Birthday Party for Kids – How to Plan Food

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 20,917
    Party specialist Paula Ross discusses how to plan food for a kids party.

    Paula Ross

    Andy and Paula Ross are the founders of Andy’s Parties, a full-service theme party and enrichment company. Andy’s Parties has run well over 1,000 parties in its first 3 years of operation – everything from Pirate Parties to Princess parties, Superhero and Spa parties. Andrew Ross (Guy in the Monkey Suit) is an entrepreneur with substantial experience with small businesses. After graduating with a degree in business from the Wharton Business School, he spent seven years in the private equity and consulting industries, helping grow many businesses. However, since he graduated from high school, Andy has longed for his previous years as a camp counselor and child's party planner and entertainer. He has leveraged his business knowledge and experience with kids to start Andy's Parties! Andy is primarily responsible for the Andy's Parties Franchising initiative and with growing the corporate locations. Paula Ross (Chief Creative Officer) is primarily in charge of developing new theme parties and enrichment programming. As part of her experience as a communications consultant to corporate clients, she has many years of planning and facilitation experience for social and business events - from huge company holiday gatherings to smaller and mid-sized town hall meetings and open houses in communities where her clients are doing business. Paula is also our Custom Event Specialist and can help you plan weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, Sweet 16 parties, anniversary and retirement parties, as well as corporate and charity events! Please call her for information about our Custom Event Planning Services.

    Paula Ross: Hi! I am Paula from Andy's Parties, telling you how to plan a great party for your child.

    We are here now talking about what to order and plan for food for your party. There are a couple of things to think about, for instance, what are you going to serve to the children? What are you going to serve to any adults that stick around? Are you going to have two-meal session with a meal and then dessert, or just dessert? So, I am here to talk to you about some different options and things to think about. For your main meal, you want to keep it simple for the kids. We find that cheese pizza is usually a really good option. It satisfies a very wide age range, and we find that most kids will eat pizza anytime of the day. For parties a little earlier in the day, say, 10:00, 10:30 in the morning often times for younger kids, we like to do bagels often times plain bagels, with plain cream cheese or butter, sometimes strawberry cream cheese that the child really likes it. For parties later in the day, if you want to have some back-ups to the pizza, chicken nuggets, veggie-sticks, chunks of fruit, things like that are really good back-up options too.

    For something to drink, we find that juice boxes are often the best. The kids are used to them, they like them, it saves you from pouring and it saves a lot of mess and clean-up in the end. For dessert, of course you are going to have a cake, or cupcake, we like cupcake for a number of reasons. One, it gives every kid the same size piece of cake, and so nobody is complaining that Jimmy got a bigger piece of cake than he did, and we also are able to serve it very, very quickly. We are able to just take them right from the platter, and put them right on a childs plate, so, that nobodys is waiting to get their slice of cake served to them. We could put candles right in the cupcakes just like we would in the cake. If you are going to get a cake, there are a couple of things to think about. One, you want to make sure that your cake coordinates to your theme, like we talked about with selecting a theme. You want to make sure everything ties in, so that you have a really great event.

    There is a website out there, that you can look at various cake options, its called, decopac.

    com, and this is the place that most bakeries get all of their supplies from. So, if you go into that website, and see a cake you like, you can often talk to your baker and have a cake made exactly like that, and they have hundreds of different options for every theme under the sun. Our bakery uses that and then so we often share that website with our clients as well. You also want to think about any food that you are going to plan for adults that might stick around to the party. In our experience, for parties where the kids are mostly under six, a lot of the parents will stick around and theyll want something to snack on, while the kids are eating. So, you want to have a fruit or a veggie platter or something for the parents to drink and mingle, while the kids are eating. For parties where children are mostly older than six, the parents are going to use that party time as an excuse to go run some errands and you probably wont get many parents there, but have something on the back burner for them just in case. When you are planning your dessert, its very, very, important to consider allergies. There are a lot of kids out there right now, with peanut allergies. Its a common thing and people are very concerned about it, and so try to stay away from any food at your party that contains peanuts or nuts. You want to make sure that your bakery doesnt put any peanut oil, or nut products into your cake, or your cupcakes, and make sure that if you have any fried food that it wasnt fried in peanut oil. That way everybody will be safe and happy, and you may want to check with the parents ahead of time just to make sure that you dont have any other types of allergies. So, in conclusion, you just want to make sure that you have something simple to serve the kids. Something snack-like to serve the adults that might stick around, and make sure that everybody has something to eat and drink.