I love to throw a party!
And of course the decor and “theme” of a party is important – but so is the food! Finding things to prepare for larger groups can be daunting and stressful. I always head to Pinterest for inspiration and the only options I ever seem to find are pasta dishes.
But I have to admit, the food options for Audrey’s first birthday party seemed like a hit, and accommodated to various diets and preferences. So I thought I would share in hopes to save you some time if you are hosting a brunch party or shower this spring!
THE BREAKFAST OPTIONS
Since it is a “brunch” I wanted to be sure to provide breakfast foods! I went with three egg bakes – a basic one with ham and cheese, and more interesting one with lots of fresh vegetables and bacon and cheese and then a veggie only option without cheese. We expected about 45 people, so three was a good amount.
I also had breakfast sausages (because the men and kids love them, ha) and a sweet gluten free coffee cake option for those they wanted to indulge!
I also included a build your own parfait, where I had yogurt and chopped up fruit and granola that people could fill up a little bowl if they wished. This was another great option for kids too, and a healthy “treat”.
And of course, last but not least, the donut wall! I ordered donuts from our local grocery store and served these instead of cake to the group. An inexpensive option that seemed to be a crowd pleaser.
THE LUNCH/SALAD BAR OPTIONS
I actually got this idea from one of my good friends who always does this for birthday parties for her kids. It’s a large serve-yourself salad bar. Stocked with various lettuce options, tons of pre-cut vegetables (roma tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, peas, onion), cheese options (colby shredded, mozzarella shredded and feta) and other topics (garbanzo beans, avocado, grilled chicken, cashews and sunflower seeds). This works great for adults and kids (thanks for the inspiration, Jalene)!
It’s nice to have a fresh/healthy option and then people can pick and choose what they want on the salad. I also set out various dressings so people could use whatever they wanted! I also had a large bowl of mixed fruit for people to enjoy – who doesn’t love fresh fruit?!
SPECIFICALLY FOR THE KIDS
The other nice thing about that salad bar, is if you have kids with allergies, or are picky eaters, you can select only the vegetables they will eat. But I also set out tubes of applesauce and cheese sticks that parents could grab for a healthy snack or with lunch.
I had two “stations” set up for drinks. One coffee bar where we offered either nespresso coffee (which is all espresso) or regular coffee using the keurig. It was nice to do this so the coffee didn’t get cold over time and people could serve themselves! I set out two different types of sugar, creamer, milk and a little baileys if people wanted.
The other drink station was in our butler pantry and was stocked with water, sparkling water, juice boxes for the kids, orange and cranberry juice and some champagne for those who wanted a mimosa!
Hope that takes out some of the guest work for your next brunch event! It would be easy to do this same format with a dinner party as well, and just offer some pasta dishes instead of egg bakes. Or in the summer, you could grill up a bunch of meat and still do a salad bar.
Another hosting tip – label everything. This takes the guess-work out on your guests and I really think people are more apt to try things when they know what all is included (especially if it is dairy free or gluten free). And be sure to label if peanuts are included in anything – that is important for those who have allergies to feel comfortable eating your options.