13 answers

Menu Ideas for 1St Birthday Party

I was wondering if any of you have any ideas for a menu for my sons first birthday party. His birthday is in August and will probably be held outside at his great-grandmas house. I'm not sure yet what the theme will be, so any suggestions there are appreciated too! I just want things to be simple. Foods that I can prepare ahead of time are perfect. I dont want to have to spend my sons birthday in the kitchen. Any ideas/suggestions are very much appreciated! Thanks!!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers


For my daughters 3rd and 4th birthday parties i ordered chicken from giant eagle or walmart made macaroni salad/linguini salad and had the cake, chips dip. it worked out well, i picked the cake and the chicken up at the same time and the chicken was great not greasy at all.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

Do the part that you enjoy and leave the rest to others. I love to do cakes, so my boys always get a home made and decorated cake. I like to make sheet cakes and then cut them into fun (but simple) shapes and decorate. I did a cake shaped like a big "1" for a first birthday, and I also did a present arrangement - a couple of small rectangles with icing ribbons on them, plus some cupcakes with the letters to spell "Happy Birthday".

For decorations, we always do helium balloons - the mylars last forever and the kiddos love them.

The only other suggestion that I would make is to be careful with birthday hats. One of our little guys got his finger under the elastic and snapped himself pretty hard before I could stop him. After that, I did foam visors that I flipped around to make cute party hats. I can send photos of cakes or hats if you want more info . . .

It sounds like you have the right idea to allow yourself plenty of time to hang out with your little one. I also suggest asking someone that you trust to be in charge of pictures of all of the festivities . . .

2 moms found this helpful


For my daughters 3rd and 4th birthday parties i ordered chicken from giant eagle or walmart made macaroni salad/linguini salad and had the cake, chips dip. it worked out well, i picked the cake and the chicken up at the same time and the chicken was great not greasy at all.

1 mom found this helpful

My son's first b-day was in October and we had sterno set up and did homemade ziti, chicken nuggets and I ordered roast beef & gravy for sand. I just had to keep an eye on teh sternos. I know August is a little different than Oct. Good luck

Hello J.,
congrats on your son's 1st birthday. I also have a daughter who will be 1 in august. children are such a joy. I am also a caterer and I love to make childrens cakes. I would suggest just good ol' fashion picinic foods. hamburgers, hot dogs, pulled pork sancwiches (this is made the day before and is easy to do!), baked beans, potato salad, fresh fruit, taco dip, chip. The party stores have lots of themes. you'll just have to go check them out. it will be fun! good luck. feel free to get in touch with me if you want. i live by valley forge.
- A. p

I recommend a crockpot of barbeque. You can make it a day in advance, refrigerate it in a bowl, then transfer it to your crockpot to heat the morning of the party. Along with the barbeque I would add potato, macaroni or pasta salad (good brand of store bought). I would keep these over ice if they will be outside. I've purchased a few big plastic bright colored bowls at the dollar store and set my salad bowls inside them with plenty of ice surroundig to keep things cold. You could also add a fruit tray (strawberries, cantaloupe, honeydew) with a fruit dip and/ or a tray of raw veggies with dip. You could cut these up a day in advance and make the dips then too. Baked beans also go well if put in a crockpot. Add some chips and pretzels and a birthday cake for later and you're set. This has always worked well for me. Enjoy this special day with your little one!

We did our daughter's 1st birthday during that awful and weird heat wave at the end of April. We had meatballs in the slow cooker and put out a tray of rolls. My husband made two pans of lasagna the night before and we just warmed them up before the party. Hot dogs for the kids, macaroni salad...and tons of ice cream, freeze pops, etc.

Have fun!

Hi J.,

My son had his 1st Bday party on June 19th. We had a Sesame Street theme. We wanted to keep it simple as well since there were a good number of kids there ranging from 1-15. We ordered pizzas (Pizza Hut), a big tossed salad, pasta salad, and fruit salad. The salads were in the aluminum roasting pans so that they can just be tossed out after. We ordered cupcakes instead of a cake. We figured it would just be easier for the kids to eat. I had the cupcakes decorated with Elmo, Big Bird, and Cookie Monster faces. On the tables, we had little bowls of jello jigglers in red, blue, and yellow and swedish fish. Everybody had a great time and even though we had it inside, it was a beautiful day so the kids were running in and out the whole time. Also, I set up a craft table so everyone could draw my son a picture, a foam visor that they can decorate with either elmo or cookie monster. I also had my laptop there and played sesame street DVDs and music just to keep it lively. If you have any questions or would like to see pics, just let me know!

