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Easy First Birthday Party Food Ideas

Inside: Great first birthday party food ideas that are perfect for little fingers, and even foods that the adults will enjoy at one year old’s birthday party!

The first birthday party signifies a major milestone for the birthday child and the parents.

smiling baby in front of striped background with first birthday cake in front
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Planning the first birthday party food requires some thought because of the age of the guest of honor, including the party treats and finding appropriate party favors for 1 year olds.

One-year-old children are just beginning to explore adult foods. Many food items such as popcorn, nuts, and other hard items present choking and allergy hazards. Keep these hazards in mind during the 1st birthday party planning.

Here are some fun and easy foods for a first birthday party. Be sure to also check out our Favorite Snacks for Kids’ Birthday Parties and birthday wording samples for writing your child’s invitation as well!

First Birthday Party Food Ideas

Shaped Sandwiches

Shaped sandwiches add a youthful touch to the party food.

Cookie cutters make it easy to shape the sandwiches to fit the party theme, whether it’s animals, balloons, or the number “1.”

Cutting the sandwiches into shapes also eliminates the crust, which younger kids don’t normally like anyway.

Sandwich Filler Ideas

Choose a variety of fillings that appeal to both kids and adults.

For kids, try:

  • Turkey and cheese
  • Sunbutter and banana
  • Ham and cheese
  • Tuna mixed with cinnamon applesauce
  • Peanut Butter & Jelly

Use caution when serving peanut butter. Make sure no one on the guest list has a peanut allergy if you plan to include peanut butter on the menu. Consider substituting sunbutter to be safe.

Make some sandwiches with fillings such as chicken salad that appeal more to adults. This gives everyone a variety while making an easy main dish for the party.


Kabobs made of soft food offer a creative way to display typical finger foods that a one-year-old might eat.

mini veggie and meat kabobs

The kids get a safe baby party food option, and the adults get a fun presentation.

Use decorative plastic toothpicks to make the kabobs. Make sure the toothpicks are removed before the food is served to the younger kids.

Another option is to have bowls of the food without skewers for the one-year-old kids. This eliminates a potential hazard with the toothpicks.

Nearly any soft food works on the kabobs. Chunks of cheese and cold meats such as turkey or ham work well. Try adding chunks of bread or vegetables to the kabobs for more substance.

Fruit is another good option for kabobs. Cut bite-sized pieces of soft fruit and slide them onto the skewer.

For a dessert kabob, alternate chunks of pound cake and strawberries or raspberries. Serve chocolate sauce on the side.


Pasta is a soft food that most one-year-old children can eat, making it a good baby party food option. Here are some tips for serving pasta at a toddler birthday party.

  • One drawback to serving pasta if there are lots of young children is the messy sauce. To help the parents, keep the sauce and pasta separate.
  • Offer alternatives such as butter and Parmesan cheese or Alfredo sauce if the parents prefer not to use a red sauce that can stain clothes.
  • Pasta also works with other party food favorites.
  • Make homemade macaroni and cheese for the first birthday party food menu.
  • Make a separate pan of macaroni with extra flavor such as jalapenos for the adults.
  • Cold pasta salads are another option that young kids can eat safely.


Crackers of all types generally work well as baby party food. Offer a variety of cracker-type foods as snacks—animal crackers, saltines, graham crackers, and cheese-flavored crackers are all good choices.

To make the cracker tray more appealing to adults, include dip or cheese.

For an easy prep option, purchase a dip at the store. Another option is to make homemade sour cream-based dips or a spinach and artichoke dip.


Cupcakes work well for a first birthday party because they are already individually sized.

cupcake with number 1 candle with red and blue balloons in background

The guests can serve themselves, and cupcakes are easier for young children to pick up and feed themselves, unlike traditional cake.

Cupcakes are easy to bake and decorate at home. A simple swirl of icing and some sprinkles is enough to make the cupcakes look pretty for the party.

Cupcakes also offer an easy way to provide more flavor options over baking one large cake.

Bake two or three different cupcake flavors to appeal to all of the guests. Chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry cupcakes are good basic party food options. Add different flavors of icing for more variety.

Another option is to let the guests frost and decorate their own cupcakes at the party!

The 1st birthday party planning has so many parts to it, and the first birthday party food is among the most important choices for safety reasons. Keep all of the guests happy with type of food the adults and kids will both enjoy.

one year old baby with party hat at high chair with father, text reads the best 1st birthday food ideas

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