‘Young children don’t like fruit & veg’, and Sandwiches aren’t worth the effort. These were a couple of the divisive opinions expressed when we asked parents for their do’s and don’ts of children’s party food.
The purpose of this post is to outline these and other views that were raised during the discussion, which recently took place (April 2015) on a lively parenting forum.
Before sharing the more divisive comments with you, I thought I would kick off with the nice little tip that cropped up during the discussion:
Children’s Party Food Top Tip: Hotdogs in a Thermos!
Preheat tinned hotdogs and store in a thermos flask until it is time to serve the food. Transfer them from the flask to bread rolls at the last minute and voilà – Tasty warm food the children will love, without the need for any on-site kitchen facilities.
Perhaps you have heard this before or even done it yourself. How did it go? We would love to hear!
Some Divisive Opinions on Suitable Kids’ Party Food
I will now delve into some of the comments that evoked the most passionate reactions in the discussion. We ask some questions along the way and would love to hear your thoughts..
Children don’t like fruit and veg!
One of the plucky parents going by the name PerspicaciaTick suggested serving halved cherry tomatos, halved grapes, carrot sticks and cucumber sticks. They went on to explain that this wasn’t for the children, but to “appease the judgmental parents who are worried about healthy options.”
I admired this poster’s openness, however it certainly caused a stir in the thread, with a certain ZingDramaQueenOfSheeba accusing this parent of being the one who was guilty of appearing to be judgemental.
Are you Team PerspicaciaTick or Team ZingDramaQueenOfSheeba?
Sandwiches are a ‘PITA’!
For those of you who aren’t familiar, a PITA is a pain in a certain part of your body, and this is what poster NormHonal thought of the prospect of serving sandwiches at a kids’ party. Another parent also simply stated that “young children don’t eat sandwiches”.
Although this didn’t exactly cause outrage in the thread, there were other parents who had sandwiches high on their lists, so there are certainly some widely contrasting opinions here.
Adding another view to the mix, one poster advised keeping them plain and simple, and using biscuit cutters (round and teddy bear shaped) to make them more interesting.
Are you Team Pro-Sandwich, or Team Anti-Sandwich
Grapes are a health hazard!
The first parent to recommend serving grapes did not suggest that the grapes should be halved. This lead to multiple responses pointing out that “grapes are a choking hazard”. Although the first grape advocate agreed when others said that grapes must be cut in half, it was clearly something that people had strong opinions on, and therefore worthy of a mention here.
ROSPA’s advice is that children under 4 should avoid eating whole grapes.
At what age do you think that avoiding whole grapes transitions from being important safety advice to excessive bubble wrapping?
Popular children’s party foods suggestions
I recorded the frequency of various types of food mentioned (because I like that kind of thing). This is far from scientific, but perhaps gives some idea of their relative popularities. Here is the list, in descending order of popularity:
- Party rings
- Chicken goujons / nuggets
- Grapes (chopped in half!)
- Pizza slices
- Crisps (e.g. Onion rings / Frazzles / Pom Bear
- Sausages (Mini sausages or standard sized chopped up)
- Sausage rolls & vegi sausage rolls
- Carrot sticks
- Cherry tomatos (chopped in half!)
- Fish fingers
- Cucumber sticks
Two positive and two negative mentions:
Suggested Deserts and Treats
Perhaps no surprises here..
- Fairy cakes / cupcakes
- Chocolate brownies
- Birthday cake (possibly veggie option)
- Jelly & ice cream
The first suggested drink was Fruit Shoots, for the reason that “they don’t spill when you knock them over.” This perhaps highlights a general point that planning party food is not solely about choosing things that the children will eat and that parents will approve of. There is also the important question of practicality.
Anyway, I digress. Other parents pointed out that supermarkets offer small bottles of water with sports caps, providing a healthier option that still keeps mess to a minimal.
Are you Team Pro- Fruit Shoot, or Team Ant- Fruit Shoot
Other Party Food Tips
- Don’t forget bin bags (for clearing up)
- Don’t forget candles for the cake
As with every topic related to parenting, each loving mum or dad will have their own (sometimes conflicting) views on suitable food to be served up at children’s parties. Within
For those who are interested, the original forum post from which I gathered these food suggestions and opinions can be found here.