Food for Parents at a Kids’ Party: The Ultimate Guide

Food for Parents at a Kids’ Party: The Ultimate Guide

food for parents at a kids' party - parents and toddlers dining together
Food for parents at a kids’ party: What’s the best set of meals for them?

Every parents’ dream is to create memorable parties for their kids—no matter how tiring and stressful it can be. From choosing the food for parents at a kids’ party, the guests, the colors or theme of the party, the venue… You want everything to be perfect, right?

Especially the food… As a parent, you know how important food is. The activities at the party will often be forgotten, but the taste of the food will always leave a mark. Therefore, not only should you ensure the kids eat delicious meals, but you should also put out the best food for parents at a kids’ party. 

Have you tried attending a children’s party and no food was served for the adult attendees? You were hungry as hell because the party was set during lunchtime but all you can eat are sweets and cookies. So, you wanted to call your favorite restaurant and have food delivered to you. You also wanted to sneak out of the party and grab a quick lunch. 

However, you can’t because you know that is very offending. Also, who would look out for your kid? Yes, it is more traumatic than hearing children screaming endlessly while chasing around them. So, now, you want to make sure that your adult guests wouldn’t go through the same situation. 

This article will give you a lot of pointers about the right food for parents at a kid’s party. 

Expectation

The first point you need to remember is that the majority of the adult attendees in your party are not expecting to eat food for parents at a kid’s party. Contrary to your bad experience — so, relax! 

Their expectation is not that high, some would complain; but the rest of the gang would be understanding and would enjoy themselves with the food served for the children— the usual pizza, cakes, and cookies. 

Other parents will drop by a coffee shop to buy snacks for themselves to enjoy while attending the party. Parents also know that the party won’t last forever. There would be a lot of kiddie food as leftovers and the host would be asking them to take some home. 

So, that kind of expectation should give you a breather.

RELATED: Baby’s 1st Birthday Party: How to Plan, Organize, and Invite

Timing

food for parents at a kids' party - kids with masks gather around a birthday cake
Children’s parties are best held at afternoons.

What other parents fail to take into account is how important it is to choose the correct time of the day to have your children’s party. 

You don’t want it to be too early in the day since that means you would need to stay up late to prepare your party. That would lead you to have little to no energy in hosting your kid’s party the next day. You would also not want to hold the party during lunchtime because that would create a lot of buzz among parents. 

Remember what we said earlier—that they don’t expect to see food for parents at a kid’s party? It is a totally different thing when you have the party during lunchtime. That would result in a lot of hungry parents. 

Especially, if you’re Asian or living in Asia—people would expect rice to be served if the party is during lunchtime. They would even expect a full catering service at lunch or dinner. 

So what is the best time to have your party? Three in the afternoon is a perfect time. Done with lunch but not too hungry, the kiddos are also done with their afternoon naps, if ever they had one.

Also, three in the afternoon is tea or coffee time for some adults, so that should also give you an idea about the right food for parents at a kids’ party.  

Pika-Pika

popcorn in colorful containers
Caramel popcorn is a tasty but practical food for parents at a kids’ party.

No, that has nothing to do with Pikachu. It means a pick-me-up type of food. Remember, this is a children’s party, most of the time parents are fixated with their children. They will be usually running around trying to prevent their kids from getting hurt. 

So, they don’t have the time to grab a plate and eat like they’re in a buffet. Parents would highly appreciate it if they can see food for parents at a kid’s party in the form of finger foods. Something they can carry around in one hand or the other, or food that they can grab and eat quickly.

We will get to that later with the right food for parents at a kids’ party. 

RELATED: For parents: What (not) to Wear to a Child’s Party

Parents’ Corner 

It wouldn’t hurt to set-up space or table that would be like an oasis for the parents. Their own tap out space because the energy of the children is getting too much for them.

