Baby Shower Food

Ideas for delicious baby shower appetizers, finger food, desserts, snacks, sweet, savoury, boy shower themed food, girl shower themed food and more.

Your best friend is having a baby and you’ve been tapped to provide the food. It’s an honor. It’s your pleasure. But it might also be your nightmare. What do you feed these people? Should you pick a theme? Call a caterer? Cook? Where do you start? Rest easy, there is a method to this madness. The first thing to remember is that it’s all about the baby and making sure that the tiny person gets everything he or she needs to feel safe, warm and loved. There are specific ways to plan a shower that will help you pick the best food for your particular party. Let’s look at key factors in descending order.

Budget

This is probably the most important factor when considering your food. But it’s not just your budget that you need to consider. There are three questions you need to ask out before you make any other plans: How much do you have to spend? Where will you get the money? What is the mother’s budget? All three of these are equally important and inter connected.

If you are the hostess of the shower as well as planning food, you can probably plan the budget by yourself. But if you are planning the shower with several friends, then discussing the food budget becomes far more important. Part of that discussion should include who will pay for the food. Some party planners ask each of the guests to pitch in a small amount to help cover the cost. While others ask each of the planner to pay a slightly larger amount. Again, if you are planning the shower alone, you are on the hook for all the expenses.

The third thing to consider is the mother’s finances. This can be a delicate discussion, especially if you are planning the shower in a group. It might be tempting to “shower” the mom with specialty foods and an expensive spread. However, if the mom is struggling to gather those things she needs for the baby, and afternoon of great food probably isn’t the most helpful gift. Think about it: what if you spend $500 on a catered meal for the shower, but the mom can’t afford a car seat, crib or stroller? Wouldn’t it be far more caring to put that money towards something the mom needs?

Mom’s needs

It goes without saying that a pregnant mother should not be drinking alcohol. Since this is a party for her, nix the open bar or spiked punch. But there are also other things that pregnant women should avoid. Meats can be a tough situation. Because they might harbor bacteria, pregnant women should avoid all raw meats, fish, and eggs. While that might seem simple, it means rare steak, no sushi, and no Caesar salad dressing. If you are planning a brunch, nix the eggs Benedict, since both lightly poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce contain undercooked eggs. Doctors recently added processed meat to the list of forbidden foods of pregnancy. Too often the processing introduces bacteria that can hurt the baby. This includes all deli meats such as salami, ham and turkey, so a sub sandwich tray isn’t recommended. It also means that hot dogs and rare hamburgers aren’t safe either, so don’t plan that shower barbecue.

While veggie trays are healthy, make sure that you wash any fresh produce with a vegetable wash, or soak them in water with a 10% vinegar solution to kill any bacteria that might be clinging to the produce.

Additionally, pregnant women cannot have unpasteurized milk or unpasteurized milk products. This generally rules out soft cheeses such a brie and blue cheese. Instead look for harder cheeses that are marked as pasteurized.

Finally, pregnant women should avoid caffeine. So, even if you offer regular coffee to the rest of the guests, make sure that you have de-caf available for the mom.

Seating Options

After food, another important thing to think about is where people will eat the food you serve. In order to choose the right food, you need to know where the party will take place. For example, might have an outside shower with café tables spread around the lawn, or a conference room where people can eat at a table. If your guests are sitting at a table, you have the option of serving food that requires silverware. If you are planning the food for a shower in a home, where guests will be balancing a plate and cup in the lap then you don’t want to add the issue of juggling silverware on top of it. In that case, opt for finger foods and nibbles.

Serving

This is related to the seating options and depends on the venue you choose for your shower. Make sure that wherever you have the shower, your spread doesn’t take over the shower. You need to have room for guests and gifts and decorations. You need to have room for the mom with her probably larger-than-life baby bump. So, when planning your serving area, make sure that you don’t take up too much space. If you’re short on space, consider serving food that can quickly and easily be packed away. That way the table space used for the food can do double duty as a display area for the gifts.

As you are planning your food, think about what sizes and types of serving dishes you have on hand. The last thing you want to do is spend part of your precious food budget on platters or bowls.

Part of serving is deciding what the guests will eat from. You have a wide range of options from disposable plates, cups and silverware to reusable dishes. Unless you happen to have a dining set for 20, reusable plates are best reserved for smaller, more intimate showers. Disposable options have gotten very nice. But try to choose options that allow you to recycle. Let’s try to leave a clean world for the baby.

Theme

Finally, within the strictures of budget, Mom’s food restrictions and venue size, you have the theme of the shower to think about. If you throw a winter shower, consider food and nibbles that have a frosty, cool look and feel. A summer shower might revolve around fresh fruit, well washed (see #3.) Ultimately, when planning the food for a shower, you should always keep the mom-to-be and her needs in mind. What food is safest and will bring her the most joy and how can you make it comfortable for her and the rest of your guests.

