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High School Graduation Party Menu Ideas

by David Coodin, studioD

High school graduation is a proud day, but if you are hosting a graduation party, it can seem a daunting assignment. Feeding a houseful of hungry and excited teenagers can be easier than you might think. Help your child's classmates celebrate the end of their high school years in style with a variety of snacks and meals that will earn you high grades as a mom.


Get the graduation party started off right with finger foods and other appetizers to serve while grads mingle. Some of the old favorites still work best: veggies with hummus or ranch dressing, and dipping chips with a seven-layer bean dip or guacamole. Have fun with the party theme and make spring rolls or roll-ups to look like tiny diplomas. Simply take regular spring rolls and tie the tops of green onion around each one to look like a rolled-up diploma. Do the same to a tortilla or flattened bread by filling it with tuna or egg salad and rolling it up. You can also make mini-pizzas with "A+" written on each using red pepper.

Have a Barbecue

A barbecue is an easy way to deliver large amounts of food to hungry grads. Set up a grill in the backyard with burgers, veggie burgers, hot dogs and chicken with barbecue sauce. Make things easier on yourself and reduce stress by cooking the meat ahead of time. Set up a separate station with buns, veggies and condiments. Serve green salad with creamy dressing, bean salad and potato salad on the side, and grill cobs of corn on the barbecue.

Sandwich Bar

A sandwich bar is ideal if you want to serve a delicious meal without having to do too much cooking. Set up a table with a variety of lunch meats, breads, veggies and condiments. Buy plenty of extra for teens who want to go back for seconds or thirds. A more adventurous alternative is a make-it-yourself taco bar. Put ground beef with spices in a pot on the table. Have bowls with lettuce, onions, salsa, tomatoes and cheese around. Float the bowls in ice to keep the toppings cold. Put soft and hard taco shells in a basket.


Finishing high school is a sweet time in a teen's life, and this can be reflected in the desserts you serve. Enhance the party atmosphere by renting a cotton candy machine. Grads will love reliving their childhoods by eating sugary pink floss. Desserts on skewers or sticks are a quick and elegant way to serve dessert to a large number of grads that won't leave you with too much cleanup. Make fruit skewers using strawberries, peaches, pineapple and melon. Drizzle some melted chocolate over top for extra flavor. Make regular brownies and freeze them individually with a Popsicle stick in each one. The result is a delicious and easy brownie pop that grads will love at the end of a night of celebrating.

About the Author

David Coodin began working as a writer in 2005, and has been published in "The Walrus." He contributes to various websites, writing primarily in the areas of education and art. Coodin holds a Ph.D. in English literature from York University in Toronto.

Photo Credits

  • Ryan McVay/Lifesize/Getty Images