Should you provide food for parents at a children’s birthday party?

It's actually a pretty good question…

Children's birthday party

by Eden-Olivia Lord |
Published on

Having your child's birthday party can be VERY stressful. There's the venue, the presents, the food, the drinks, the invitations... the list goes on.

One mum took to Mumsnet to share her problem with the hopes other parents would give her some great advice. The parent who goes by the username Northend77 and has twins explained her situation on the site. She's hosting a birthday party for her children soon and doesn't know whether she should also prepare food for the parents.

She wrote: "We plan to have a birthday party for our twins when they turn 3 later this year. It will be in an indoor soft play centre and I will be making up party food boxes (like a happy meal box with sandwich, etc inside) but would you expect there to be food for the parents too?

"The party will be at 3:30 for 2 hours so not quite tea time, too early for an adult I'd have thought anyway. It's town centre based and there are plenty of pizza/chicken/kebab places nearby that they could get take away from if they wanted. I will provide plenty of soft drinks and tea and coffee.

"My mum thinks I don't need to provide adult food but my husband thinks I'm being rude not to. What would you expect?"

Children's birthday party
Do you supply food for parents at your children's parties? (Credit: Getty Images) ©Getty Images

Plenty of Mumsnet users replied to the thread with many suggesting buying a few snacks for the parents. One person commented: "Tea and coffee is enough. I provided food at my children's soft play party… The other parents were very grateful but quite surprised so I don't think it's expected."

Another agreed: "I've never catered for adults but we went to a soft play party recently where the parents did cater for the adults and it was amazing! Four huge pizzas, chips, trays of sandwiches etc. Must have cost a fortune! It didn't last 5 minutes though, because all the kids noticed and wanted it so a lot of kids party food went to waste. It was my daughters party the week before and all I'd done was offered parents a cheese sandwich: I felt cheap!"

Someone else wrote: "I usually go to Costco and get a giant tin of biscuits for the adults and offer with tea or coffee (and mulled wine/minced pies/coke/diet coke but that's overkill)"

Children's birthday party
A lot of people agreed that supplying a few snacks for parents seemed appropriate (Credit: Getty Images) ©Getty Images

A fourth person added: "We did a soft play party for our daughter we didn’t provide food for adults but did open a "tab" for tea/coffee/pastries at the café in the soft play centre and told parents to help themselves."

Although a few people didn't think she had to supply any food for other parents. One person argued: "Personally I wouldn't even get sucked into buying coffees for any adults that are staying. There may be 2 parents, and older/younger siblings hanging around. Where does it stop? People will usually get their own if they are that bothered."

Someone else wrote: "No I wouldn't expect adult food at any children's party."

Children's birthday party
When you go to your children's friends birthday parties do you expect food for yourself? (Credit: Getty Images) ©Getty Images

Another commented: "No don't – not necessary. I would be happy to accept the need to buy a coffee from the cafe and bring my own snacks if I'm that hungry."

The mum has since updated everyone and agreed that she'll just make a few snacks for the adults: "Oh yes, tins of biscuits. That would go down well mid-afternoon with tea and coffee.

"We have exclusive hire of it [the play centre] and can bring in our own food as long as we clean up afterwards so the small café that is normally there will be closed."

She added: "There will also be more cake than you can shake a stick at as we do a cake each for our twins!! Plenty to go around!"

Phew, at least that's sorted then.

Have you ever experienced this problem? Do you always stay at your children's friends parties? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

You can read the full thread here.

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