Kids party food on a budget

Kids party food needn’t cost the earth or take too long to make. So here are some tips on what you can do and what you can make with a little creativity and a limited budget. From the number of birthday party guests you invite to ensuring you have just enough food, plus ideas on budget conscious party food you can buy or make at home.
With a little creativity, it's easy to make kids party food on a budget.

So here are some party food ideas that needn’t cost the earth or take too long to make.
From the number of party guests you invite to ensuring you have just enough food. Plus ideas on budget conscious party food you can buy or make at home.

Kids party food on a budget


1. Limit your party guests

If you’re on a budget, it makes sense to reduce the number of guests you invite to your kids birthday party. The more people you invite, the more food you will need to pay for.
The number of guests will also affect the number of plates, cups, napkins, party bags etc you buy. They often come in sets, usually of 8 or 12, so if you have 13 guests you’ll need to buy another set.
However, spare plates for instance, can often be used for other functions such as picnics or when there’s a call for a ‘bring a plate’.

2. Make just enough food

It can be difficult to know how much is ‘just enough’ party food.

However as a guide, if your party is a buffet style or your little guests serve themselves, you will need more food than if you serve it to them.

This is based on kids (or even adults) placing more food on their plates than they can eat, especially when the party food looks so delicious!

Serving kids at the party table gives them the chance to eat one or two items at a time, before being served the next item.

As a guide, cater for one item per child with a few spares available should they be needed.

The menu could include two sweet items and three savoury items or vice versa, plus a fruit based item and drink.

3. Party food ideas

Here are a few simple ideas to help reduce your party food costs.
Chocolate-fudge brownies & Marshmallow slice
At the supermarket bakery counter, you can often find large slices available for sale.

Rather than spending hours baking, purchase a couple of yummy looking ones and cut them into dainty pieces.

If you present these well, they can look like you made them yourself.

You could also add sprinkles to the top of a store bought marshmallow slice or icing sugar to brownies, so they look even more delicious.
Fairy Bread
Kids love fairy bread! It’s very popular amongst young kids and reasonably inexpensive to make.

If you theme the shape of the bread or colour of the sprinkles to the party, it will go down a treat!

Fairy bread is great for both boys and girls parties.

Use seasonal fruit to help keep costs down.

Either serve the fruit cut into slices, in small pots or as fun fruit kebabs. Try adding different fruits onto the kebab sticks so they are colourful and look attractive to eat.

Another option is to cut out shaped pieces of fruit with a cookie cutter and add them to a stick.

For instance, you could try using a star cookie cutter to cut a star of watermelon for a fairy wand at a fairy party.
Kids love lollies at a party! If you want to limit the sugar intake or reduce the amount you need to buy, there are a few options.

Firstly you can serve them and let the kids know they can have 3 or 4 lollies each.

The other option is to prepackage them for each child. You can be creative with this and it add a little fun for the kids.

You could use mini cupcake papers or small cellophane bags tided with ribbon.
Mini fish & chips
Serving mini fish and chips is a great option if you’re catering for a crowd and have a fish shop close by as they’ll make the party food for you!

A few days before the party, check to see if they can make you mini fish and chips, place your order with the time you would like the food ready, then arrange for someone to pick it up for you on the party day.

You could then serve the fish and chips in noodle boxes, other small food boxes or on party plates.
Freshly popped popcorn is always popular and a great alternative to packets of potato chips.

Leave the popcorn plain, with no butter or anything else added, so it’s great for kids with all sorts of allergies to eat.

Consider serving the popcorn in cardboard popcorn boxes or even noodle boxes to save time cleaning up.
Sausage Rolls
Sausage rolls are always a favourite!

You can purchase these frozen in rolls or already cut to size from the supermarket to cook at home.

Just add a little milk or egg to the top before baking the pastry so that it’ll brown nicely.
Shaped Sandwiches
A simple heart shaped jam sandwich is a great option for princess and fairy parties. Or how about Marmite or Vegemite filled Dinosaur shaped sandwiches.

If you are making fairy bread as well you can use the same loaf of bread, saving on cost and wastage.

4. Party drinks

Fizzy drinks
If you own a beverage dispenser, you can make an inexpensive fruit punch using non-branded fizzy drinks and sachet drinks. You could also serve this in a jug.
If you want to serve fizzy drink, consider purchasing the non-branded option and adding your own themed label to the bottle e.g. Green fizzy = dinosaur juice!

Kids love it when it seems more special than usual.
Healthy drink ideas
Not everyone allows young kids to have fizzy drinks, so perhaps look at serving healthy drinks as an alternative.

Always offer water as an option too as there are often children that just want water to drink.

More kids party articles to enjoy:  
Source: This article was kindly written for us by Build a Birthday - creating parties kids love!
Image source: shesaid

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