30 portions/plate fulls. If you have £45 then thats £1.50 per child/head.
  3. Will I do the food myself or hire a caterer? – Having worked out your budget, you may think it’s best for a caterer to do the job. They will provide all the plates, cutlery, napkins, cups, tablecloths, food and snacks and drinks and wash up too! But all that comes at a price, so if you feel that’s within your budget – all good – if not, what’s next?
  4. What does your budget need to cover? – Usually this needs to include drinks, snacks, party food, plates, platters and cutlery, napkins and tablecloths, a cake, and perhaps a party bag to take home?
    If you choose a themed party, themed according to a popular Disney movies, these items can be quiet expensive.
  5. Any decorations? – Balloons, party poppers, hats, bunting, etc.?
  6. Time of day? – When is the party to start and finish? Do I need to provide a meal sized portion or will snacks and a drink be ok?
  7. Special food? – Do I know if any children or adults attending are vegetarian or vegan? Are any children from particular religious or cultural backgrounds who may need appropriate food.. Muslim, Jewish, Hindu? Perhaps providing foods a little lower in sugar and with no artificial colouring may lead to calmer, less excitable kids.. a win win!
  8. Are any children allergic to any foods or other materials? – More and more children have early allergies to cow’s milk and soya, additives, wheat, and even latex (balloons and masks!), so it’s worth finding out a bit more by perhaps including a note on your invitations asking parents to let you know if their child needs special foods or has allergies.
  9. A party cake? – Often a centre piece of a party with a theme. Perhaps a favourite cartoon character or character from a book. Whatever you decide, it can be costly to buy a custom made one. There are great options to buy ready made in the larger supermarkets, or perhaps you have a talented friend or mum who can help out?
  10. What facilities do you have? – If you are hosting a party at home, that’s a no-brainer but if you are in a hall or other venue, it’s worth finding out what kitchen facilities you have, as baking a few frozen sausage rolls will be a problem with no cooker! Does the venue have a sink and drainer, do you need to take washing up liquid, cloths, tea towels, or a washing up brush? (remember to get some volunteers to help!) Do you have table space to set out food and dish up? A fridge or freezer (ice cubes, ice cream, ice lollies)? Do you need to heat any food? Will you need a cooker (oven+hob+grill)? Are there decent knives (to carve meat, cut cake, slice bread)? Do you need any other utensils (grater, whisk, peeler, wooden spoons, cutting boards)?
  11. What help do I need? – Doing your own party food can be made a lot easier by buying more ready to serve food (more expensive) or by preparing well ahead and having a team of friends and family to help. Think about setting up the party food, preparing food beforehand and last minute, serving food – as little people will need help-cutting up, serving themselves, even opening packets or pots. Then there’s the clearing, washing up cutting the cake and the party bags to organise.
  12. And lastly.. just a note about food hygiene – How long can you leave a chicken drumstick out at room temperature? What high risk food poisoning foods are best avoided? You want everyone to enjoy safe food.

It can all feel very daunting, and with a limited budget, it means having to do more things yourself. Using this party food checklist should ensure you are on the right track. Have a happy party!

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