Food for an 18th birthday party

One of my younger sisters (Sariah) turned 18 last weekend and we had such a lovely evening involving: volleyball, table tennis, table football, chatting, party games, a guitarist and food. It turned into a bit of a logistical nightmare when my Mum planned a surprise party, then all of a sudden she decided she wanted her own party – not ideal. I’m ashamed to say that a lot of lying went on between family members to make sure we covered up – it was awful and we are all terrible liars…but amongst all the madness she didn’t manage to guess exactly what was going on (I’ll never know how).

The birthday girl!

I did the food shop earlier in the day with my Dad to get some of Sariah’s favourite foods whilst she went out with friends for lunch, and I couldn’t help but laugh what was on the menu:

– goat’s cheese tart from her favourite patisserie

– houmous with vegetable sticks

– fruit platters – grapes, melon, strawberries, blueberries

– salad (and lots of it)

– brushetta (not great for maintaining fresh breath but gorgeous)

– cheese and crackers

– potatoes

– olives

– sundried tomatoes

– feta cheese

– elderflower cordial and apple juice (all the fam are tee total)

Followed by: cream scones, brownies and lemon drizzle cake…then hot chocolate and squirty cream around midnight.

Preparing the food

This is pretty much a standard menu at one of our family events because we all love tasty food with lots of ingredients…plus lots of cheese. It got me thinking about what teenagers like eating and what is a typical party menu for an 18 year old. I have looked online and all suggestions seem to involve mini sausages, quiche, pork pies, crisps, sausage rolls, sandwiches, party rings (of course), doughnuts, samosas, chicken wings and pasta. I know if I asked my husband his response would be similar to this. We heard quite a few of the guests comment: “oh I’m so glad it’s healthy food” and “yes! I love healthy food” which was unexpected.

A late night for the babe
A late night for the babe

So…why do we British seem to have this culture of unhealthy party food when guests would probably enjoy some variety and something more healthy? Let’s be honest, it does make tucking into a brownie much more enjoyable if you have only had salad, fruit and a bit of cheese for starters – rather than pies and pastries.

I must confess that I do sometimes feel self conscious when guests come around to our house as we never have any biscuits, chocolate, crisps, bread or cows milk in – as my husband suffers from candida and I’d prefer not to have it in…once you haven’t drank cows milk for a while the taste is so strange. The comments from these lovely teenagers has made me realise that people do like and will eat healthy food if it is on offer. Let’s change the standard British party menu!

E xx


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