Do You Serve Food To Adults At A Kids’ Party?

by Ann Mifsud


If you’re throwing a party for your kid and expecting parents to hang around, the question of whether you serve food to accompanying adults legitimately beckons.

Serving food to accompanying adults at your kid’s party is not only courteous. It also shows you have given attention to detail. Although most parents don’t expect to be fed at a kids’ party, when they are, they’re generally very appreciative.

Of course, if you are working on a strict budget this has to be taken into consideration. It’s obvious that not everybody can splash out on their kids’ birthdays, but as we will share with you, there are creative ways of serving food to adults at a kid’s party without breaking the bank.

When the heart is happy, the simplest foods bring immeasurable delight.

In this article, we tackle reasons why we recommend serving food to accompanying parents at your kid’s party. You will also find tips and ideas on how to go about serving food to adults.

1. Why you should serve food to adults at a kids’ party


Prepare food for adults when you expect parents to stay on at your kid’s party

If the kids are very young, you wouldn’t want parents to just drop their kids off and later come to pick them up. It would make more sense for them to hang around and oversee their kid.

As the host, it works to your advantage, especially during hectic moments, when some of the young kids need to drink, another two need to use the bathroom, one kid is crying for whatever reason, yet another one is trying to tie their shoelace but cannot, all while you are trying to politely welcome the last guest who arrived late.

Having parents stay on means they can see to their children’s needs.

If you expect parents to stay on, then being sensitive and offering some food to the adults accompanying their kids is appropriate.

If you are not sure whether the parents are to stay on, check our our article Should Parents Stay On At A Kid’s Party Or Just Drop Them Off?

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Serve food to adults at a kids’ party if it coincides with lunchtime or afternoon tea

There are several options on the time of day to host a kids’ party. Of course, when choosing your time of day to host your kid’s party, you want to keep a number of considerations in mind, so that the party is a success.

If you are planning your kid’s party at a time when guests are likely to be hungry, say around lunchtime or afternoon tea, it would make sense to offer any accompanying adults something to eat. This does not necessarily mean you provide them with a full-blown lunch or a menu list of food to choose from. But a few items to satiate their hunger and a couple of drink options would be nice and are sure to go a long way.

You also don’t want the parents to go to a nearby cafe to grab something to eat, leaving their kids unattended, especially if as explained above, you’re hosting a party for young kids. Besides, it would be embarrassing if they brought a takeaway at the venue  where you are holding your kid’s party.

On top of all that, it’s nice not to add pressure onto parents and provide something for them to eat, rather than have them think about what they will eat at lunchtime.

Read more on What Time Of Day Is Best For A Kid’s Party.

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2. Tips to keep in mind if you decide to serve food to adults at a kids’ party


Place the food intended for adults out of reach of kids

Make sure the food is on a side table, somewhere not too prominent. You don’t want the kids to gate crash the food you intended for the adults and then leave the food you intended for them uneaten.

Find a time to point the adults’ food table out to the parents, unless they would have already found it themselves. Let them know they can help themselves to any food or drinks they like. This frees you from having to serve the parents yourself.

Bring out the adult food at a strategic time 

If possible, do not bring out the adult food from go as this can cause parents to gather around the food table and not see to their kids’ needs, which is definitely not what you want.

Bringing out the food when the kids are happily entertained with games and activities will mean the kids won’t be swiping the adults’ food table.

An alternative is to bring out the food items you planned for the adults when the kids would have started eating theirs. This is another way of avoiding kids eating adult food instead of their own.

When it comes to drinks, however, you can have these readily available at the start of the party, as you’ll mostly be serving teas, coffees, water, and sodas.

Don’t let your budget restrict you from serving food to adults

Understandably, if you are throwing a kid’s party on a budget, you might think the expense of serving food to accompanying adults is way too extra. One solution could be to consider limiting the number of kids. Sometimes, just having as little as 5 kids less, especially if you had planned on inviting a lot of kids, will counterbalance the expense of adult food.

Not sure whether to invite the whole class or not for your kid’s party? Check out our article Should You Invite The Entire Class To Your Kid’s Birthday Party?

Should you invite the entire class to your kid’s birthday party?

Should you invite the entire class to your kid’s birthday party?

If you have been wanting to plan a birthday party for your kid, but cannot decide whether to invite the entire class or not, we can help you make up your mind.

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At this point, you may be leaning towards serving food to adults. However, you may find there is still one problem left to tackle. Are you stuck on what you should serve the adults at your kid’s party?

We’ve got you covered with ideas that take the time of day your kid’s party is being held into consideration.

3. What food to serve to adults at a kids’ party, depending on the time of day


The time of day you are hosting your kid’s party is crucial in deciding what to serve adults. For ease of reference, we have presented our ideas in table form, keeping in mind most kids’ parties happen either around lunchtime or afternoon tea.

Of course, you don’t have to offer each item. Just choose 2 or 3 you fancy most and which you think your adult guests will enjoy.

Around Lunchtime
Afternoon Tea
A bowl of pasta
A tray of sandwiches
A bowl of salad
A few large pizzas, ready cut in wedges
Breadsticks, crackers or veggie sticks
A bowl of fruit salad
A tray of brownies
Nuts and dried fruit
A selection of biscuits
A selection of biscuits
Soda and water
Teas, coffees and water

4. A note on teas and coffees


If you’re planning to offer teas and coffees, try to add a decaf option or herbal teas. Some adults don’t drink caffeine in the afternoon. It may seem extra, but if you have sleep-sensitive guests, they’ll appreciate the thought immensely.

Don’t forget the sugar or sweeteners, as well as a side plate with a few lemon slices.

When serving milk to go with the teas and coffees, try to present lactose-free too, for any lactose intolerant guests.

Final thoughts on whether you should serve food to adults at a kids’ party

There are several opinions on whether one should serve food to adults at a kids’ party. From our experience, serving some food items to accompanying parents goes a long way.

In this article, we established reasons why we believe serving food to adults at a kids’ party is the way to go. We also shared ideas on what the food can entail. Additionally, you will find tips on how to go about serving the food, so that it satisfies the purpose it was intended.

And if your budget concerns you, it need not. With a little imagination, you will see that this problem can be worked around nicely.

We hope this article will put your mind at rest on the question of whether to serve food to adults at a kids’ party. We are confident it will give you the joy of planning a party for your little one and guests that’s a success all around.

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Hi I'm Ann

Hi I'm Ann

Mom to three kids, I am the proud co-founder of Easy Kids' Parties. After a career in journalism and education, I diverted my skills to creating this website, with the aim of helping all those parents out there who wish to organize amazing and memorable parties for their kids but feel overwhelmed at the idea.  Discover more...