130+ First Birthday Party Food Ideas And Planning Tips

You may be super excited about your baby turning one, and you want to host the best party to celebrate their first birthday. Tiny tots are your most important guests, and so your baby’s first birthday party food ideas must include exciting, colorful, and fancy options on the table. You need to do many things, including selecting a party theme, deciding on the guest list, buying gifts, and planning the food. If you are confused about the food, we can help you with the planning process by providing delicious snack and dessert ideas in this post. These creative ideas are sure to impress children and their parents alike.

In This Article

What Kind Of First Birthday Party Are You Planning?

First birthday party

Image: Shutterstock

You can come up with the food menu only when you have the basic idea of the birthday party.

  • Decide if it is going to be a small snack or high tea party, or you want to host a lavish lunch or dinner.
  • If you are planning for a simplistic evening party, then you can make a handful of items at home. Your family members or close friends could help you prepare some delectable recipes.
  • If it is going to be a big party, you may have to hire a caterer and plan a mixed menu. Make sure you find a well-known catering agency that specializes in making the best quality kid-friendly food items.

Who Are The Guests?

Having a guest list ready would make it easier to figure out the quantity and type of food to have at your baby’s first birthday party.

  • Will it be a small party with only family or friends?
  • Will you invite your close relatives and neighbors?
  • How many babies and toddlers would be attending the party?
  • How many teenagers or parents or adults would attend?

When you have the answers to these questions, you can plan the food ideas and serving size.

protip_icon Point to consider
Keep the guest list short and invite only those important to you and your family. An extravagant party can make it difficult for you to make arrangements and welcome all the guests, besides burning a hole in your pocket.

What Food To Include In The Menu?

Kids' party food

Image: Shutterstock

You need to think about the food categories based on the guest list. If it is a large party, then you may have to categorize the menu.

  • You need to include vegetarian and non-vegetarian items to fit the needs of all the guests.
  • In case you are inviting vegan friends, make sure you have vegan items on the menu.
  • You should also have a few types of desserts and drinks. Have colorful and delicious food items that please everyone attending the birthday party.
  • If there is a theme party, make sure that the food reflects the theme. For instance, if the party theme is “Frozen,” then try to have more blue food items and pictures of “Frozen” movie characters all around. Blogger and mother of two, April from South Florida, decided her son’s birthday party menu would be based on his birthday theme ‘Old MacDonald had a farm.’ She says, “Keeping with the theme, the “Grub” for our party was BBQ-styled and catered by Char Hut. We had burgers, BBQ chicken, baked beans, pasta/potato salad, chips, veggies, corn on the cob, and cole slaw (i).”

First Birthday Party Food Ideas

We have some mouth-watering food choices in every category to delight your guests, including the adorable children and the grown-ups.

Finger food and appetizer ideas

Finger food for children

Image: Shutterstock

Appetizers or starters are the first course of a meal. They should be tempting and light to give an excellent start to the party meal. Toddlers and children fill their tummies with starters as they are fond of them. Having a variety of options would be a good idea. We have a few palatable suggestions here.

  1. Fruits on skewers or fruit salad
  2. Mini quiches
  3. Vegetable and chicken nuggets
  4. Veggie spring rolls with dipping sauce
  5. Baby breadsticks with cheese
  6. Mini meatballs on toothpicks
  7. French fries or potato smileys or potato wedges
  8. Spinach and cheese stuffed mushrooms
  9. Cookies with cream or crackers
  10. Mini chicken pot pies
  11. Muffins and bagels
  12. Mini corn on the cob with flavored butter
  13. Devilled eggs
  14. Mini tacos or taco cups
  15. Egg mini muffins
  16. Caprese skewers with cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil
  17. Roasted or steamed vegetables and dip
  18. Mini spinach and artichoke dip cups
  19. Small sandwiches
  20. Antipasto skewers with olives, cheese, and salami
  21. Cheesy garlic bread
  22. Mini shrimp cocktail cups
  23. Chips and dips
  24. Rice paper rolls with a peanut dipping sauce
  25. Cheerios
  26. Mini bruschettas with tomato and basil
  27. Puffed snacks
  28. Mini samosas with mint chutney
  29. Wafers and pretzel
  30. Mini croissant sandwiches with ham and cheese
  31. Mini pancakes
  32. Sweet potato fries with honey mustard dip

Alternatively, you could also try out onion rings but with a little twist. Place a smaller onion ring at the center of the large one and fill the gap with a cheese stick of our choice. Preferably, mozzarella cheese sticks would be a great option. Then fry these up and see kids relish them. Additionally, the classic hot dogs or corn dogs are there to fill up the place on your table and earn a little extra praise and love from kids.

