Planning your baby’s first birthday party is exciting. While certain parts of the party planning are straightforward like day, time, and theme, others like the menu are more complicated. What food do you serve at a first birthday party? Unlike older-kid parties, a first birthday party typically has a mix of adults and children of differing ages. Since most of the guests are way past formula and baby food, first birthday party food needs to have a multigenerational appeal. Since many of the guests might prefer healthier options for themselves and their kids, you’ll need to find a tasty menu that’s kid-friendly, healthy, and inviting to adults, as well.
You don’t have to host your baby’s first birthday party on a Tuesday to set up a yummy and healthy taco bar for the guests. Tacos are a low-stress menu item that is a hit for guests of all ages. Make hard shells and soft tortillas along with all the typical fixings like lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, guacamole, peppers, and sour cream available — as well as a lot of napkins. In addition to ground beef or chicken, include a big bowl of black beans for vegetarian guests. Black beans taste fabulous as a taco’s main ingredient. Add in a bowl of Mexican rice. Guests can fill a taco or have as a side. Tortilla chips and salsa are a perfect pick for appetizers.
With a variety of taco bar ingredients, you can cater to the different tastes of your guests. Kids love tacos even if theirs are as low-key as cheese in a shell.
Mac and cheese bar
Another crowd-pleaser is mac and cheese. Now, you’re thinking mac and cheese is not healthy, but there are delicious recipes to the contrary floating around on the internet. By using skim milk, low-fat cheese, and vegetable broth, the mac and cheese becomes healthier without sacrificing taste. Mac and cheese is a kiddo staple because it is, well, macaroni and cheese. How can a dish made of those two kid faves fail to be a crowd-pleaser?
Make mac and cheese more grown-up friendly by putting out a mac and cheese bar. In addition to a platter of mac and cheese, set up a table of inviting toppings including crushed garlic, salt, pepper, tomatoes, onions, peppers, breadcrumbs, broccoli, bacon, pepperoni, chives, basil, and an assortment of cheeses. The dish is vegetarian friendly, and guests can create their own personal mac and cheese to taste whether it’s plain or packs a punch.
If you’re having a backyard first-birthday party for Baby, stick with a barbecue theme and have a make-your-own burger menu. For the kiddos, grill up small hamburger patties and pair with slider buns, so the burgers are easier for younger kids to eat. If you have vegan or vegetarian guests, grill black bean burgers. You can make them or use one of the tasty frozen black bean burgers available at the supermarket.
Add tasty burger bar fixings like cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, bacon, onions, avocados, sautéed mushrooms, and pickles. Be sure to have barbecue sauce, ketchup, and mustard on hand to top off those burgers. For healthier sides, have a traditional salad, a fruit salad and a veggie platter. For younger guests, set aside cut up fruit like strawberries and watermelon along with carrots and celery, since kids are not usually fans of mixing.
Another kid staple that adults love too is pasta. Since one pasta does not fit all, a pasta bar is a fun twist on this traditional meal that appeals to a variety of palates. Boil up a variety of pastas from penne to elbow to ziti to angel hair. If you want healthier pasta options, add whole grain or edamame pasta to the bar. Edamame pasta has been making a big splash and is loaded with protein.
Next up are the sauces. A plain marinara is a must with kids, but you can also be daring and have bowls of pesto, ragù, and Alfredo. Cook up your own or make it easy on yourself and use a delicious array of jarred pasta sauces.
For healthier toppings, offer a selection of grilled chicken and steamed veggies. Traditional pasta toppings include Parmesan cheese, chopped tomatoes, and basil along with garlic. For a more meaty fare, incorporate meatballs and sausage to your pasta bar.
Don’t forget a lot of crunchy bread to nibble on. You can make garlic bread. For healthier bread, go with a multigrain loaf. Bruschetta is a quick, low-stress appetizer that fits in with the pasta theme of the birthday party menu.
Your baby is 1, and it’s a wonderful occasion you want to celebrate with family and friends. A taco, mac and cheese, burger, or pasta bar is pretty low-stress and appealing to many different tastes. A straightforward, uncomplicated menu lets you set out the food and then step back and enjoy your little guy or gal’s first birthday party. Now, just don’t forget the camera and the smash cake!
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