Not all parents are made to handle tons of kids, that’s why we have preschool teachers for that. So it would be a big relief if they see a space wherein all adult guests can hang out without being too far from their children. Now, for the main event…

The best food for parents at a kids’ party

Now you have contemplated what is written above and you’ve gained the confidence to throw out this kiddie party that would surprise the heck out of the partygoers. Everybody is going home happy! The best route to go is to match the food you are serving to the children and have an adult counterpart. 

Beverages

milk tea is served at a party
You can serve milk tea to the parents to keep them refreshed.

Don’t make your fellow parents thirsty, otherwise, they would be competing with the juice or drinks you prepared for your kids. So why not create a drinking or beverage station for your invited adults, it can consist of the following:

Coffee 

Yes, if you’re like me who drinks coffee in the morning, afternoon, and practically any time of the day. I am sure a lot would be delighted to see one. So what to consider in serving coffee?

Coffee variation

Regular or decaf, make sure it is properly labeled. 

Creamer variation

Milk, regular creamer, flavored creamer. 

Sugar variation

White, brown, raw, cubed, etc.

Liqueur coffee

food for parents at a kids' party - liqueur coffee
Liqueur coffee will surely get your fellow parents in the mood to partaaay!

If you’re the adventurous type of coffee drinker, this is not a bad idea. Just make sure you put it in moderation, you don’t display the liquor bottles publicly otherwise it would be chugged down alone. It should just accentuate the coffee. 

We highly recommend serving this in a separate small bottle and do not refill once consumed. Moderation! Why? According to the CDC: “When alcohol is mixed with caffeine, the caffeine can mask the depressant effects of alcohol, making drinkers feel more alert than they would otherwise. 

As a result, they may drink more alcohol and become more impaired than they realize, increasing the risk of alcohol-attributable harms.” I am sure you get the whole idea. You don’t want somebody making your child’s dream party into an experience that would scar them for life. 

Coffee mug or disposable coffee cups? It is your choice. However, if an adult is drinking hot coffee and there are children around, it wouldn’t hurt to drink it with a lid cover.

Tea 

Just like coffee, tea won’t be left behind when it comes to inducing great conversations. It is a great socializing tool. It brings people closer. For sure, there would be invited adults that would be delighted that you thought of serving one. 

Flavor

If you Google right now, the list would be endless when it comes to the best tea flavor. Definitely you don’t need to lay down all the tea types on the table. Serving a couple of types of teas will do the trick. Speaking of type, just like coffee, some tea brands offer a decaf option. 

Condiments

Like coffee, you can also mix tea with milk or sugar so better display your tea set-up beside your coffee set-up. The only different condiment you can offer for your tea is lemon.

Beer 

food for parents at a kids' party - two men are carrying a bucket of beer
This is why a parents’ area is essential at a kid’s party!

If daddies are coming to the party, definitely an ice-cold beer would come as a great surprise for them. So why not serve it to them? If there’s a famous local beer in your town or city, why not opt for it instead of the international brands. 

There are also flavored beers that you might find interesting, from fruit-flavored to margarita infused. No matter what the party is, beer comes along with it. Just serve it in moderation, like a bottle or two for each adult attendees and no more than that. 

Wine 

Not all people like coffee so they opt for tea. The same thing with beers, not everyone favors it so they go for a glass of wine. Red, white, sparkling? The choice is yours, but you need to consider your budget and not overshoot. 

There are wines that wouldn’t go over $20 but the quality is best. Just make sure you buy a corked one instead of packaged with a screw cap or else suffer from the sub-par quality. 

Smoothies 

This is a great option that both kids and parents can enjoy. Plus it is totally healthy. All you need to do is look for amazing recipes, you can stick with two kinds of in-season fruits so it is easy to prepare. 

Water and Soda 

Believe it or not, there are guests that would just settle for water. Whilst other guests are not into coffee, tea, or alcoholic drinks but would love the site of a soda. Having variation wouldn’t hurt as well, diet and regular. Just keep it away from kids or that would be one heck of a sugar rush. 

