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Childrens Football Parties:
Food & Drink

Whether you do the catering yourself, or you hire a venue which provides food, you will need to plan some party food, and plenty of drinks. It's always a good idea to have a few alternatives on hand, as you can pretty much guarantee that someone won't like whatever you've prepared!

Depending on the nature of your event, you may be catering for the kids, you may be catering for their parents/relatives/other adults, or you may be catering for both. For more "adult-oriented" food and drinks ideas, please visit the Recipes and Drinks pages of our sister site, where you will find plenty of recipe and drinks ideas for your party, arranged by nation (so if you are throwing a Spanish-themed party, for example, it's easy to find Spanish recipes and drinks ideas). There's also a specific section for barbecue recipes.

Outsourcing the Catering

There's nothing to say you have to do the catering yourself. It can be very time consuming, and making sure you have plenty of options for your more "choosy" guests can push your costs up and leave you with a lot of uneaten food at the end of the event. So "outsourcing" can be a good idea.

So the big question is - eat in or eat out? Because the easiest option may often be to let the kids do all their running around and physical activities, and then simply take them to their favourite burger bar or pizza restaurant. It saves you a lot of work cooking and cleaning up. The only thing you need to make sure is that you have enough vehicles and drivers to transport them all to and from your chosen restaurant.

Alternatively, switch things around, and get the food to come to you! Order in pizza (or other takeaway) to wherever you're hosting the party. Again, this saves you cooking, and it's pretty hard to find kids who don't like pizza!

Doing Your Own Catering

If you decide to do your own catering, having a buffet-style arrangement solves a lot of problems, in that the "choosy" eaters will be able to find something they like! But before we get any further into that, one important thing to say with my "football coach's head" on: make sure there is plenty for the kids to drink. If they've been running around playing football, whatever the weather they will be dehydrated. They may not be feeling thirsty, but they will still need to drink plenty to rehydrate.

Right, now to the food. Here's a list of some suggestions for things to include in a buffet-style party menu for kids. It may not be the perfect list, we'll probably keep adding to it as we think of more things, but it's enough to get you started:

  • Sandwiches - cheese, ham, egg mayonnaise
  • Mini sausage rolls
  • Pizza slices
  • Cake (see below)
  • Crisps (chips for our American friends)
  • Cocktail sausages and/or mini-hotdogs
  • Biscuits/cookies
  • Dips with celery/carrot/pepper sticks
  • Fruit - e.g. grapes
  • Chicken gujons/nuggets
  • Popcorn

If you're feeling a little more adventurous (and feel confident that your young guests have more adventurous taste buds!), we have plenty of recipe ideas for nibbles, snacks and finger food from around the world - see if there's anything that takes your fancy!

In addition to theming the food itself, a lot can be done to theme a kids football party using simple, inexpensive touches on the table where they eat.
To start with, either buy a football party tablecover or buy a green plastic table cover and use white masking tape to mark out a football pitch.

Add a few football party plates and football design napkins and away you go!

But don't forget - the party food doesn't quite end when the party does - you'll need a selection of football themed food and treats to put in those Party Bags too!

Cakes

Fooball Cupcake The most obvious area in which party food can be given more of a football theme is cake. With a little imagination, football themed cakes can be made that look really special, yet don't take too much effort. Even decorating plain cakes with football birthday cake candles or chocolate footballs can make a difference to making the party feel like it's been given a real theme.

A little bit of green food colouring in your icing and some chocolate footballs, and before you know it you can have individual cup cakes for party bags (see photo - above).

And before we move on from cup cakes, another option could be edible cake toppers. These are edible (rice paper?) discs, printed with a huge choice of designs, that can simply be put on the top of your cup cakes to give them a really personalised, themed finish. There are loads of designs available - we've shared a few links on Amazon (right), but if you click through from these and then search for your team, we're sure you'll find what you're looking for.

Making a "football pitch cake" is simple. Just bake a sponge cake in a rectangular tin, cover with green icing, and pipe on the white lines to mark out the pitch (photos to be added shortly).

Similarly, making a cake for your favourite team isn't as hard as you might think. Again, start with a rectangular sponge. Colour some fondant icing with appropriate food colouring for your team's strip, and roll out to a suitable thickness (about 5-8mm is fine). Cut out into the shapes you need to form the shirt and shorts, then assemble on top of the cake. Pipe on any smaller details if required (photos to be added shortly).

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