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quick and easy kids summer party food ideasGOLDEN rule for kids’ party food: keep it simple. And if you think it’s simple, make it even simpler. And that rule applies from their first birthday through to their teens.

There’s one painful memory I have of when my daughter turned five. She had a posse of 10 buddies over for a home party. The entertainer was booked, the diningroom table was beautifully dressed with tiaras and bubble wands for each child, and the ceiling was bursting with loads of fat colourful hanging balloons. What I thought would be a simple party meal turned out to be a horrendously-frustratingly-tear-jerkingly-painful experience. The idea was to make fish fingers, chips and peas followed by ice-cream with jelly and an assortment of sprinkles to lash over. I thought it couldn’t be any simpler. I mean, making Bird’s Eye boxed fish fingers and McCain’s Oven chips with peas needs no stretch of the imagination. I didn’t consider timings, or the relay of cooking while the party was happening, or for the child who accidentally banged her head on the door just as the fish fingers needed to be taken out the oven. Or how I’d need to be thinking on my toes when cooking separately for kids with food intolerances. Gluten-free fish fingers look identical to the ungluten-free ones. Finally the food made it to the table, cooked. And if the entertainer had been any more arrogant he would have returned back to  wherever with left-over peas down his yellow and red striped T-shirt.

Since then I’ve simplified party food, and made it much more exciting and a little healthier too. In the spirit of simple, fun and healthy(ish) here are five kids’ summer party food ideas, and each can be easily pulled together in under 20 minutes. These party food ideas work in every sense. We aren’t all kitchen divas, and I don’t think many parents – if any – have the time or desire to hug the hob before or during the party. As a word of caution: place the healthier food on the party table first and once munched, bring out the crisps and yummy stuff.

Oh and lastly, food presentation is tops – kids definitely do eat with their eyes first!

1.Veggie and humus pots {prep time: 10 minutes}
Cut vegetables the night before the party and place in an airtight container. On the day of the party place a tablespoon of humus into colourful treat cups, then fill with vegetable batons. Use cucumbers, carrots, baby corn, or celery and pop in a couple of cherry tomatoes. Photo credit: My Baking Addiction

2. Fruit and rice cake skewers {prep time: 15 minutes}
Thread strawberries and grapes onto a skewer, then use a star-shaped cookie cutter to cut out a rice cake star and add at the end of the skewer. Tie a colourful ribbon around the bottom part of the skewer.
Photo credit: 5 Minutes for Mom 

3. Jam star sandwiches {prep time: 10 minutes}
Use a large star-shaped cookie cutter to cut out star-shaped jam sandwiches. Slip in a star-shaped cake topper on to each sandwich shape. Kids will love these!
Photo credit: Kara’s Party Ideas

4. Pinwheel crepes {prep time: 15 minutes}
Spread humus or mayo onto a crepe, then grate cheese and add chopped ham. Roll up tightly and place in the fridge for a few minutes to chill. Remove and then cut into segments, pop in a blunt cocktail stick – then thread on a cherry tomato or two!
Photo credit: Unknown author on Pinterest (if you know the author please comment so I can add a name and link – thanks!)

5. Yummy pasta cups {prep time: 20 minutes}
Use pasta wheels or bow ties and allow to cool then either grate cheese over the top or whip up cheese sauce and pour over. Place into party treat cups and serve with a small wooden fork. Add a cherry tomato or olive – if kids’ fancy – for colour and something extra healthy!
Photo credit: HWTM

See more super kids’ party food ideas: 9 fun and healthy kids’ party food ideas.

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