Birthday Party Foods for Children & Adults

by Stacy D. Cooper ; Updated September 28, 2017

Adults and children love fruit on a stick.

Spiedini alla frutta image by maurosessanta from

Birthday parties are family events at which the old and young mingle, talk and eat together. Make sure the food you serve is representative of the people attending your birthday party by offering a selection that everyone present can enjoy. You don't need to serve pizza, sloppy joes and fried chicken to keep both the kids and adults happy.

Dips and Spreads

Dips and spreads are a must-have at every birthday party because they allow people to munch on a variety of foods. Adults and children can eat hummus with pita chips, mango salsa or nacho cheese with tortilla chips and a classic French onion dip with potato chips. Or you can make spinach dip and serve it with Hawaiian bread.

Food on a Stick

Food on a stick makes it possible for people to hold their food while they mingle. Offer guests corn on the cob that has been coated with honey butter and salt before being skewered with corn cob holders. You can spear grape tomatoes and mozzarella cheese with toothpicks and kumquats or spear strawberries and bananas with bamboo sticks.

Food Bars

Create different food bars where your guests can put their favorite toppings on a basic food, but don’t forget the side dishes. For example, you can set up a hot dog bar with pickle relish, mustard, ketchup, chili, cheese, coleslaw and hot peppers and serve hot French fries on the side. Set up a slider bar that offers mini chicken, steak and hamburger sandwiches with onions, lettuce and tomatoes and serve hot sweet potato fries with cinnamon and sugar on the side.

Light and Heavy

A mixture of chicken or shrimp and lettuce and carrots can be rolled in sheets of rice paper for a light party food. You can serve your guests a fried feast of meat-filled empanadas, pork and leek filled dumplings and shrimp wontons. Set out small cups of sour cream, sweet and sour sauce and a mixture of garlic and soy sauce for guests to dip their food.

Grilled Food

Serve grilled teriyaki marinated steak and zucchini kabobs or barbecue ribs with cheesy mashed potatoes and green beans with bacon. Spear pieces of lemon pepper chicken with sticks of rosemary and grill them. Place them on platters alone or serve them with buttered baby potatoes and fruit salad.

Dessert Buffet

Set up a buffet with a variety of desserts like lemon bars, white chocolate brownies, strawberry parfaits, sugar cookies, lemon cookies and chocolate chip cookies. Place bowls of lollipops, fruit candies and miniature chocolate bars on the table as well.


  • "Joy of Cooking: All About Party Foods & Drinks"; Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker and Ethan Becker; 2002
  • "Girlfriends Get Together"; Carmen Renee Berry, Tamara Traeder and Janet Hazen; 2001
  • "Let's Party Cookbook"; Mary Engelbreit; 2001

Photo Credits

  • Spiedini alla frutta image by maurosessanta from

About the Author

Stacy D. Cooper received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Indiana University with an emphasis in writing and literature. She is fascinated with books, reads constantly and is the owner and publisher of a book review blog and website. She currently writes for online content providers while raising her two daughters.