Something I see a lot at kids parties is over catering and food wastage!

Kids generally don’t eat much at parties.

They are busy running around playing games and are very distracted.

So… Here are my top 5 tips to help you cut back on your party catering costs and waste.

1. PARTY LUNCH BOX

This is seriously my all – time favourite!

Individually portion each lunch box (cardboard or paper bag made in advance) and then encourage all the kids to sit down to eat together. It helps to create a moment of peace and gives structure to your party.

Here is a list of food I use in my party lunch boxes…
1 x Sandwich (or a wrap or sushi) Tip: I often use cookie cutters to make the sandwich a fun shape
1 x cheese stick
1 x popcorn cup or pretzels/crackers
1 x cupcake (or jelly cup or cookie, muffin etc)
1 x fruit cup or fruit stick

2. JUGS, JUGS, JUGS

Serving drinks in jugs or drink dispensers is much more cost effective than the individual juice or cordial packs.

I use paper cups or keep cups that can be an alternative favour to take home.

3. THE 4 PLATTER RULE

Have you heard the 4 platter rule? Well, I made it up!

It keeps you on track and on budget.

This is how it works…
Platter 1 – Fruit: You can make it look as pretty as you like. Don’t buy too much fruit though. Kids will only eat an average of 3- 4 pieces each. (also don’t use banana as it goes brown).
Platter 2 – Sweets and chips: Think fairy bread, jelly cups, chips, pretzels, popcorn, lollies, crackers, cheese. Only choose 3 things on this list. You definitely don’t need to serve all! (Remember we are saving money).
Platter 3 – Main food: This platter can have sausage rolls, pies, pizza, sandwiches, sushi, bbq sausages on bread, mini hamburgers, fried rice in cups, nuggets and chips, etc. Only choose 1 type of  ‘main food’ to be served on this platter.
Platter 4  – Cake!  – Cake and cupcakes are your final serving of food at the party.

4. ADULTS, SHMADULTS…

I am sure most mums and dads will agree that when we attend children’s parties, we don’t expect to be fed. (Obviously this is a different story if you have been invited to a family event)

There is no need to create a whole menu for the adults. Most mums and dads will usually pick from the kids platters anyway!

5. KEEP IT SIMPLE

At the end of the day, a small table of snacks followed by a main serve and end with cake will do the trick. Choose foods that are filling and then you won’t need as many snacks (which add up the $$ and get wasted the most). And remember… the food doesn’t have to look like a 5 star Pinterest party! Kids will not notice!

Happy Partying

Natalie Faulkner

Natalie Faulkner

Natalie has been to more than her fair share of children’s birthday parties, thousands in fact! With over 15 years experience in the entertainment industry, and a passion for entertaining young and old, Natalie is the director of fun for kids entertainment company Strawberry Fundaes Kids Parties. She also loves to throw a dinner party, set up a fabulous picnic or just chat about mum life/character life in general. Check out her party hacks and entertainment tips (to take the stress out of your next party) on her blog // www.confessionsofacostumecharacter.com