So you’re planning a baby shower, and you’ve got the decorations, the games, and even the gift – so what’s missing? Ah, yes: the food. It’s not a baby shower without a ton of cute edibles for guests to pick at. However, if you’ve already blown most of your budget elsewhere, you might need to be careful how much you spend on food. It’s important to remember that at a baby shower, the food isn’t just for eating – it’s also part of the decor. Throwing bowls and casserole dishes full of eats onto the food table just doesn’t cut it.
Are you worried about going over budget when feeding a lot of people? The trick is to dress up cheap eats so that you can snag bargains on the food, but not sacrifice the tone or the theme of the baby shower. Remember that when in doubt, fresh fruits and vegetables are always appropriate, and they look pretty and colorful on a food table.
Baby Shower Food Ideas
Baby shower food should look as good as tastes, so take some time to think up different presentations for the food you’re preparing. Often, a few toothpick flags, a pretty cake plate, or a fun way to eat the treats is enough to make it look like you spent a ton.
1. Strawberry Shortcake Kabobs
A light cake such as strawberry shortcake is perfect for brunch or lunch parties, but it can be ho-hum when doled out in slices. A box of strawberries and a pound of angel food cake can be bought or made cheaply, but instead of serving it on plates, sweeten the deal by turning the cake into kabobs.
Get a package of skewers and cut the cake into cubes. Then, alternate sliding strawberries and cake onto the skewers until they’re filled. When serving, offer a small cup of melted chocolate or vanilla pudding for dipping – that way, guests can just grab a kabob from the food table and move on. The best part? The kabobs look so fancy that no one stops to think about how much (or how little) you spent on them.
2. Cupcakes With Printable Liners
Cupcakes are a standard at any baby shower, and you can make them from scratch or from a box mix for little money. The only problem is that when paired with a smear of frosting and standard-issue cupcake liners, the cupcakes don’t add much to the decor.
Instead of setting out lackluster cupcakes, search the Web for cupcake liner printables. These are designs that bloggers and foodies have created for you to use in a ton of different colors, styles, and themes. They make for unbearably cute food. You can also make the frosting look fancier by piping it on with an icing bag, rather than spreading it with a knife. These are the little details that can spruce up low-cost shower foods.
3. Individual Veggies
Veggie trays add a ton of color to a shower food table, but they also usually result in guests congregating around the food, which can make for problems if you’re at capacity. Instead, encourage guests to mingle in another area by creating personal veggie cups.
Purchase small plastic cocktail glasses from a dollar store, and when you’re ready to plate, place a small amount of dip in the bottom of the glasses. Then, pop your carrots, celery, cucumber spears, and whatever else you have into the cup, standing them up vertically. This provides guests with a perfect amount of dip (which saves you money on refills) and keeps people away from the food table.
4. Popcorn Bags
Despite what movie theaters would have you believe, popcorn is actually one of the cheapest foods to prepare. And it’s perfect for guests to munch while the mom-to-be is circulating or opening presents.
If you want to serve popcorn to your guests, avoid the microwave stuff – it’s full of chemicals, and can cost a couple dollars per bag. Instead, pop your own by grabbing a jar of kernels and shaking a half cup into a paper bag. Fold over the top of the bag neatly, and microwave it for approximately three minutes. Or, make larger batches by popping it the old-fashioned way on the stove. Just add a tablespoon of oil to a pot and add the kernels, removing from the heat once three-quarters of the kernels are popped. Not only do you save money and calories by popping the popcorn yourself, but you can also add your own seasonings.
Lastly, print off a tag that says “Ready to pop!” and staple it to individual paper bags full of popcorn.
5. Craving Table
Every mom-to-be has cravings every now and again. A cute way to pay homage to the mom’s pregnancy and help fill in the gaps of a food table is to offer some of the mom’s favorite cravings with note cards explaining each.
For instance, if the mom-to-be can’t stay away from ice cream, scoop individual servings into cupcake liners and freeze until you’re ready for the party. Or, have a pickle tray with a ton of different flavors and styles. You just need to interview the new mom before the shower.
The best part? Most cravings, whether cold cereal, chocolate squares, pineapple, or something else, can be bought cheaply in bulk. It makes for a cute decor addition, as well as something that the guests can add to their plates.
Throwing a shower can put a serious strain on your budget, and unless it’s unlimited, something’s gotta give. Luckily, when you put some extra thought into presentation, cheap eats don’t have to scream “I ran out of money!” Instead, serving up traditional, inexpensive food in original ways means the food table looks awesome – and you can relax and enjoy the party.
What are your favorite baby shower foods?