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Son's 1st Birthday Party...?'s

My son's 1st Birthday Party is next weekend, and I have a question about food. The party is at 2:00 PM, and I'm being told by a few people that because it's a children's party that shouldn't last more than 2 hours and because of the time (it's after lunch and before dinner), I don't have to serve food other than cheese and crackers or a small veggie platter or chips and dip. I've invited between 35 and 50 people (we have a large family) and I personally feel that because I've invited people to a party where the invitations did NOT say something like "Join us for cake and ice cream", the proper thing to do would be to serve food. My menu ideas are having chips and dip, a veggie platter, a large bowl of fruit salad, and mini sandwiches that we can order from a local deli that are both delicious and inexpensive. We are doing cupcakes instead of a cake with ice cream. What does everyone think of this? What is the proper etiquette for serving food? Thanks so much for all of the advice and help!!

Re: Son's 1st Birthday Party...?'s

  • Your son is going to get his own little chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, right? Not a cupcake, but a small cake? It's not a first birthday party if the birthday boy/girl isn't covered in cake.
    fiizzlee = vag ** fiizzle = peen ** Babies shouldn't be born wit thangs ** **They're called first luddz fo' a reason -- mo' is supposed ta come after. Yo Ass don't git a medal fo' marryin yo' prom date. Unless yo ass is imoan. I aint talkin' bout chicken n' gravy biatch. Then yo ass git a all-expenses paid cruise ta tha Mediterranean n' yo ass git ta hook up Jared Padalecki on tha flight over while bustin yo' jammies. But still no medal.
  • Of course! I'm making homemade cupcakes for everyone else and I'm doing a small cake for him to play in... and for all of the pictures! :)
  • Etiquette-wise, I don't think food would be expected or required at a mid-afternoon or mid-morning time- I think I heard there's a rule of thumb that if it's one hour after or two hours before a standard meal time, it's understood that the event will not include a meal and will finish before the next meal time. ?But, that could be kind of a regional thing, and some families do just all out and feast whenever they get together or whenever there's a special occasion, no matter what time it is. ?

    I think your menu sounds fine for either since it's all fairly snack-y type things, but has some variety. ?

  • I would not expect a full meal.  However I would appreciate a good selection of snacks to nibble on. 
  • I think what your serving is fine, this is what we do at all family get togethers...just have a bunch of stuff set out for everyone to snack on, usually by the end everyone is usually too full to eat the next meal anyways
  • A full meal isn't required or expected at the time (in fact, it's extremely awkward) but your plan isn't really a full meal, just finger foods. I'd stick with your plan. You are serving things where it's easy to take as much or as little as your prefer.
  • As a guest, I always appreciate something good to eat.  Nothing's worse than being trapped somewhere for 2 hours and hungry with no food in sight.  So something more than cheese and crackers would be great.   

    Sandwiches are lovely.  Fruit salad rounds it out well. 

    I tend to make a fuss with food.  Sometimes I think too much.  But even if I did an afternoon party, I'd do a hot pasta and sauce or a lasagna ..... but I'd love sandwiches, too.

    My darling daughter just turned 4 years old.
  • I think your plans sound fine, and I'd just make sure I had plenty of whatever you are serving on hand.


  • Since this is your own family, I would imagine you have a better idea of what they would expect than we would.


    As long as you offer that which is expected in your clan- or more- you'll be fine. In my family cocktails, beer and wine would be expected with simple food to go with those choices. In my MIL's alcohol and kids don't mix and the food would be lunch meat trays. My bff would have a dinner buffet and elaborate cakes.

  • I agree with auntie--I'd do what is the expectation for your family.  At my family with a 2:00 celebration, wine and beer would definitely be expected and light snacks, but not a meal.  DH's dad would definitely have any alcohol before like 6:00 PM.  MIL would make a crazy buffet of random foods. 
  • I would just do cake and drinks.   You'll have a lot of food wasted if you get all that.  Everyone will eat before they come.
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