Four-year-olds can be extremely discerning epicureans when it comes to party food. In addition to the traditional birthday cake, select kid-friendly foods that will please both your tiny party guests and their parents. Remember that the kids are going to be running around having fun, so provide just enough food for quick snacks that travel well. Supervise your guests to ensure that children aren’t eating and running at the same time, which can present a choking hazard. Don’t forget that some children have specific food allergies, so check with parents first before planning your menu.
Easy Birthday Snacks
Offer a variety of treats and snacks that kids can grab and go. One of the easiest ways to provide hot snacks is to purchase a bag of pre-cooked, breaded small chicken nuggets from the local grocery store. Select nuggets in party shapes such as dinosaurs or animals. Bake the nuggets according to package directions and serve on a large tray. Pizza rolls and mozzarella sticks are other options for a hot kid-friendly snack.
You could also serve small, cut-up peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on a tray. Make your sandwich, remove the crust and then cut into fours. Make some sandwiches without jelly or you can vary the kind of jelly. Instead of peanut butter, make small cheese sandwiches or turkey and cheese sandwiches.
Kids don’t always want junk. Make a fruit and cheese platter for both adults and kids. Purchase large blocks of different cheeses and cut into chunks. Dice apples, pineapple and pieces of kiwi fruit and scatter on a tray. Include fresh strawberries and blueberries and then add cheese. Jell-O Jigglers is another example of fun, portable party food. Create according to package directions and use a cookie cutter to cut into shapes.
Other quick and easy birthday snacks include leaving out large bowls of pretzels, chips and even a smaller bowl of M&Ms. Small individual bags of gummies are another four-year-old favorite as well as miniature cookies.
If you hold your party during the lunch or dinner hour, your challenge is what kind of meal to feed a group of four-year-olds and their parents. One quick and easy crowd-pleaser is pizza. Order cheese pizzas for the kids and offer a meat-lovers and vegetarian pizza for adults. To add variety to a pizza dinner, order a large salad and garlic bread for the group.
As another dinner option, offer hot dogs and hamburgers. Cook on the grill or on your stove and serve with chips or French fries. Include cole slaw or a salad in addition to other picnic-inspired food such as deviled eggs and baked beans.
Whether you're having the party at your home, the park or a rental space, you should provide small drinks that won’t spill. Small juice bags and water bottles are an easy way to provide drinks to your small guests. If you choose to provide soda, you can purchase mini cans that provide half the amount of soda as a full can, which helps reduce waste. Offer a kid cooler full of drinks and an adult drink cooler that can be stocked with large sodas and waters.
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Gina Ragusa has made a career out of writing for the past 15 years, with an emphasis on financial institution writing. Ragusa has written for Consumer Lending News, Deposit and Loan Growth Strategies and Community Bank President. She earned her Bachelor of Arts from Michigan State University.