Gymnastics Birthday Party Food (Other than Pizza)

Updated on May 14, 2014
C.K. asks from Plainfield, IL
23 answers

For my daughter's 4th bithday party, we're having the celebration at a local gymastics center. It's the kind of party with an open gym for an hour, then they move to a party room for food/cake for 45min. But it's bring your own food for the party (a fridge/freezer is available). The party is from 11-1, so people are going to expect lunch.

Here's my dilemna... the birthday girl may be the only 4 year old on the planet that doesn't like pizza! Nor will she eat sub sandwiches. I'm looking for menu suggestions for this kind of event, other than the usual pizza or sub sandwiches.

So something that will feed 20ish kids/parents and doesn't need to be heated (other than perhaps a crock pot). Any suggestions?

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answers from Cleveland on

A friend served KFC chicken strips (and sandwiches) at a party. People loved them. I copied and they went like hot cakes - even faster than the pizza I also had :). So that's another idea...

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Hot dogs! Heat em up in the crockpot, buns and ketchup, chips or carrots and celery sticks and call it a party!

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Boston on

Do pizza and something your DD will eat...pbj?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Will she eat regular sandwiches? Can you make a bunch of turkey/cheese and peanut butter/jelly, cut them into 4 triangles and serve? That's what 4 year olds like anyway:)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Killeen on

Chick-fil-a does party trays with chicken nuggets and fruit :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I would say hotdogs. You can heat those in a crock pot and most kids love them.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I would just do pizza (easy and cheap) and pack my daughter her favorite lunch.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

How about hot dogs in a crock pot, with a veggie and fruit tray? Or how about a big tray of macaroni and cheese with the same sides? Make your own sandwiches? A tray of breads/rolls/bagels. A tray of meats and cheese, etc. What does your daughter like to eat?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

if it was me I would make hot dogs before going. put them in the the bun and wrap in those little wax paper squares. We do this for our bingo every year. and a crock pot will keep them warm. you can have ketchup and mustard available. chips, and cake and your done. I would not do a lot of big fancy food for a bunch of 4 year olds and the parents should not really expect to be fed.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I'm having a gymnastics party for my son this weekend. He is allergic to cheese and doesn't like sandwich. I decided to serve chicken skewers. I might also do beef and/or vegetable skewers too, but the skewers in general will be the main course. I'm planning to heat them up at home and just keep them in covered dishes. They won't stay hot, but 1.5 -2 hours isn't long enough for them to be cold either.

We will also serve fruit and maybe chips, plus cake. Keeping it pretty simple.

I'm hoping to go to Trader Joe's and get premade, frozen skewers. Costco sells fresh ones if I can't find frozen ones. I'll just have to go on Friday for those.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

I have a child like that! What about popcorn chicken or chicken wings? Add chips, salad or fruit salad and you're good to go!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

She sounds like me at that age :-)

I think the easiest thing for you to do would be to make sandwiches or have hotdogs. You want something that you can just set in front of them without too much trouble or a quick, easy buffet. Nothing that requires too much assembly.

You could do hotdogs, pulled port, Italian beef. Any of those can be prepared ahead of time and left in a crockpot. Maybe a veggie or fruit tray and some chips.

Definitely try to keep it simple.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I would do an easy brunch type menu: bagel platter (with bagels already sliced in quarters to accommodate 4 year olds), cream cheeses, mini muffins, a big bowl of fruit salad, a veggie platter with ranch dip, and then a big bowl of snack mix: goldfish, pretzels, chex mix, & m&m's. Place a stack of small paper cups by the bowl to make serving & clean up easier.

Other tips: use juice boxes for kids drinks - less spills. And if you're serving ice cream with birthday cake, buy those individual ice cream cups- they're quicker to serve than scooping ice cream & easier to clean up.

Happy Party!
SAHM of 5 (and hostess of too many birthday parties to count!)
(14, 12, 6, 4 & 2)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Chipotle does great party tray of bean and cheese burritos (I'd cut them in half for little kids, they aren't small). If you send someone for a pick up, it should stay warm for serving. Then you can do your own hors' devours or just order the guacamole and chips. It would probably cost you about the same as pizza.

Many mexican restaurants will do a party box that does not require the whole catering set up. I think even Pollo Loco does this. You could even just order off their dollar menu for such little kids.

I get the hot dog thing, its easy and cheap. I don't let my kids eat hot dogs, and if its the only food offered I cringe. I think Mexican is a good way to depart from standard party food.

Mine also hated pizza. I did Panda express take- out for her party. But it went with the asian theme and we had adults to feed as well.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Hot dogs in the crockpot, chips, fruit platter, juice boxes. I can't believe a poster has never been offered food at a bday party!!!



answers from Boston on

My daughter doesn't eat pizza either, so I feel your pain! What does your daughter typically eat for lunch? Try to incorporate some of those foods. I used to still serve pizza to guests (quick and easy!) and then have something my daughter liked to eat on the side (e.g. strawberries or saltines - some of her favorite foods!). If I were you I would probably still go with pizza and have a side/snack that your daughter likes. If she is still hungry after you can feed her something else. My experience is that birthday kids are usually too excited to eat anyways, so you don't want to spend too much time worrying about it. Good luck!



answers from Portland on

Chicken nuggets with Carrots\Baby Corn\Berries.

You can make the nuggets yourself by buying bulk Chicken Tenderloins and cutting them up before grilling or baking. Ask parents about preferred sauce but I would do Sweet and Sour, Mayo, Ranch, and BBQ.



answers from Los Angeles on

I would get pizza for everyone else b/c it's cheap & feeds a lot of ppl.
Then add things like:
-mac & cheese in a crockpot
-carrot & Ranch tray
-salami, cheese & crackers
-hot dogs
-mini hamburgers (you can buy the White Castle ones in the frozen
-mini sub tray w/salami, cheese, turkey (that's all)

So just pick 3 of the above things & you should be fine.


answers from Washington DC on

get pizza for the guests and bring something for the birthday girl to eat.
so easy.


answers from Austin on

What does she eat?

Tortellini, chicken legs, burgers, sausage wraps, little smokies?
Quesadillas, bowls of cereal?



answers from Chicago on

Antipasta trays, with rolls, fruit, etc.



answers from Oklahoma City on

I never ever serve food. They can do cake and go out to eat lunch. I can't imagine going anywhere like a birthday party and be offered food.



answers from New York on

chicken fingers, pigs in a blanket, zucchini strips, sweet potato fries (all available frozen, all easy to prepare, serve and eat).

F. B.

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