Munchies

Now that we’re done with the beverages and main food for parents at a kids’ party, the next list shows what kind of munchies to serve for your adult invitees. Remember, our concept is picka-picka and as much as possible it is a counterpart of what your kids are having. 

However, keep in mind that having it similar to your kid’s menu would make a thin line when it comes to the children differentiating the food from their menu to yours. So they might cross over and eat the food served for the parents. 

Pizza 

food for parents at a kids' party - spicy chicken pizza
Spicy chicken pizza for the adults.

No party is complete without this cholesterol inducing yet mouth-watering snack. Probably you also ordered for the children. The last thing you would want is both kids and parents fighting for every slice of pizza.

So, make sure you serve a different flavor for the adults—flavors that for sure would not be liked by the children. 

Why not opt for a spicy pizza? Adults love spicy food, children don’t. 

Here’s a simple spicy chicken pizza recipe

Ingredients (for 4 servings)
  1. ¾ cup pizza sauce (180 mL)
  2. 1 ½ tablespoon Frank’s Red Hot Original, plus more for drizzling
  3. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  4. 1 ½ teaspoons cornmeal
  5. 1 lb pizza dough (455 g)
  6. 1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese (150 g)
  7. 1 ½ cups shredded chicken (190 g)
  8. 3 pieces bacon, torn into ½-inch (1 1/4 cm) pieces
  9. 1 small handful fresh baby spinach
  10. ¾ cup cherry tomato (150 g), halved
  11. 2 tablespoons red onion, minced
  12. Ranch dressing, for drizzling
Preparation
  1. Preheat the oven to 450ºF (230ºC).
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together pizza sauce with Frank’s Red Hot Original. Set aside.
  3. Drizzle a 12-inch (30 ½ cm) cast-iron skillet with olive oil. Use your hand or a paper towel to evenly coat the pan with oil. Sprinkle pan with cornmeal.
  4. Press pizza dough into the pan so that it covers the whole surface evenly.
  5. Spread spicy pizza sauce on the dough. Top with mozzarella, chicken, and bacon. Scatter spinach, cherry tomatoes, and red onion on top.
  6. Bake pizza for 14–16 minutes until the edges are browned and crisp.
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes, then drizzle with Frank’s Red Hot Original and ranch dressing. Slice and serve.
pizza
Why not try pizza with cheezy mushrooms?

Aside from spicy pizzas as food for parents at a kids’ party, you can also experiment with other flavors. If you don’t feel like making it yourself, definitely you can order. Some of the flavors that for sure kids would not like are:

  • Pizza with broccoli.
  • Pizza with anchovies.
  • Garlic and shrimp pizza.
  • Hawaiian.*

*This is optional unless you want all hell to break loose because of the pineapple toppings. 

Remember to cut your pizza in small squares instead of the standard one. Another option is bagel bites if you’re really aiming for that finger-food style. Either you make your own or you buy at a supermarket. 

RELATED: 20 Amazing Sandwich Ideas for Children’s Parties

Cheese Board 

cheese platter
Cheese will always be essential!

If you really want to impress the heck out of your guests, especially if you’re also serving wine to them, an awesome cheese platter is a total killer. So what do you need?

Cheese

Need I say more? However, your board needs a variety. 

For starters, you can go with cheddar cheese, it is neutral when it comes to taste, in terms of a lot of people like it. Then you can start from there, adding different types of cheese for texture.

You can add goat cheese, blue cheese, and so on. To sum it up, cheese is divided into four classifications: Blue, Aged, Firm, and Soft. 

Fruits 

Dried or fresh make sure it is in season. 

Cured meat

Salami, prosciutto, pepperoni to name a few. Cut in different sizes and shapes. Doing so will give different visuals and texture for your board. 

Dips

Marmalade, chutney or anything that you can think of that you like.