We just had a party for my son's birthday a couple weeks ago. We did a sandwich bar type buffet. A week before the party I cooked a turkey, ham and roast beef. I sliced them, arranged the slices and cooking juices in casserole dishes and froze them. They day before the party, I moved them to the fridge to thaw. They day of the party I put them in the oven on a low temp to warm up.

They day before the party I put togther a couple trays of toppings - lettuce, tomato, cheeses, etc. I bought various types of bakery rolls and condiments - mustards, horseradish, mayo, gravies, etc.

My mom made coleslaw, macaroni salad and fruit salad. I made glazed carrots.

It really wasn't hard to pull together and since most of it can be done ahead of time I was able to enjoy the party. I try to save time by buying bagged coleslaw, pre-cut carrots, etc. I also bought an electric carving knife - one of my favorite gadgets! The sandwich bar was a hit. Everyone liked the variety. Enjoy your son's birthday!

Hi J.,

My son also has a birthday in August and birthdays are a blast. I would suggest just to plan a cookout. Do burger/dogs on the grill and do some make ahead salad (side salad, potato salad, macaroni salad, etc). Grab some chips and the cake. The guests will likely ask to help by bringing some thing so let them, it takes some of the worry off of you. I have found for outside summer birthdays to have finger food, they work the best. People are not likely to sit and eat if it's warm out, but all will nibble. Have fruit, trail mix, goldfish, maybe pigs in a blanket, small water bottles or a marker to write names on cups. Just take it easy and plan for what your family like to eat. Good Luck

My daughters first bday, october, we had roasters and crockpots filled with different types of hotdogs! Cheddar hotdogs, sausauge types, regular. I had one pan with saurkraut and keilbasa. I had a foil pans with mashed potatoes and gravy. i was really a huge success!

Hi J.,
for the children ;
1= huge tray of 'frozen' chicken nuggets [simply heat]
2= huge tray of mac and cheese
3=a tray of 'done' cooled hot dogs
4= all fruit ..any thing
of course; for the childrens 'food section'...do in bright colors , big plastic serve 'n spoons, fun bowls/plates, fun colors try to set on a seperate table ....just for kids ....they will eat it up ...of course their own ketchup and mustard all on 'their' table .
Adults ;
i agree.. Slow cookers w/ any kind of bbq, summer salads ,
fruit,hard boiled eggs [ dye them for fun just soak in color while doing your laundry]
water water water for everyone ...ice cold
keep simple .....
**you have the old, the young and the in between run'n after their kids ....
write it down , make ahead , if people want to bring stuff .. Yes is always the answer!!!!!

Anything in a crock pot is great - pulled pork, sloppy Joe's, hot dogs and sauerkraut, plain hotdogs, you can also grill hamburgers in advance and put them in a crock pot with some sautaed onions and beef broth so they don't dry out (I've also seen them with tomatoe sauce). Try to avoid having to grill during the party - the food is great but it's no fun for the person working the grill. We've also done roast beef in gravy - get sliced roast beef from the deli, put it in the crock pot with beef gravy and let it warm up, serve with sliced cheese, rolls. A great way to keep salads and fruit cool during a party is to get a blow up baby pool, fill it with ice and then you can put al your salads in. It's easy to get to the food and everything stays cool.


I just had my daughter's 1st birthday and we grilled out burgers and brats (grandpa took care of that), and served potato salad and fruit salad, with "apptzr" of guacamole and salsa. Kept it really easy.

I didn't do a theme as my daughter wouldn't have known the difference. If anything the invites I sent out had little purple butterflies and hearts on them and I just got a few ballons that matched that color, as well as plates and table cloths to match.

Have fun, take lots of pictures and pay attn to your son versus worrying about the guests and the party as they only turn 1 once! Maybe relatives can help out a lot?

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.