Savory foods

The savory foods or main meal of the party should be delightfully flavorsome. The main items in the party menu should be filling and appealing to all the guests. There should be items for every guest, be it a vegan, vegetarian, non-vegetarian, or a health-conscious person.

  1. Pizza – vegetarian and non-vegetarian
  2.  Pulled pork sliders
  3. Cheesy macaroni with different toppings such as chicken bites, bacon, and veggies
  4. Chicken and vegetable stir-fry
  5. Vegetarian and chicken burger
  6. Veggie platter with hummus or ranch dip
  7. Quesadilla
  8. Chicken and waffle sandwiches
  9. Grilled cheese sandwiches
  10. Beef or vegetable kebabs with dipping sauce
  11. BBQ sandwiches
  12. Beef Wellington bites
  13. Crustless sandwiches
  14. Chicken Alfredo pasta cups
  15. Pasta with cheese and salad options or meatballs
  16. Veggie frittatas
  17. Vegetable noodles
  18. Potato skins with sour cream and chives
  19. Taco pinwheels
  20. BBQ pulled-chicken sandwiches
  21. Casserole
  22. Sweet and savory meat pies
  23. Small squared pizza bites
  24. Falafel with tahini sauce
  25. Chicken tenders
  26. Chicken and mushroom tartlets
  27. Chicken sliders
  28. Beef and broccoli stir-fry
  29. Nachos filled with cheese
  30. Sausage and pepper hoagies
  31. Pizza rolls
  32. Turkey and cranberry sliders
  33. Cheese and garlic bread
  34. Butternut squash and goat cheese tartlets
  35. Stuffed or toasted kebabs
  36. Meat and cheese sliders
  37. Beef rolls with cheddar cheese
  38. Mini eggplant Parmesan bites
  39. Stromboli
  40. Teriyaki salmon skewers
  41. Guacamole with tortilla chips

Alternatively, you can go for roasted pork ribs with cherry barbeque sauce and serve with a bowl of herb rice. This is a star dish that fills up the stomach while also providing nutrition.


Children enjoying dessert

Image: Shutterstock

No party is complete without desserts. Your baby’s first birthday party should have desserts that become the talk of the party. Children and adults love trying out different kinds of sweet items, so we have covered a few delicious dessert ideas for you.

  1. Birthday cake (your baby’s favorite shape and flavor)
protip_icon Quick tip
Buy a cake that matches the theme of the birthday party. You may also bake a sugar-free and gluten-free birthday cake as a healthy option.
  1.  Key lime pies
  2. Fruit salad or yogurt
  3. Red velvet cupcakes
  4. Ice cream of different flavors
  5. Apple turnovers
  6. Jelly and custard
  7. Tiramisu cups
  8. Cupcakes
  9. Banana split sundaes
  10. Pops and candies
  11. Churros with chocolate dipping sauce
  12. Mini pies
  13. Mini pineapple upside-down cakes
  14. Ice cream cone cupcakes
  15. Black forest trifles
  16. Ice cream sandwich
  17. Caramel popcorn balls
  18. Donut holes or baked donuts
  19. Mini strawberry shortcakes
  20. Mini s’mores
  21. Chocolate-covered pretzel bites
  22. Frozen treats or popsicles
  23. Orange creamsicle tarts
  24. Assorted cookies
  25. Blueberry cheesecake parfaits
  26. Cheesecake pastries
  27. Chocolate-covered strawberries
  28. Frozen pops
  29. Mini coconut cream pies
  30. Honey waffles
  31. Rainbow fruit skewers
  32. Marshmallow pops
  33. Oreo truffles
  34. Fruit pies
  35. Caramel apples
  36. Macarons or ice cream sandwiches
  37. Mini cookies and cream cheesecakes
  38. Fried ice cream
  39. Fruit sushi rolls

In addition to these, the good-old chocolate brownies are there to save your day and earn all the praise from kiddos surely.