Nuts, edible flowers, herbs, honeycomb, crackers, and bread are some of the other things you can add. The point is, anything you add to the board, it should be edible.

If you’re not confident enough in assembling your own cheese board, click here for the guide on how to make one. 

Fruit Platter/Board

If you find the Cheese Board too tiresome to do, then go for a fruit platter. Make sure that what you put in is in season. Create a rainbow of colors, so it is highly pleasing for the eyes.

Cut it in different shapes and sizes. Then top it with the dip of your choice—one of the most famous and easiest fruit platter dips to make is chocolate ganache. 

Bread and Spread Platter/Board

food for parents at a kids' party - bread and spread platter
Bread platters are fancy yet so easy to prepare.

If again having a fruit platter is too much for you, then why not consider having a bread platter instead? It’s so easy to prepare.

The good thing about having a bread platter is you can match it with your coffee or tea drinks. Preparing a bread platter wouldn’t even take you 30 minutes to prepare. 

RELATED: 26 Alternatives to Dangerous Finger Foods (for Kids)

Pita Chips/Bread with Dip

This is an easy one, you can buy these at your grocery stores along with the cheese or hummus dip. 

Chicken Popcorns

Another easy recipe you can create. The best thing about chicken popcorns is that you can flavor it as you like, just top it with cheese or barbecue powder for example. You can serve it in a cone or small paper bags so you can carry it around the place.

Bite-sized Sandwiches

For sure, you have a lot of sandwich recipes in your arsenal. From the mundane bacon-lettuce-tomato (BLT) sandwich to roast chicken. You can stack them by dicing them in small portions. 

Mac & Cheese 

Who doesn’t love mac & cheese? You can find tons of recipes claiming to be the perfect one, but it is all about preference. So, why not try one and serve it in small cups with matching small spoons? Parents can still carry it around while minding their kids. 

Being the responsible host

food for parents at a kids' party - parents and toddlers gather at a party
Be the best host by serving the right food for parents at a kids’ party.

You want to be the responsible parent that you already are. 

For example, you might want to avoid including peanuts in your cheese platters. Kids who are allergic to nuts can be sneaky and nibble on some.

You would also want to avoid food in skewers or sticks because that’s an accident waiting to happen. Again, if you opted to serve alcohol make sure it is in moderation. 

When worse comes to worst because somebody got drunk, suggest that they should ride a taxi instead. If you can drive, why not drive them home. 

Making a children’s party that is both fun for the kids and the attending adult is really difficult. 

The parties are a great way to meet other parents of your child’s classmates but if your child has 20 classmates and you get invited to all of their birthday parties, on your 5th party we are sure you dread to come because you now find it monotonous, it is just the kids that are enjoying it. 

So why not be the one to create change? Why not be the one to break the grey sky and bring rainbows to everyone at the party? 

If you managed to create a children’s party without the parents feeling alienated or monotonous, you will reap all the positive effects it will produce. You made everyone happy, you gained the respect of your fellow parents. 

So, never be afraid of stepping up. If you’re feeling stuck, you can always ask around. 

Bottom line

Those are just some of the ones you can prepare for munchies. Parents would appreciate if the food served is so comfortable to eat while they are chasing their kids around. 

There are endless ideas about food for parents at a kids’ party. Finger foods like dumplings, dim sum, spring rolls, tempura, sushi rolls. Asian cuisine has a lot of amazing finger food to offer.

Thus, do not limit yourself to the ones on this list. 

To avoid pressuring yourself too much in preparing an adult-friendly children’s party, what should be your expectation?

Related questions:

Why is it important to have a parent’s space in a children’s party?

Dedicate space for parents so that they can still look out for their kids and the latter can still have their freedom.

What safety reminders should parents keep in mind?

Parents should always make it a point to check if the party venue is kid-friendly or not. They should check for sharp and small objects that could possibly choke or cut their kids. 

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