Tips for kids party food to wow guests
Getting the food right at your little ones party can be the difference between 30 screaming kids and 30 happy kids! Friends Hatty Stead and Annabel Waley-Cohen had the idea to create original, homemade party food and formed Hats & Bells in 2007, they share their tips to help us all create fantastic party food to wow even the fussiest of little ones.
1. What are essential ingredients we should all have in the cupboard for party food?
Our cupboards are jammed full with good quality dark chocolate, fondant icing and edible glitter. Doves Farm Flour is also a great staple for any gluten free diets.
2. What kitchen essential gadgets help make party food special?
We would both be lost without our Kenwood mixers, as they are such time savers! Mini muffin tins are a "must", particularly at Christmas time for all those mini mince pie making sessions and no kitchen is complete without a sturdy spatula and pair of good quality oven gloves!
3. How much variety of foods do you recommend for an average party?
We recommend our clients choose two "main courses" a few savoury nibbles and then two or three sweet treats. Make sure you "over cater", as there will undoubtedly be some hungry parents who will want to tuck in too!
4. What are your dishes that are guaranteed winners at a children's party?
Our mini fish and chips served in cones, always fly off the party tables. Rocky Road with smashed honeycomb is a bestseller and clients are always asking for hand-decorated cupcakes too.
5. Do you have some clever tips to get children eating the more healthy options? eg. salad/fruit?
We have honestly seen children fight to eat fruit, when it is put on a sparkly stick and served in a giant flowerpot...Parents are always amazed and can never quite believe their eyes!
6. What should you avoid when catering for a children's party?
Never do half of one option and half of another. For example, if you are serving mini burgers and mini pizzas for 20 children, always make 20 portions of each item (minimum). We have seen clients order 10 of one and 10 of the other and this inevitably ends in tears! Children follow each other, so if one reaches for the pizza, so will the remaining 19, leaving you with lots of burgers and several hungry tummies too!
7. Sum up the secret to successful children's party food?
Make food fun is our mantra. The more visual and beautiful the food, the more popular it will be. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was our inspiration, so whenever we are looking for new ideas, on goes that Gene Wilder classic!
Find all their recipes in Hats & Bells Children's Party Cookbook by Haty Stead & Annabel Waley-Cohen. Published by Kyle Books, £18.99. Photography: Jemma Watts
Haty and Annabel were chatting to Sarah Sheere