Drinks and beverages

Children's party drinks

Image: Shutterstock

It’s your baby’s first birthday celebration, so make sure you are not having alcoholic drinks. There are some healthy and fruity options you can try and impress your guests. Remember, the party is more for the children than the parents.

  1. Lemonade or fruit smoothies
  2. Fruit-infused water
  3. Hot chocolate
  4. Strawberry lemonade
  5. Vanilla milkshake
  6. Apple cider
  7. Fruity cocktails
  8. Non-alcoholic sparkling wine
  9. Citrus punch
  10. Grape juice spritzers
  11. Iced tea with fruit flavors
  12. Kiwi and mint cooler
  13. Hawaiian drink
  14. Pineapple coconut mocktail
  15. Rose milk
  16. Virgin piña coladas
  17. Yogurt smoothies
  18. Orange Creamsicle Floats

Tips For Planning Your Baby’s First Birthday Food Menu

The first birthday is a big deal for parents, thus planning would make your job easier. We have some general tips for you here.

  • Get child-friendly glasses, plates, and cups made of eco-friendly and high-quality food-grade material.
  • Keep fresh, high-quality, and hygienic food only. If you are ordering food, then go with the best caterer or restaurant.
  • You can ask the parents if their children have any food intolerances or food allergies.
  • Do keep in mind your guest’s preferences, like those related to religious or other food choices.
  • Don’t keep choking hazards, including nuts, grapes, hard lollies, popcorn, or hard candies on the table.
  • Keep an eye on what the children are sipping and munching on. See that toddlers and babies are not consuming fizzy drinks or caffeinated beverages.
  • Choose a cake flavor that is liked by both children and their parents. Try to have an eggless cake so that most of the guests can relish it.
  • Make tempting and colorful foods so that children enjoy them.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How much should I spend on a first birthday party?

It entirely depends on you. If you want an extravagant party with all your friends and family, you may spend around $1000 or more. If you want a quiet and intimate affair with only your near and dear ones, you can cut the expenses and spend less than $300.

2. What time should a first birthday start?

Consider your baby’s sleeping time and active hours before hosting a birthday party. Depending on that, you can throw a party in the morning, afternoon, or evening. Make sure to pick a time convenient for you and your guests.

3. Can I feed my baby cake on their first birthday?

Yes, a small piece of cake would not harm your baby. However, chop the cake into tiny bits before feeding it to your baby to avoid choking hazards. Also, if you love baking, you can make a homemade cake using healthy ingredients to introduce to your baby.

For every new parent, their baby’s first birthday is one of the most awaited events. While you could be excited to organize a grand party for your little one, it would help if you plan for the event, follow a schedule, and keep things systematized. The variety of food and a delectable menu is a must-have for the party to be enjoyable and remembered. Take cues from these first birthday party food ideas to include the most delicious and exciting food items on the menu. Also, do not miss out on clicking adorable pictures of your munchkin and the event to relish the memories later.

Infographic: First Birthday Party Food Ideas

Your little one has completed one year around the sun. So, celebrate their healthy and happy 12 months with some delicious foods. This infographic contains a list of all the delicious food options you may consider for your child’s first birthday menu.

food ideas for first birthday (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get high-quality PDF version by clicking below.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
Download Infographic in PDF version

Key Pointers

  • Decide on the first birthday party theme, followed by the guest list and the menu.
  • You can plan appetizers, main course, beverages, and desserts for a large party.
  • You may have different options for your guests’ preferences for vegan, vegetarian, or non-vegetarian food.

Celebrate your little one’s first birthday with these easy and delicious food ideas! From cakes to snacks, we’ve got you covered.

Personal Experience: Source

i. Gregory’s Old MacDonald 1st birthday party.

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