If you're hosting the ultimate baby shower, a key aspect of the event is serving the perfect food and beverages to really wow your guests. While plenty of people hand this hefty task over to the capable hands of a catering company, many decide to go with a well-curated baby shower lunch buffet menu of their own. Buffets are excellent ideas for large gatherings, and they're oftentimes cost-effective. Be sure to have all of the very best baby shower buffet ideas on hand, so when party time comes, you are the hostess with the mostest.
Time of Day
Before you can begin fashioning a delectable buffet, you and the other hostesses will need to decide what type of foods you want to serve. This decision will depend upon the time of day that the shower will be held.
Breakfast or brunch baby showers are gaining in popularity. Saturday morning showers enable guests to visit, enjoy the gathering, and then dig in to an array of appetizing breakfast foods. Additionally, Sundays are known as fun days, and what's more fun than rounding the weekend out with a party?
Shower luncheons are typically held around the middle of the day, so serving lunch foods will be appropriate at this time. Baby shower luncheons are also popular for workplace parties. Friends and co-workers can spend their lunch hour together, celebrate the impending birth of the new baby, and return to work at the end of the shower. While this will take some planning, and may involve the help of several people, a workplace luncheon can certainly be a success.
Mid-day baby showers are also perfect for those wanting to throw a low-key affair. Go backyard barbecue casual and serve up your favorite picnic foods, or plan a party in the park, where everyone can kick back and relax and play loads of fun and active baby shower games.
Buffets are also appropriate for an afternoon tea. The menu will consist of mainly finger foods, however. Pile variations of classic finger sandwiches and snacks atop pretty platters and tiered display stands. Just because you are going full-on buffet doesn't mean you can't get fully fancy with your feast.
Baby Shower Dinner
Dinner showers are also fun, and they are often the choice for couples' baby showers. The dinner can be a sit-down feast, but it can be focused around a buffet as well. Design a buffet around several main dishes and plenty of sides and salad options for guests to enjoy.
Once you've decided upon the time of the shower, you can now begin planning the menu items. Typically, the foods you choose will echo the type of shower you are planning. You can also tie the shower's theme into several of the dishes and beverage choices so everything appears cohesive.
This buffet type may include breakfast casseroles, quiches, fruits, pastries, coffees, teas, and other breakfast foods. You can create a fun and whimsical donut wall that will wow everyone, or make a mountain of muffins to delight guests. Be sure to create a coffee bar for your java lovers, and make sure mimosas (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) are served.
Luncheons can center around cold cuts and breads, vegetable trays, chips and dip, deviled eggs, and desserts like brownies, cookies, or cake pops. Consider adding a soup and salad option to your lunch buffet, and be sure that several of the menu choices are gluten-free and vegan or vegetarian. If dishes meet specific dietary needs, label them as such, so guests know which foods will best suit them.
Generally, baby shower teas feature light finger foods, because this shower is held in the mid-morning or mid-afternoon between meals. Finger sandwiches and deli, fruit, or vegetable trays are staple tea items, as well as a variety of desserts, such as cupcakes or cake slices, brownies, and delicate cookies.
Dinners can feature just about any type of food imaginable. Some hosts like to plan culturally inspired dinners, with Chinese, Mexican, or Italian dishes poised as the stars of the buffet table. Others serve potluck buffets, with everyone bringing their favorite dish. For added fun, copies of the recipes could be included at every dish station, so everyone has an opportunity to make the yummy dishes at home. Cook-outs are also popular for baby shower buffets. Serve up burgers, hot dogs, ribs, steaks, chicken, and salmon. Grilled veggies, pasta salad, cucumber salad, and baked beans can accompany the main course.
Setting up the buffet will depend upon who is involved and where the buffet is held. Be sure you have plenty of help, and remember the following tips:
- For outdoor buffet plans, include an alternative indoor option and provide tents or areas of shade.
- Plan on hosting the buffet in a room or area that is large enough to accommodate tables of food and lines of guests.
- Try to make the buffet as self-sufficient as possible. The hostesses want to enjoy the shower, too, so include plenty of serving utensils.
- Try to arrange for shifts of servers who are on duty to replenish empty serving platters and bowls, if necessary.
- Don't overlook a catered buffet as an option.
- Decorate the buffet table with paper tablecloths, flowers, cute baby items, and other centerpieces.
- Set up an extra table with dinnerware, eating utensils, napkins, etc.
- Consider buying attractive yet disposable plates, cups, and utensils to make clean-up a breeze.
Build a Baby Shower Buffet With the Guest of Honor in Mind
Hosts and hostesses who throw a baby shower sometimes forget that the party isn't exactly for them. It's common to get carried away with your view and creative ideas, but remember that all aspects of the shower, buffet inspirations included, should be run by the parents-to-be. Keep them in the loop for all party planning decisions, and you are sure to throw a baby shower that will delight your guests.