DIY Baby Shower Food Ideas

You’re hosting a baby shower for your best friend. Sure, you want a spread by a celebrity chef, but who has the money, or even their contact info. Thankfully, you can make a lovely, memorable and tasty shower in your own kitchen, even if you think you can’t cook.

If you feel unsure about your culinary skills, go ahead and try a few of these ideas out ahead of time. You can see which ones you like and which ones are best suited to your party theme.

Cookie Dough Bar

You know you’ve tasted raw cookie dough and love living on the edge. Unfortunately, with a baby on board, raw eggs are forbidden for your mom-to-be. You can make this treat safe by mixing her favorite cookie dough with egg replacement powder. You can find this powder in the natural foods section of your grocery. Simply mix the recommended amount of powder with water to replace each egg in the cookie recipe. It works well for sugar cookies, gingerbread, and, of course, chocolate chip cookie dough.

At the shower, place bowls of cookie dough out with several small cookie dough scoops in each bowl. Surround the dough with a variety of toppings such as sprinkles, chocolate syrup and whipped cream. Invite your guests to dish up their own treats and top them as they wish.

Dipped and Drizzled Pretzel Sticks

Decorated pretzel sticks are a delightful way to celebrate a new family. You can color them to match the décor and use them as edible centerpieces or table decorations. While they are expensive to purchase, they are simple to make. If you can use a microwave, you can make these pretzels. Use the large pretzel rods and choose the pretzels that are whole without chips or cracks.

For dipped pretzels, you have several options. You can purchase candy melts in pink or blue or white. If you choose the white option, purchase sprinkles that match the gender of the baby or your décor. Simply follow the directions on your brand of melt and melt them in the microwave. While they are melting, tear off a piece of waxed paper. Stir the melts after they are melted to ensure that the liquid is smooth and fully melted. Dip the pretzels one by one in the melted candy and either lay them on the waxed paper or roll them in sprinkles for added color. Let them cool before storing them in a sealed, cool container.

To create drizzled pretzel sticks, melt several different shades of your chosen colors. Lay the pretzels on a baking rack over some waxed paper. With a fork, drizzle the melted colored candy over the pretzels. As each color cools, turn the pretzel one quarter turn to ensure that the pretzel rod is colored on all sides. After the candy cools completely, store the covered pretzels in a sealed cool container.

Seven-Layer Dip Cups

Having a Nino Fiesta? Why not celebrate with a seven-layer dip? But rather than create one big dip that looks awful after the first serving, make individual servings for each guest. Simply place each layer in a clear drink cup and place them on a tray to serve with a bowl of tortilla chips. Your guests can dip to their hearts desire while keeping your table attractive.

Smoothie Bar

Trying for a healthier fare? You can set up a smoothie bar that lets each guest make their own personal smoothie. Before the party, hit up your friends and gather as many mini-blenders as you can find such as the Bullet or Ninja blenders. Before the party, lay out bowls with a variety of fresh fruit and veggies as well as yogurt, ice cubes and ice cream. Then, let your guests mix their favorite blends. Pour them in individual cups to keep the blend containers with each borrowed blender.

Fruit and Veggie Kabobs

Just because you haven’t fired up the barbeque doesn’t mean that you can’t have kabobs. Simply cut fruit or veggies into bite-sized pieces and thread them on a skewer. To make the kabob look extra festive, cut larger pieces such as pineapple slices or cucumber slices with small cookie cutters in the shape of hearts, stars or other shapes.

You can stick the ends of the kabobs in a Styrofoam block to hold them upright or lay them on a tray. Serve the fruit kabobs with a fruit dip and the veggie kabobs with a ranch dip.

If you want to serve something a little more substantial, try cutting cheese slices with cookie cutters and skewering them with fresh tomatoes and basil for an antipasto kabob.

Personal Quiche

Sure, you can pick up a box of mini quiches at your favorite big box store. But you can also make a batch yourself filled with fresh foods and no preservatives.

You can use your favorite quiche recipe or start with your own simple base. Mix eggs with a little fresh milk or cream. Season with a little salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. Shred ham, cheese, spinach and spray a mini-muffin tin with your favorite non-stick spray. Place ham and cheese in some mini-muffin cups and spinach and cheese in others. Spoon the egg mixture over the filling choices and back at 325 degrees until a knife inserted comes out clean.

You can make several dozen mini quiches ahead of time and put the in the freezer until the day they are needed. Simply heat them up with a pan of water in the oven to keep them from drying out.

Chicken and Waffle Minis

Looking for a brunch treat that is a little more whimsical? Try Chicken and Waffle treats. Simply purchase mini toaster waffles, the kind that come four to a slice, and chicken nuggets. Before the party, bake the chicken nuggets and toast the waffles. Take the waffles apart and sandwich the chicken nugget between two mini waffles and skewer them together. Place them on a tray and drizzle a little maple syrup over each of the little sandwiches.