Baby Shower Food
Planning your menu
Planning the menu is an essential part of the baby shower.
There are four main things that will dictate the baby shower food options you will choose:
- the time of day;
- the style of the shower;
- the budget;
- and of course, the preferences of your guest of honour.
Another key component is the resources you have to call on. Are there a few organisers or just one person?
If the baby shower will be held at a restaurant or café or you have hired outside caterers, your only obligation will be to select the menu in advance and then confirm (and pay) immediately before the event.
If you are also catering the food for the baby shower, do try and call on some helping hands. There’s a lot to get ready to make the party successful, so do try to delegate as much preparation of baby shower food as you can.
If you don’t have any help with the baby shower food preparation, do make sure you have a very clear plan about how the menu will be served and perhaps place a few note-cards on the dishes (what it is, when to serve it!) so that your guests can help out when the party is in full swing.
Ask your guests to RSVP
Make sure you have a good idea how many people will attend. Experienced party-organisers often suggest that you can expect about 10 percent of invitations to be declined – but it’s not until you get most of your RSVPs back that you will really have a good idea.
The time of day usually will have some impact on the kind of food you choose – but you’ll also have to consider how long your guests are staying. The longer they stay, the more food you will need to provide!
Time and place
A baby shower is not normally a sit-down meal, so finger-food and light snacks are generally more suitable fare. But if you’ve chosen an evening meal time-slot or even a breakfast time-slot, you might need to ensure that the food is a little more in keeping with the usual meal expectations at that time.
Typically, a baby shower is held on a weekend afternoon, so if that’s the case, foods that would be suitable might include sandwiches, small pastries (sausage rolls, quiches), cakes, fruit platters with cheese, dips with crudités and similar snacks.
Baby showers usually run for around three hours; in that case, people might expect some savoury snacks when they arrive, something a little substantial about an hour later (like sandwiches or chicken) and then some sweet dishes or cakes in the last hour.
The style of the baby shower will also dictate what kind of food you will choose. Are your guests more likely to be accustomed to tiny trendy canapés and flutes of champagne? Or would a plate of homemade biscuits and a cup of tea be more their style?
If you have developed a strong theme for your baby shower, you might want to think about ways you can incorporate that in the food. For example, for a pink theme, cupcakes can have pink icing and you can serve beetroot dip! But usually, you can tie the theme into the food simply by having some links through the serviettes or plates and cups on which the food is served.
Check for recipes that are simple and straightforward to ensure a minimum of fuss on the day.
Baby Shower High Tea
If you are planning food for a more formal event, you might choose to have a ‘high tea’ theme, with white-bread sandwich fingers (crusts removed), scones with jam and clotted cream, delicate slices of cakes and petits fours, madeleines and other glamour bikkies and perhaps small bowls of strawberries and raspberries.
Sandwich fillings should be light and glamorous; some suggestions are:
- cucumber and mint
- smoked salmon, dill and cream cheese
- ham and avocado or ricotta or Swiss cheese
- chicken and mayonnaise
- watercress and fetta
- egg and mayonnaise
Look for sandwich filling recipes with a minimum of ingredients; you will want to make sure that your mum-to-be knows exactly what is in each offering.
Try to use china plates and cups to keep with the theme – and of course, beg or borrow a few teapots.
Baby shower food on a budget
If you’re operating on a tight budget, getting your guests to help with the food is one of the biggest time and money savers you can make. Of course, home-made food is best, but busy or non-cooking guests will prefer to bring something from a shop.
If you are asking guests to being food, do make sure that you find out what each person intends to bring – or at least assign them a category, like ‘savoury finger food,’ or ‘small cakes’; otherwise could easily end up with wall-to-wall fruit plates and not a sausage roll to be seen! When asking guests to bring a plate, the key to success is communication. Ring them up, ask what they would like to bring – try to find out if they prefer to make or buy food and whether they have a ‘special dish’ they could supply; eg I have a friend who makes the most fabulous ‘melting moment’ biscuits, so we never ask her to bring anything else!
Here are some ideas for baby shower food “plates” you can ask guests to bring:
- Small meatballs (to eat with a skewer)
- Mini-wraps made from lavash or mountain bread
- Cookies or biscuits
- Savoury chicken wings or drumsticks
- Vietnamese rice-paper rolls
- Mini pizzas
- Vegetable sticks with dip
- Fruit plate
- Cheese plate
- Mini muffins
- Slice (eg. lemon, crunchy, brownie, mars bar)
From a shop
- Sausage rolls
- Mini party pies
- Mini quiches
- Spring rolls or samosas
- Chipolata sausages (good if you have a BBQ)
- Chips and crackers
- Store-made dips