L’il Catering: How We Make Birthdays & Kids Parties Wholesome AND Awesome
Bows, banners and balloons, oh my – It’s birthday time! Or kindergarten graduation, eighth grade graduation, or bar and bat mitzvah time. Whatever the occasion, it’s high time to celebrate the little ones in your life. Kids and teens alike are notoriously picky eaters, and we rise to the challenge. Our kids party catering menu has impressed our toughest critics….and their parents. We’re excellent at hiding some veggies in fun, kid-approved eats, as well as some not-so-healthy party food that’s just plain ol’ fun. Here are some of our favorites.
Everyone loves a colorful plate—bright, vibrant food feels full of life and celebratory. A rainbow palette makes all food more appealing for youngins. Instead of dumping Red #3 or Yellow #5 into a dish, we color with nature’s crayons—fruits and vegetables! Beets, strawberries, blueberries and red cabbage all make magic. Veggie spring rolls wrapped in translucent rice paper are little rainbow tubes perfect for dipping in savory sauces and snacking. Plus, filled with fresh produce! (We do fruit spring rolls, too.) And swapping out traditional ice cream with light berry sorbets and granitas feels festive.
Ok, no kid is excited to see broccoli on their dinner plate, let alone at their own birthday. But that doesn’t mean the party food has to be all pizza and sugar pops! We’re masters of making deliciously indulgent snacks using healthy alternatives and add-ins (all gluten-free events – we’ve got it covered!). Our fried ravioli bites are the perfect example—a warm, gooey center of melted mozzarella with wilted spinach, finely chopped, (if you want). Our mac and cheese, a kid-approved classic, comes in may forms. We serve it fried, in bite-size forms, in individual skillets, and buffet-style. Add tomatoes, mushrooms and roasted red peppers to add a little nutrition to the mac-only plates.
Playing with your food? No, thank you. Playful food? Yes, please! One of the easiest ways to make dinner all the more appetizing for kids is to add a playful touch, like imaginative shapes. We can make hummus, pita and veggies – “Kids Crudite” – fun with star-shaped dippers. For something more substantial, serve butterfly-shaped peanut butter and jellies, and strawberry-banana sandwiches with edible flowers on top. For teen mitzvahs, presentation leans more towards the “grown-up” end of the spectrum. We like using long wooden skewers for marinated meats, and grilled peppers and onions, and mini mason jars for chopped salads.
Everything made mini is cuter! Nearly any dish we serve full-size, we can compact into an adorable bite-size version, with all the same flavor and flair. We’re talking mini chicken tacos with a crunchy slaw, served in multicolor shells, and mini falafel bites with hummus, tomato and lettuce, served on a tiny pita boat. And, because this is Chicago after all, mini kosher hot dogs and kobe beef burgers with all the fixins. Cute, but also the perfect size for mini hands and mouths.
Fun Party Food!
Hidden veggies, cute shapes and sizes, etc etc etc. – all good fun, but when it comes to kids party food, our ideas are endless! Check out some of our tried and true faves:
“Grown Up Mozzarella Stick”
buffalo-mozzarella-stuffed croquette with marinara dollop
Mini Pretzel Bites
warm Merkts cheese dipping sauce
Chicken and Waffle Slider
maple syrup drizzle
Handmade Twix Bars
white chocolate drizzle
Warm Mini Nutella Crepes
powdered sugar sprinkle
Mini Apple Pie Skillets
vanilla bean ice cream