Crisps and chocolate fingers are an easy go-to for a kids' birthday party. But if you don't want to go down that route and have limited cooking time, what are some better options? Feeding just one child, let alone twenty, can seem like a bit of a mission. Especially exciting healthy foods they actually want to eat. So we decided to help out and offer some delicious party alternatives that can be whipped up and are free from processed sugars. You can take any of these recipe ideas as inspiration for your next kids party, in this blog originally wrote for Jojo Maman Bebe.
A surprisingly easy trick to get children to eat vegetables at a party is putting them on a skewer. Kids love things they can pick up with their hands and nibble on. You can also add roast chicken or halloumi to make the skewers more exciting!
PARTY SKEWERS - serves 12 children
2 packs cherry tomatoes
1 pack button mushrooms
2 packs halloumi
300g chicken breast
- Chop the vegetables into bite sized chunks and roast them in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
- When fully roasted push the pieces onto the skewer, alternating between the different vegetables.
- Roast the chicken breast and fry the halloumi, and cut them into similar sized pieces before adding them to the skewers.
CHUNKY STICKS AND HEALTHY DIPS
Homemade Red Pepper Hummus or Smashed Avocado are always popular dips, and they are so easy to whip up just before the event.
To prepare, select your vegetables, try and choose a rainbow of colours; carrots, peppers and cucumber. You can chop these into sticks in advance and pop them in the fridge. The homemade hummus can also be prepared in advance, but for the avocado we recommend doing this last minute, just smash the avocado with a fork and add some lemon juice.
RED PEPPER HUMMUS - serves 12 children
6 tbsp tahini
2 roasted red peppers
2 roasted garlic cloves
1 tsp cumin
170ml Olive oil
- Wash the peppers then deseed them and cut them in half placing them skin side up. Roast for 40 minutes or until the skin is brown. Leave to cool.
- Roast the garlic bulbs until soft
- Remove all the skin from the peppers and discard.
- Put the tahini in the blender along with the lemon juice and whizz until smooth. Add the chickpeas, peppers, garlic, spices and oil.
BROCCOLI AND CHEESE TOTS
This recipe is so moreish, even the parents at your party will be struggling to keep their hands off them! Broccoli and cheese tots are something a little different, packed with greens and are sure to go down a treat with all your guests.
BROCCOLI & CHEESE TOTS - serves 12 children
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
80g diced brown onion
150g mature cheddar
80g dried breadcrumb
- Place the broccoli head down in boiling water for 3.5 minutes and then plunge into cold water to stop it cooking.
- When it’s cold, dry the broccoli as much as possible and then take the large stalks off and discard. Blitz the smaller stems and florets until small, be careful not blitz so much it turns into a paste.
- Beat the eggs and add the smoked paprika and a pinch of black pepper.
- Blitz the onion in the food processor and then add to the egg mixture along with grated cheese, breadcrumbs and broccoli.
- Mix really well with your hands and roll into small bitesize tots.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 180c for 15 minutes.
CARROT AND APRICOT OAT BARS
Try these delicious flapjacks with a soft and chewy texture that kids will go nuts for. You don’t have to add lots of sugar to make these oat bars taste good, you can use apricots and raisins, and even grated carrots as a great way to sweeten them.
FLAPJACKS - serves 12 children
150g grated carrot
150g dried chopped apricot
- Put the butter in a pan, once melted add the honey.
- Mix all the dry ingredients together, then pour on the honey & butter before mixing thoroughly.
- Grate the carrots and add them to the mixture.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 160 degrees. Pack the flapjack mix in tightly and bake for roughly 20 minutes.
- Cool completely and then cut into squares.
The brilliance of this recipe is how delightfully simple it is, perfect for summer parties it also looks impressive. All you’ll need for this recipe is some jelly that should be pre-prepared the night before and chopped up fruit.
JELLY SURPRISE - serves 12 children
1 tbsp gelatine powder
2 cups frozen or fresh raspberries
4 cups apple juice
- To make the jelly you need to place 2 cups of apple juice into a saucepan with the raspberries. Bring it to the boil. Remove from the heat and whisk in the gelatine to dissolve. Stir through the remaining apple juice.
- Pour mixture through a strainer to remove raspberry seeds, then pour strained juice into a bowl. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours, or overnight, to set.
- Once the jelly is set, remove from the fridge. Tip it onto a plate and cover and surround with any remaining raspberries and the blueberries. Pop it back in the fridge until you need it and hey presto it is ready to serve.
FRESH FRUIT YOGURT POTS
One of the most simple but tasty desserts is a fresh fruit yogurt. Greek yogurt, frozen berries and honey whizzed together. Refreshing on a summer’s day, they taste truly delicious and also look great - what’s not to love!
FRESH FRUIT YOGURT POTS - serves 12 children
1500g of Greek yogurt
3 cups of frozen berries
- Pour all the ingredients into a mixer and blend thoroughly.
- Once blended pour the mixture into 12 individual cups and leave to set in the freezer overnight.
- When you are ready to serve, make sure to take your dessert out of the freezer and leave on the counter an hour or so before to soften.
- Pop some fresh berries on top for garnish if you want the real wow factor.