1) Choose your menu - What you choose to serve will be dictated by the time of day of your party. For example if you are having an early afternoon party then snacks will be fine; if you are having a late afternoon party to early evening then heartier fare would be appropriate such as pizza. Keep in mind if you are having a slumber party then you will need to provide dinner, snacks and breakfast.
2) Prepare ahead - Prepare as much of the kids birthday party food as possible prior to the day of the party. There is plenty of kids birthday party food items that can be prepared a day or two in advance and stored such as rice krispie treats, snack mix and cookies.
3) What to serve - Ask the birthday boy or girl what food they would like to have at the party. Be sure to have a few of his/her suggestions as a special treat. With that said, finger foods work best at kids parties. Finger foods are easy to set out and easy for kids to eat. The rest of the menu should be simple, kids are not fussy and so the tried and true favorites still work great such as hot dogs, pizza, nachos, sandwiches and chicken nuggets.
4) Store bought or homemade - Whether to serve store bought food or make everything from scratch is up to you. Consider how much time you have to prepare the food, your budget and your cooking skills. Don't feel guilty about buying store bought food, remember kids are not picky and truthfully most kids prefer the store bought food they recognize over homemade food. When buying food keep in mind food allergies therefore check the ingredients.
5) Food fun with Party Food ideas - Any food items that look like something else are going to be a hit regardless of the food. For example:
6) Presentation - Tailor your presentation to the theme of the party. Food is a great way to pull your theme together. For example: at western themed party serve chips in a cowboy hat (clean and lined with paper or plastic); at a Halloween party serve punch in a hollowed out pumpkin or put plastic bugs on a serving tray.
7) Extras - It's a smart course of action to keep extra snacks and ingredients just in case you have a few extra people. Sometimes more parents will stay then expected or parents will bring siblings of the invited guest.
8) Moms and Dads - If the parents will stay for the party then it's nice to have at least 1 item they would enjoy. If you're serving pizza then the parents can eat that too, but if you're serving hot dog worms then possibly sub sandwiches for the adults would be nice.