Birthday Party Planning – Guest and Food Lists

This is part 3 in the Planning Children’s Birthday Series. Part 1 was a 10 Point Birthday Party Plan Check List. Part 2 focused on family strategy for birthday parties, party themes and birthday party invitations.

Guest List
Once we have decided upon who we are sending invitations to, I create a spreadsheet with the names of those invited. I then print out a copy and stick it up on the wall near the phone. That way even if Mr Infrasturcutre takes a RSVP call about the party, he can easily mark their response on the sheet.

I generally have my RSVP date set about four days before the party, so then three days before the party I enter in who is coming into the spreadsheet. The reason for this, is so that I can then use the numbers for calculations on quantities of food.

Food List
I try to keep food for the party closely aligned to the chosen theme and style of party. Some of my favourite menus have been:

A Long Table Banquet - Little Rascal had a knight theme, so we set up a huge banquet table and had chicken drumsticks, baked potatoes, corn on the cob and chunks of bread as the main food.

Footy Pack – Also for Little Rascal, a football (soccer) party. I bought cardboard meal boxes for each child and then placed a hot dog, 2 x meat pies, 2 x sausage rolls, serviette and a fruit juice in them. They all then sat on blankets on the floor (it poured with rain!) and ate together.

Luau – Hawaiian themed food, the details and recipes for which I have included in an attachment below.

I am a massive over caterer and to try and stem this, for the last few years I have been using the file attached below (Guest List and Food List.xls). There are two spreadsheets in this file which are linked.

Birthday Party Guest List And Food List

The Guest List spreadsheet documents how many people are attending and whether they are an adult/child/baby. The second spreadsheet lists the foods to be served at the party.

I then enter how many pieces of each food I want to make for each person (for example 3 chicken wings per child, 2 per adult) and then I have created a formula to determine the total quantity of each food.

I can then work out quickly how many times I need to multiply my recipes by to get the desired amount of food. I have highlighted the cells in the spreadsheets that have formulas in them by shading them blue.

You can tailor this spreadsheet for your own use by inputting the correct information for your party.

The Luau (Water) Theme Recipes Document has recipes for the following party food:

    – choc balls
    – tic toc tea cups
    – pineapple boats
    – kiwi fruit cocktail
    – shaped sandwiches
    – mini pizzas
    – chicken wings
    – frozen bananas ice creams
    – birthday cake – ice cream and berry

With Babaganouski’s birthday less than three weeks away, I am looking for some creative food for 2 year old boys. I know that they would like like the teacups as well, but I would like something along these lines but a bit more boyish. Any suggestions?


  1. says

    I thought I was the only one who organised my whole life with spreadsheets!! Your party tips are all so helpful, I’ll be using them soon for Guerita’s party. Sorry, I can’t advise much on what 2 year old boys like!

    Guera’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday – Mine!

  2. says

    What about monster faces on marie biscuts?? Decorate with licorice, 100s & 1000s, smarties, etc and murky coloured icing?? I was also wondering about broken lifesavers stuck on like dragons or the loch ness monster but how much fiddle??

  3. says

    I recently saw a great idea for really simple ‘mud’ cupcakes that boys would love – just a chocolate cupcake with chocolate icing and chocolate sprinkles for the ‘dirt’ then stick a gummy worm on the top… go all out and colour shredded coconut for grass or cut some green roll-ups but even without grass they looked fab and I thought they sounded pretty easy.

    I am beginning to plan Muski’s first birthday – we go all out for firsts and try to keep it super simple for the rest… but I want to come to one of your parties.. they sound fab!

    kate’s last blog post..(Almost) Wordless Wednesday – Castles

  4. HungryTribe says

    What about Lion’s faces on Marie bikkies – just some yellow icing as the mane and white/black or yellow for the nose, eyes (M&M’S?)& mouth?

  5. says

    Guera – I love to hear that I am not on my own with my love of spreadsheets!

    Cath – Love the idea of the Loch Ness Monster, think I should give that a whirl, I think that would be easier than the handle on the teacups.

    Kate – I think the worm cakes sound very cute and would be great because I could make them the day before.

    I also think it is so nice to celebrate big with the first birthdays. I think for me it is just as much a celebration of having made it through the first year with my sanity, as it is that they are turning one!

    Hungry Tribe – How versatile is the Marie Biscuit? I always have stocks of them in the pantry, but have never thought of icing and decorating them. Such a great idea thanks!

  6. Janinii says

    Hello, you have a great website and this party planning stage has been a wonderful help to me. I am having trouble finding the document with the luau recipes in it. I’d love to have them, so I can plan this menu for my daughters party.