In very busy households, I've seen pizzas deliveries, happy meals, or fish and chips.
I’ve been to others where there has been a stunning spread of hot finger foods, cocktail sausages, chicken nuggets and chips followed by fluffy cupcakes, chocolate fountains, candy floss machine and towering 3 tier cakes beautifully decorated to the party theme.
Remember, the most important thing is that your child has a relaxed and happy parent to enjoy the party with them, so only plan to have what you know is the least stressful for you.
Also, it's good to check with parents beforehand if any of your little guests have food allergies or intolerances.
Having said all that, here are some extra tips that I’ve picked up over the years that you might find helpful!
Serve drinks as Juice boxes with straws (to avoid spillage).
Add name labels to each drink so that when the children leave them down, they know which belongs to them! This reduces waste on plastic cups.
AVOID: Large, overfilled cups (which children will most likely abandon or spill in your living room!)
Children really don’t need a huge amount of sweets. One small packet of jellies or chocolate buttons (less additives and colours) per child should be enough to satisfy sweet tooths.
AVOID: hard sweets or lollipops, as these can be hazardous while kids jump and run around (and they can also get stuck to soft furnishings!)
Handy and delicious as these treats are, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that you will have to to an intense post-party hoovering session, so consider this before you place a bowl of said snacks on the table!
Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, pre-cut pineapple and mango - yum! These can also be bought pre-cut from most supermarkets.
The healthy, but equally as yummy option!
Get creative with fruit pieces cut into fun shapes and presented to look like
This works well for venues outside the home.
In advance, prepare party-bag style foods in a ziplock or themed party bag with goodies for each child. Suggestions for this are:
* Small pack of sweets
* Sandwiches cut into triangles (kids love triangular shaped food!)
And remember; always serve food and drink AFTER kids entertainer dublin have performed the magic show and played games to avoid distraction.
Ah, the cake! As I mentioned before, I have seen so many different cakes. Sometimes they’re the centre of the party, others they are a simple cake.
Bear in mind that if you’re serving a lot of food at your party, the children may not be hungry enough for cake. If this happens, be prepared to have a lot of leftover cake.
Or plan to have a very small one!
Be prepared in advance with a lighter/matches, plates and spoons/forks (if needed) so you can serve the cake as quickly as possible. Again, I’ve seen a few parties where the parents awkwardly hunt for a lighter for about 10 minutes while children, gathered around the table wait impatiently for the cake to be cut.
When the candles have been blown out, ask children to raise their hand if they want some cake. This gives them the option of choosing and avoids you cutting too many slices of cake, which may then be wasted.
Whichever type of cake you choose to serve, it’s the candles, the wish and the gathered friends and family uniting in singing happy birthday that makes it so special.
It’s a lovely way to finish off the day - remember to have your camera ready so that you can capture the magical look on your child’s face to remember forever.
If you’re busy with organising cake cutting etc (it can get frantic!), designate another adult or older sibling to snap plenty of photos for you.
Again, kids party dublin bags can be a simple token for your guests to take home with them. You don't need to go over-the-top. Some simple and cost-effective ideas are:
* Sheet of stickers
* Crayons & colouring sheet (in the party theme)
* Uninflated balloon
* Packet of Sweets/Bar of chocolate