One of the frequently asked questions we get as parents plan for their children’s birthday parties is what food to serve at the party.
The first thing to bear in mind is that with Zambian parties, you need to plan for both adults and children. We have seen some children’s parties where there are more adults than children 😊. As such, plan two menus, one elaborate one for the children and a simpler one for the adults. See here more ideas on what to take into account when it comes to children’s party planning and etiquette.
We will start with the adults since this list will be shorter. Adults will inevitably be present at children’s parties as aunts and/or uncles to the birthday child, and parents of children who are too young to be left alone at the party or come from far places and cannot leave the children and come back for them later among various other reasons. If you are hiring entertainment, camera persons, DJs etc., it is also prudent that you provide for these people as well.
For the adults, some soft drinks and braai will usually do. You can include another solid like rice or potatoes to complete the meal.
For the children, bear in mind that they do not eat much and they are usually so excited about the party that a lot of the food goes uneaten. You would also do well to avoid foods like salads with mayonnaise (these easily go bad and you wouldn’t want children getting a running tummy at your party) and foods with soup, to avoid spillages.
We therefore recommend light (preferably finger foods) for the children. And it may be a party but the children still need to be healthy so try to include a lot of healthier food options and limit the sugary or junk food. Here is a list of some options to consider;
As the children arrive, give them a light snack of any of the following;
- Jiggies, corn puffs
- Juice (avoid fizzy carbonated drinks)
Bear in mind that at this point, you don’t want the children to get too full before the main meal.
- Potato wedges / Chips
- Sausage pieces
- Chicken drumsticks or nuggets
- Muffins / Scones / Cupcakes (May also serve as dessert)
- Pasta or Rice
- Sausage or Russian rolls
- Egg rolls
- Hot dogs
- A piece of the birthday cake (if the children are too many, you can get a cheaper cake and cut it up in advance and serve that)
- Ice cream
- Prepare foods in smaller sizes e.g. mini pizzas, mini pies etc. Children are more likely to finish such food that standard sizes.
- Make the food more attractive. E.g. Skewer the fruit or meatballs (taking into account the very young children to avoid them poking themselves with the sharp ends).
- Use plastic disposable forks and knives to avoid any accidents.
- Have plenty of water handy
- Avoid heavy meals for the children in light of all the activities they have to do at the party
- Avoid carbonated drinks. Opt for fruit drinks instead.