38 kids' party food ideas

Last modified on Thursday 20 July 2023

If you're planning on throwing a children's birthday party at home, you're probably asking yourself, 'What do I do for kids party food?' Luckily, we're here to help.

Plus we've got tips on prep, how to handle dietary requirements and best ways to the food.

What should I serve at a kids' birthday party?

There is lots to choose from for easy kids party food, with ideas that are cheap and tasty, while also appealing to children's sense of fun.

  • Kids love finger foods they can pick at. This could mean a variety of sweet and savoury snacks, with some healthy options thrown in too, as well as drinks to wash it all down with
  • You could stick to traditional, much-loved kids party food like cocktail sausages, jelly and ice cream and fondant fancies, or mix it up by trying out some new recipes like broccoli tots or cauliflower pizza
  • Don't forget plenty of crisps and crackers too. They're easy to grab and satsifying to crunch
  • Classic sandwiches: When it comes to sandwiches, we've tried alternatives but also love to celebrate the classic crowd-pleasers, such as cheese and ham or chicken mayo sandwiches cut into triangles. You can jazz them up turning them into circles with a pastry cutter or more elaborate shapes with a cookie cutter.

More tips for kids party food

  • Dietary requirements – If your child's friends are attending, ask on the invitations for any dietary requirements ahead of the party such as vegetarian, gluten-free, diary-free, etc and send a reminder message/text/email a few days beforehand, when you're starting to think about making the food. (You'll want to leave enough time to pick up any alternative ingredients that you might need.)
  • If you expect a lot of fussy eaters or people with different diets, let them know on the invitations or via a message what the food on offer will be. If you're concerned parents might come back with a list of 'Little Johnny doesn't like X – can you make Y?' simply let them know you're happy for them to bring something specific if needed.
  • For serving the food, depending on the ages of the kids, you could do a buffet where pick what they want, go round the table serving them according to what they would like or make up identical plates with a little of everything and resign yourself to some of it not getting eaten.
  • Provide plenty of water on the day to keep little ones hydrated. If you want to serve them a sweet drink, you could serve homemade fruit smoothies, milkshakes or watered down squash. It's best to provide these after the food, so they don't fill up on liquids.
  • Finally, don't forget about the birthday cake, aka the bit of the party the kids look forward to the most. Check out these easy birthday party cake ideas that make it a snap!

Check out some of our birthday cake recipes here.

Read on to discover our top kids party food ideas, including budget-friendly options, and easy-to-make recipes that you can even get the kids helping with beforehand.

We love this unique balloon-themed cake topper! See more details at Amazon.

Last updated 20 July 2022

Are you planning a kids' party? Have you got any great party food ideas to recommend? Find more ideas and share your own with our articles and forum below:

Related stories

How to throw a kids birthday party on a budget

CHAT: Food tips and ideas

Children's party food recipes

For more tips and ideas, check out our birthday planning guides by age:

1-year-old birthday2-year-old birthday3-year-old birthday4-year-old birthday5-year-old birthday6-year-old birthday7-year-old birthday8-year-old birthday9-year-old birthday10-year-old birthday11-year-old birthday12-year-old birthday13-year-old birthday14-year-old birthday

Netmums Newsletters

Yes, please! I want the best parenting news around

*By signing up you accept Netmums' Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.