Christmas party food for children
Once you’ve organised the games, the crafts and the music, you still have the all important food to organise for your little ones. At parties, they are often too distracted to actually sit down and eat, so finger foods are a great idea.
by Louise-Anne Geddes, Mindful Mum, 28th November 2011
Here are some ideas for parties foods that kids will enjoy, and can come back and forward to the buffet table for again and again.
- Christmas shape sandwiches
- Chocolate marshmallows
- Fruit kebabs
- Cocktail sticks
- Non alcoholic cocktails
- Cocktail sausages/sausage rolls/cheese rolls
- Ice cream and jelly
- Chocolate fountain
- Christmas cupcakes
- Healthy snacks
Making sandwiches and cutting them out with Christmas shaped cookie cutters, such as stars or Christmas trees might not seem like much but the little ones love these festive treats! If you’re the party host, why not let your own children help you with cutting them out? It is often tempting to make lots of different fillings but at parties, children often like nothing better than jam or chocolate spread sandwiches.
These are quick and simple to make – and could possibly be an activity at the party. All you need are plenty of decent sized marshmallows, melted chocolate (you could even experiment with mixing white and milk for a marbled effect) and whatever sweets and decorations you want to top them off with – hundreds and thousands, jelly sweets or Smarties are always a winner. Then you simply dip and decorate!
The children will always be excitable and full of energy at parties, so this is a nice idea for some healthy food they will enjoy and will perhaps make them sit down long enough to calm down! Use large cocktail sticks and fill them with chunky fruit segments such as apple, banana, orange and strawberry. The little ones can either eat it from the stick, or can take their fruit off a segment at a time and perhaps dip it in some yoghurt.
As hard as we try to serve up something unusual or different, the traditional cocktail stick of sausage, cheese and onion always flies off the table. To save waste, try serving these in little bowls and allowing the children to make up their own (with help) – some will enjoy them as they are, but some children may prefer more sausage, no onion, or just a cocktail stick of cheese.
Running around mad is thirsty work, and non alcoholic cocktails will really make the kids feel grown up! If you or someone you know has a drinks fountain, this can be a great source of entertainment when the little ones are able to fill up their glasses from it! If not, you can still make the cocktails in jugs to be kept in the fridge until it is time to serve. See Hope North West for some non alcoholic cocktail recipes for children.
Food like this is the perfect size for little hands who want to grab and go! Cheese rolls are a great alternative for vegetarians, although there are lots of other bite sized snacks on offer – these are just the ones which seem to be cleared from the plates first!
No party is complete without a plate of ice cream and jelly – and maybe even some squirty cream for good measure! You don’t need lots of flavours of ice cream – good old vanilla never fails to please them. Have some squirty cream and sweets to decorate and the little ones will be quite happy.
If you’re feeling very brave, a chocolate fountain is always a very popular addition to any party! If you don’t have one yourself, you can hire one. Make sure you have plenty of large cocktail sticks, fruit (strawberries, grapes, orange segments) and sweets such as fudge and marshmallows to skewer before drenching them in chocolate from the fountain! Remember to check the instructions as each fountain works differently and requires a different amount of oil to make it run smoothly.
These are a lovely added touch to any Christmas party. If you think the kids have had enough, you could even keep these as a nice little gift to give them as they’re leaving. This recipe for Snowcapped Fairy Cakes is simple, and you can change the topping to anything you wish – chocolate frosting, vanilla or whatever you fancy.
Look for healthy options that are low in salt and sugar. Having bowls of healthy nibbles, or even a few bowls of chopped up bananas, satsumas and dried fruit is often a good idea as some children may be fussy and prefer just to graze as they pass by a laden buffet table.
Photography: Stephanie Chapman @Flickr