When you are planning a baby shower, the menu is an important part of the party. Make sure you give it the thought and attention that this critical part of your event deserves.
Here's how to plan a terrific menu your guests will love:
- Before you start to plan your menu, decide what time of day you will be holding the shower. If you are holding the party at lunch or dinnertime, you should plan to serve a whole meal. However, if it is set for mid-afternoon, you probably need to provide only foods such as snacks, beverages and cake.
- Consider how many people will be attending and how much space you have to seat them. If you will not have ample table space for all of your guests, make sure that your food choices are easy to eat without a table. For example, avoid things that must be consumed with a knife and fork and opt for finger foods instead. Also, if you have a large group of guests attending, a buffet table for casual grazing is much more manageable than serving a more formal sit-down meal.
- Think about the food likes and dislikes of the mother-to-be and her invited guests. Even if you know the things your friend usually enjoys eating, check with her since tastes often change during pregnancy; favorite foods can become repulsive and previously disfavored foods can prompt cravings. Also, ask her about any food allergies she or other guests may have.
- An important part of planning for food is knowing who will be in attendance. If your shower is co-ed, you will probably need heartier food than for a women's-only event. Many men will not be sated by a lunch of finger sandwiches and quiche. They also tend to eat larger quantities, so make sure you have enough food for generous servings. Also, if you are holding a family-style event and expect small children, plan to have some perennial kid favorites like chicken nuggets, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or macaroni and cheese.
- When planning beverages, you will need to decide whether or not to serve alcohol. While the mom-to-be is probably not indulging, guests may expect some wine or beer to be served. If you make alcoholic and non-alcoholic punch, make sure you label which bowl holds which. And be sure to offer plenty of soft drinks like sodas, sparkling waters and juice.
- Try this sample luncheon menu as a starting point for your party. It is simple for even a novice to prepare, is suitable for a buffet, and is appropriate for 15-20 guests. Want something a little more robust? Substitute a hearty casserole, stew or thick-cut roast beef sandwiches for one sandwich type. And don't forget to include some fun desserts!
- 48 Finger Sandwiches: Cut regular-sized sandwiches in quarters after removing the crusts. Most groups will be happy with 24 turkey and cheese and 24 cheese and cucumber. Replace 12 with peanut butter and jam if children are attending
- 20 Chicken Salad Croissant Sandwiches: Fill miniature croissants with chicken salad.
- Pasta Salad: Make a light pasta salad with vinaigrette dressing, pasta, and steamed spring vegetables such as zucchini, peas and red bell peppers. You may blend chunks of cheese or pine nuts in, as well.
- Green Salad: Provide a garden salad or Caesar salad as a side dish.
- Fruit Salad: Make a cut fruit tray, or blend melon, strawberries, peaches and blueberries into a fresh fruit salad.
- Cake: Bake or purchase a shower-themed cake for dessert.