Whatever you choose to feed your party guest, you really don't have to spend a fortune, especially when it comes to party food for children.
Traditional party food comes in small amounts, with lots of variety. You may find a cold buffet more convenient, as you can prepare it beforehand, and it can reliably feed people of all ages. If your party venue has cooking facilities, you might prefer to engage the help of a willing adult or two and provide a simple hot meal. Whatever you decide, you'll find plenty of ideas in this section.
Sandwiches -cooked meat (ham, turkey, chicken, lunchon meat, corned beef), cheese, cheese spread, egg mayonnaise, pate, tuna, marmite, jam.
*Top tip - use cookie or pastry cutters to shape the sandwiches to match your theme, eg, animals for an animal, jungle or safari party, dinosaurs for a prehistoric party, love hearts for a princess party etc.
French stick with butter, and a choice of cheese, cooked meat and pate.
Dips - houmous, taramasalata, or a few assorted-shop-bought dips. Serve with pitta bread, bread sticks, dipping chips, crudites (carrot and celery sticks, strips of pepper, raw cauliflower, mushrooms).
Sausage rolls, cocktail sausages, party eggs, vol au vents, quiche, pizza
Samosas, onion bhajis, vegetable and/or meat pakoras.
Cooked chicken pieces, eg, buffalo wings, drumsticks, or cold chiken nuggets.
Savoury nibbles - crisps, twiglets, tortilla chips, cheese biscuits, corn based snacks.
Slices of cucumber, cherry tomatos, celery.
Grapes, apple and orange slices, strawberries.
Sweet party food - fairy cakes, cookies, chocolate biscuits, mini dougnuts, cornflake or crispie cakes, chocolate rolls, muffins.
For an extra special treat, why not invest in a chocolate fountain and let the guests dip fruit, marshmallows and mini doughnuts in it?
*Top Tip if you don't have room for a big spread, and to avoid clearing up lots of waste, why not place a packed lunch type meal in individual party food boxes. Use plain party boxes, or themed party boxes to tie in with your party. For a special touch, try personalised party boxes - these are especially useful if you have children with special dietary requirements. Don't forget to put a simple choice of menu on the invitation so you know beforehand what to put in each box!
Hot dogs in bread rolls with fried onions and ketchup
Chips, potato wedges, croquettes or other frozen potato product served with any of the following:
chicken nuggets, goujons or dippers
sausages (meat and/or vegetarian)
burgers (meat and/or vegetarian)
Ingredients: 4 medium/thick slices of wholemean/white bread, 3 oz/1/3 cup of cream cheese, 2 thin slices of hame, 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (optional), 1 tbsp finely chopped red pepper (optional).
Cut the crusts off the bread and flatten each slice with a rolling pin. Chop the ham into small pieces and mix with the cream cheese (add parsley and red pepper if you are using them). Spread the cream cheese mixture over the slices. Start at one side and roll up the bread like a swiss roll. Wrap in cling film and put in the fridge for 1 hour. Remove from the fridge and cut into slices.
Traffic Light Jelly
Ingredients: 150g/5oz packet strawberry jelly, 150g/5oz packet orange jelly, 150g/5oz packet lime jelly.
Instructions: Break the lime jelly into cubes and put into a measuring jug. Pour in 300m/10fl oz of boiling water. Stir until all the jelly has dissolved. Then add cold water to make 600ml/2 fl oz.
Pour the jelly into glasses or into a big bowl and put in the fridge until set.
Repeat using the orange jelly, but this time wait until the orange jelly is cool before pouring on top of the lime jelly. Put back in the fridge until set.
Finally, do the same with the strawberry jelly.
You will need about 20 cocktail sticks, or kebab skewers. If using kebab skewers, soak them in water for about 20 mnutes beforehand to prevent splintering.
Fruit ideas: apple, pear, satsuma, white grapes, red grapes, melon, kiwi, banana, mango, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries.
*Top Tip if using apple or pear, sprinkle them with some orange juice - this will stop them from turning brown.
Instructions: put the fruit onto the stick - simple! Serve with fromage frais or yogurt dip, for a yummy extra.