Ideas for clueless dad on low prep tasty light snacks at children's birthday party?

Context: I am sick of eating cold Costco pizza at other parties.

Some constraints:

  • Very low prep- its coming up this weekend
  • Don’t mind store bought as long as I can put the light snacks on a tray.
  • Don’t want to spend a lot of money
  • Relatively tasty
  • Not very messy (its at an indoor venue inside a park)
  • These are children (around 10 of them) who can eat pretty much anything, but not at an age (3-5) that they are very experimental. There are around same amount of adults. While I am not aiming to wow the adults, I’d love to at least avoid the ‘yuck’ reaction to typical children bday parties food.

Only ideas so far: crackers/ baguette with cheese

Please help this clueless dad! Thank you in advance!

Kids love finger foods.
A fruit tray and vegetable tray come to mind.
Cheese and crackers.
Cream cheese tortilla pinwheels

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Our grands (4 and 1-1/2) could live on fruit and vegetables. And I was shocked that they love red bell pepper. Go figure. They also like yogurt and hummus. And Cambazola!

A kid-sized version of Edible Arrangements: Small skewers of sliced fruit and berries stuck into a bowl or base (get a styrofoam ball at a craft store, and halve it, place on tray or plate, cut side down). For slices of apple, pear, or banana, dip into a mixture of lemon and apple juices to prevent discoloration. Accompany these with various dips: flavored yogurts, jarred butterscotch or caramel sauce, chocolate syrup. Use coffee stirrers as skewers if worried about pointy ends. You could also incorporate doughnut holes and marshmallows with the fruit.

Keep in mind that you can do pizza for the kids and other snacks for the adults.

Veggies with dip
Fruit platter (or make mini fruit skewers – kids like food on sticks)
Tortilla chips with salsa and/or 7 layer dip
Mini sub sandwiches or sandwich bar for people to assemble their own sandwiches
Hummus and pita chips
Pasta Salad

At this time it seems the Norovirus season is in full swing around here, so consider serving things in mini paper cups so multiple grubby little hands aren’t reaching into a big bowl of chips or fruit.

Mini melon balls (wrapped with prosciutto for the adults), mini mac & cheese bites, chicken nuggets (maybe a panko/ parm version for the adults), corn chips, goldfish, baby carrots, mini cupcakes, dump-truck brownies (doubles as a present), grapes (halved for the kids), small bottles of water and juice boxes.

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Thank you all! These are great ideas. We will definitely add a fruit bowl/ skewer of some sort. Those are easy enough to make and attractive enough for the kids and not enough sugar to get them into a sugar high. We’ll have to get the cheese with the crackers that we already have. Maybe some simple cheddar for the kids and perhaps some fancier cheese for the adults. We’ll probably add one more trey of something suggested that we haven’t settled on.

Costco is not exactly close by for me, so driving there just for a pizza definitely is not in the plan especially since I have to get everything ready by 10am.

For the kids -
baby bel cheeses or mini mozz balls
Little snacky crackers , serve in cupcake liner paper cups
Annie’s organics bunny shaped varieties are fun
Cut bunches of grapes into smaller grabable bunches
Mandarin oranges or clementines
Cut a banana in three pcs, add a thin smear of peanut butter (or nutfree butter if that’s a concern), and then roll in graham cracker crumbs, stab with skewar. Freeze until party flat on a cookie sheet so they set up well. Will be defrosted and easy to eat within an hour or two.
+1 for veggie plate, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, baby carrots, sliced cucumber

A few different cheeses for adults, similar veggie platter with a dip that isn’t hummus because i think we’re all tired of that now, and assume they will eat whatever the kids don’t

LOL! Her preschool asked her to pick a treat for her birthday. She picked the frozen banana, this time with yogurt and granola. I think she liked it.

Thanks for the suggestions!

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I am in the same boat- sick of pizza at kids’ parties. We have switched to brunch theme regardless of time of day- box of coffee, bagels and cream cheese. Kids love bagels (cut them in eighths for less waste) grownups love bagels, you can get assorted cream cheeses for adult palates, or even put out some lox if you want to live it up. If you want to add something sweet, donut holes are always a hit.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold