Think a wedding with kids can't be elevated? Think again! Including children at your wedding dinner doesn't have to mean resorting to hamburgers & spaghetti. With some expert catering advice, you can plan a kid-friendly wedding menu that will turn your youngest guests into sophisticated foodies.
As we've said below, you'd be surprised how fun slurping oysters can be for a kid. Oftentimes, brides and grooms feel like they need to cater to children at their wedding. But, as you may remember from your own childhood, most kids enjoy feeling a little bit grown up!
You should always consider your wedding guests when crafting your wedding menus while still keeping in mind your ultimate goal: creating a wedding dinner that suits you as a couple.
Our friends at Be Inspired PR – and their handy group of wedding planning pros – are weighing in on how to craft a menu that appeals to all generations. From making kid-friendly food look more elegant to considering dishes that appeal to grown-ups and kids alike, here are 6 tips to making a child-appropriate dinner menu that still feels elevated.
Presentation is everything.
“Your little guests (and their parents) will remain happy as long as there is food! After pre-wedding prep and ceremony, by the time the cocktail hour and reception come around, kids will be hungry and thirsty. Just like the adult’s meals, presentation for kid’s meals can make food more fun for children to eat!” – Jessica Flores, CEO + Founder, Wedding Sitter
Add some “tray-passed” items that are kid-friendly too.
“Veggies like carrots and celery are always a hit and can be placed in individual small clear cups with hummus or ranch dip at the bottom to make for easy dipping. Fruit kebabs on a soft bamboo stick are easy to eat and are visually appealing. Cheese and crackers also make for a great kebab stack!” – Jessica Flores, CEO + Founder, Wedding Sitter
Kids love finger foods, even adult kinds…
“There's no arguing that kids love finger foods and tasty morsels on a stick! Given that one-bite hors d'oeuvres accompany most wedding cocktail hours, why not use this opportunity to introduce your youngest wedding guests to new fancy foods? You'd be surprised how fun slurping oysters can be for a kid. And, every child loves pancakes, right? Why not little caviar blinis? Chips aren't far from any kid's menu, swap salsa for zesty ceviche on a crispy tostada. Finally, for your on-a-stick appetizer? Ahi tuna skewers are sophisticated & a level-up on kid's tuna.” – Claire Eliza, Editor-in-Chief of Bridal Musings
Think traditional kids' foods, but make it mini.
“There are certain menu items that are sure to be a hit with all kids – however, when it comes to actually eating, it can quickly turn into a total mess. Instead, opt for mini and easy-to-grab items for a mess-free meal. Some of our favorites are macaroni & cheese ball bites, mini cheeseburger sliders, or mini grilled cheese paired with a small cup of soup.” – Jessica Flores, CEO + Founder, Wedding Sitter
Keep a cohesive design.
“One way to elevate kids’ meals at your wedding is to utilize the same place settings that the adults have. Use the same fancy plates, flatware and napkins so that it feels cohesive with your design. Kids will love it too because they will feel like they've grown up but still get the fun food!” – Kari Dirksen, CEO + Lead Planner, Feathered Arrow Events
Make them feel like adults.
“We love coursing a kid’s meal so they can feel like adults! While the adults are being served salad, have the kids served a crudité plate of veggies, and when entrees come out, keep it kid-friendly with a simple chicken and mashed potatoes. Of course, some kids will still opt for the mac and cheese though!” – Jamie, Cape Cod Celebrations
Include a fancy mocktail in your drink menu.
“Mocktails & low alcohol cocktails (think kombucha as the spirit) are trending these days. No longer an afterthought, we're seeing signature mocktails with all the creative inspiration that traditional cocktails have! The best way to elevate a mocktail for the kids at your wedding (an adults, too) is fancy glassware & garnishes. Include edible flowers in the ice cubes or have your bartender sprinkle them on top. Use fancy glass rims to mocktails just like an alcoholic margarita. Dehydrated citrus really elevate a non-alcoholic drink, too!” – Claire Eliza, Editor-in-Chief of Bridal Musings
Need more menu planning advice? Browse through our Food & Drink section for #cakespiration, wedding food ideas, expert wine-buying advice & cocktail pairings.
These tips were gathered with help from Be Inspired PR, a PR + Social Media Agency for wedding, wellness & lifestyle clients. With over 10+ years of experience, we’re here to take our clients to the next level! Find oodles of stylish wedding inspiration on their Instagram & Pinterest.