Birthday Party Planning: Menu

21 Jun

This is the first in a series of posts about the planning and execution of my daughter’s third birthday party. You can read all of the posts in this series here.

Image courtesy of the amazing Whisk Kid


I want the food to be colorful and to reinforce the color spectrum party theme. In the past I’ve focused mostly on things for the adults to eat, because toddlers aren’t known for their voracious appetites. For her first birthdays I packed lunch bags with gourmet sandwiches and an orzo pasta salad. Last year I made homemade sliders on homemade buns. But this year, since Lyra will be turning three, and I expect to have more children at her party, I’m considering some more kid-friendly meal options.

I‘m planning to execute a combination of these ideas, not necessarily all of them.

Idea 1: Rainbow Jam Sandwich Bar

  • fresh bread slices cut into crustless quarters or rounds
  • peanut butter
  • cream cheese
  • a collection of jams (mostly homemade)
    • red—strawberry
    • orange—apricot
    • yellow—honey
    • green—(not sure—not many green fruits)
    • blue—blueberry
    • indigo—grape
    • violet—blackberry
  • chilled milk in glass bottles
  • paper straws
  • chocolate syrup
  • homemade chocolate chip cookies
  • colored popcorn

Idea 2: Rainbow Fruit and Salad Bar

  • a series of narrow platters spanning the width of
    the buffet table with cut up fruit in all shades
  • a similar concept with vegetables, but cut up and put
    into small bowls
  • a large garden salad
  • homemade dressings
  • diced grilled chicken
  • slice grilled skirt steak
  • homemade savory and sweet scones

Idea 3: Southern Barbecue Picnic

  • most likely combined with idea 1, but for the moaning
    pleasure of the grownups
  • slow cooker pulled pork
  • homemade soft rolls
  • homemade coleslaw
  • mom’s homemade potato salad
  • potato chips
  • lemonade

Idea 4: Rainbow Dessert or Candy Bar

Like this, minus the Sesame Street characters.

Rainbow Candy Bar from Hostess With the Mostess

Image from hostess With the Mostess

Idea 5: Rainbow Beverage Bar

Inexpensive and Easy: Magic Drinks from iVillage

Magic Soda from iVillage

Creative and Time Intensive: Sodas with Custom Labels from 100 Layer Cake

DIY Soda Escort Cards 100 Layer Cake

Gorgeous and Possibly Expensive: Old Fashioned Soda Bar from Jordan Ferney

Jordan Ferney Old Fashioned Soda Bar


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