A Guide to Party Food
A Savoury, A Sweet and a Treat
If you are stuck on what food to serve and how much to prepare for your celebration - You are not alone! Lots of our customers have said that catering and food is one of the hardest parts of the celebration - Deciding on what to serve, how much, hot or cold, how to set it out nicely and keeping bugs and flies away are all very common questions!
The best advice I have is to keep it simple. If you are preparing the food yourself choose only 1-3 items that fit your party theme for each a Savoury, a Sweet and a Treat. And then add some party snack staples if you like (popcorn, chips, snacks).
**This Grazing Table is from my Mother's 60th Birthday Party - See all the details from this pretty garden party here:
What to Serve?
Savoury - You can't go wrong with party favourites such as a grazing board, sandwich platter, wraps or rolls, pizza, hot dogs, veggie sticks and dip, party pies and sausage rolls and mini quiche. Pinterest is your friend when searing for fun foods that match your theme, but be careful about choosing overly complicated recipes with lots of ingredients that look like they will be hard to put together.
Sweet - Fruit, cupcakes, jelly cups, brownies, rice krispie squares, caramel slice, hedgehog slice, cookies, fairy bread and chocolate crackles just to name a few.
The possibilities are endless so focus on what sweets you and your family enjoy at parties, or what the guest of honour's favourites are.
Treat - This is generally your cake but could also be beautiful desserts, donuts, a lollie bar, ice-cream, fairy floss ect. It also works great if the treat is a take home option and can double as a party favour.
Party Snacks - Popcorn, potato chips, pretzels, corn chips, sweets and lollies.
Drinks - Single serves (cans of soft drink, juice boxes, poppers, water bottles) or
Bulk drinks (punch, drink dispensers, 2L bottles) are two of the easiest options.
How Much to Serve?
It's hard to say how much to serve as it depends on the type of food, the time of day, the duration of your party, how many guests you have and the age group.
In general here are some guidelines:
- Savoury Food - 4-6 items per adult, 2-3 items per child (age dependant)
- Sweet - 2-3 items per adult, 1-2 per child
- Treat - 1 item/cake slice per person
- Snacks - 3-4 portions per adult, 2-3 per child (age dependant)
- Drinks - A general ‘rule’ is 2 drinks during the first hour and 1 drink per hour thereafter for each guest.
Please note that the quantities and types of food you serve will need to be adjusted to suit your party, number of guests, age range and time of day.
How to Serve?
Make it easy for your guests to help themselves. Easy to grab pre-portioned foods work best (veggie sticks in a little cup with dip) rather than a platter of cut veggies and a bowl of dip. Unless you are hosting a sit down event most of your guests will be walking around, chatting and socialising so food that is easy to serve and carry with them, and eat one-handed or with a fork or spoon works best.
Using different bowls and platters will add interest to your food table, and then use risers, stands or boxes to add height and make it more visually appealing. Use items that fit with your theme as vessels and bowls (like the digger trucks in Miller's first birthday) Don't forget labels for allergies and diets like vegan, gluten and sugar-free.
Bugs & flies are the uninvited party guests that inevitably show up, be sure to plan for them with food covers and Shoo-away spinners.
TIPS & TRICKS
1. One of my favourite (and the easiest) option for grown up party food that I have found is to order platters from the deli counter at Woolworths or Coles.
2. For kids you can't go past creating super cute lunch boxes - this really helps with portion size, the kids not touching or half-eating everything in sight, allergies and intolerances and makes it easy for take-home leftovers.
3. Serve fruit in small food cups to make it easier for kids and guests to help themselves.
4. Use paper party cups for more than just drinks - they are perfect for holding snacks like popcorn or chips, make serving and eating ice-cream and birthday cake a breeze as well as sno-cones.
Free Celebration Planner
Party food is such a big part of planning a celebration that we have included 2 pages to plan your menu and organise your shopping list in our comprehensive Celebration Planner booklet - Download your free copy and start planning!
Download your FREE Celebration Planner here: Free Celebration Planner