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First Birthday Party Food Ideas

Published June 23, 2011        by Sarah

Image by on FlickrEven a bad party can be transformed into a good time with the right food!  Food is a crucial component of any party, whether a wedding reception or your child’s first birthday party.  Fortunately, babies and toddlers are a lot less demanding and fussy than their adult party-going counterparts.  Planning a menu for a first birthday party is easy – and relatively mess-free.  What should you include on the menu?

The most important thing to remember when it comes to a first birthday party is that it should be short.  You needn’t serve a five course meal to impress your guests.  Your guest of honor, in fact, will probably be more impressed with the bright balloons, first birthday gifts and gooey, messy cake.  This relieves the pressure of planning a menu.

To keep your little guests happy and fed, try the following toddler-friendly snacks:

  • Cheerios.  These are an all-time favorite toddler finger food.  Chances are the adults won’t like picking at them much, but there are plenty of other foods to try.
  • Animal crackers or Goldfish.  Fun for everyone, these are a great, minimally-messy choice.
  • Apple wedges without the skin.
  • Soft cheese cubes.
  • Juice boxes.
  • Cookies.

Image by ella novak on FlickrThis will probably be more than enough to keep your little one satisfied.  You can always set a bowl of chips and dip, veggies, fruits, or candies out on the table or countertop for the adults and older children to enjoy.

If you want to serve a meal, or your party will work best at lunch or dinnertime, serve a meal that your child likes.  Well-cooked noodles are always great, and for the other guests, you can simply add a sauce so you don’t have to make separate meals.  You can also try chicken and steamed vegetables (soft enough for your child), pot pie, or other child-friendly foods.

The cake is the most important food you will serve at your child’s first birthday party.  You can always pick up a cake from your local bakery or a mix from the grocery store.  But if you want to continue the healthy eating habits that your baby has developed, why not try this healthier ice cream cake?

You will need:

  • An angel food cake (which has less fat and fewer calories than regular cake)
  • ½ gallon of vanilla frozen yogurt
  • Fresh strawberries, blueberries, peaches, or bananas
  • Sugar to taste

Cut the angel food cake in half and tear one half into small pieces.  Set this aside and slice the other half into thin slices.  You’ll probably have 12 to 14.  Arrange the slices in the bottom of a baking pan lined with wax paper.  Spread the frozen yogurt over the cake.  Try to smooth it as much as possible.  Then press the cake bits into the yogurt.  Cover and put the dish into the freezer.  When it’s time to serve dessert, slice the strawberries (or bananas if you do not want to introduce berries to your child yet).  Cut the dessert into squares and put the fruit on top.  Light a candle, and you have a great dessert.

Planning a child’s birthday party can be stressful, but a one year old is very easy to please.  Give her some finger food, birthday party favors, some balloons and streamers, and a piece of cake, and you have the makings of a great first birthday party.

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