My beautiful little girl turned 3 and we had a cute little party for cousins and friends in the park. I thought I might share the catering /party considerations for this age group and what we ended up with.
1. Food allergies- ask about any food allergy concerns of from the parents when they RSVP and give them a run down of any high risk foods when they arrive – we only had one boy with coeliac so I made sure all options savoury/ sweet and lollies where gluten free except the cake – we made cupcakes so I simply asked that parent to bring some gluten free cupcakes for her child. I also made a peanut butter and cream cheese dip, whilst no parents had highlighted this allergy, I was a bit nervous about it, but I just made sure I made and stored it in isolation so as not to contaminate anything and asked/ told people about it as they arrived – all my guests were regular peanut butter eaters – so there was no need to worry!
2. Next you want a mix of savoury and sweet and nourishing and some treat food options (complete restriction of treat foods is usually not a great idea- but you do not want to overdo it either). We had some berry and watermelon platters- always a hit with kids, some carrot and celery sticks and rice crackers with a few homemade dips and cheeses. Dips included the peanut butter dip- just peanut butter and cream cheese – delicious, avocado dip- 2 avocados, juice of one lemon and a few spoons of natural Greek yoghurt, and a chickpea dip.
2. We then had just a few some gluten free lollies and chocolates and mostly non food toys as game prizes.
3. And our cake was banana cupcakes with cream cheese frosting (with some extra gluten free cupcakes for child with coeliac).
4. For activities, the park was great. There was lots of running around and party games- we had ballon races, pass the parcel, soccer kicking, frisbees, and based it in our dinosaur park- so lots of exploring and play equipment on hand.
5. Finally a few lollies and chocolates were in the party bags – but it was filled out with some plastic dinosaurs, pencils with unicorn erasers and party whistles. So as to not overload all the kids with excessive sugar!
I think I got the mix of food and activities right, but most importantly everyone had fun.
Hopefully this gives you some ideas, if you have a 3, 4 or 5 year old party coming up.