Baby showers are social gatherings, so naturally they often include snacks or meals. Everything from snack stations to brunch menus or a sit-down dinner is fair game when it comes to these personalized events. Choose a menu that best fits the mom-to-be, the shower theme and your guests.
The idea for a mini menu is to serve up finger foods, appetizers, or tapas where people can pick and choose between small bites from stations around the room. Since babies are mini versions of adults, the theme works with any shower. Offer up small plates, cocktail napkins and little appetizer forks to keep with the theme. For this appetizer-only menu, serve five to ten small snack options in stations like the ones suggested which include nine finger foods and a drink.
Big Flavor Station
Italian appetizers are perfect for a mini menu because they feature familiar flavors. With these foods, guests get big flavor in a little, portable snack.
- An Italian Bruschetta includes a few ingredients like tomatoes and balsamic vinegar piled atop a small bread slice. Look for fresh tomatoes and mozzarella from local farms or artisans at a farmers market to enhance the flavor. If you're looking for a low-carb version, leave out the bread and pile your bruschetta on top of a thick mozzarella slice.
- Another quick and elegant appetizer is prosciutto and figs. All you need are three ingredients and some toothpicks to create these rolled bites. If you can't get figs, try kumquat or apricot instead.
- Try mini-skewers with Crock-Pot meatballs and a chunk of mozzarella cheese for real Italian flavor. The meatballs are filling, but also incredibly easy to pull off.
Hearty Food Station
For your hearty options, try small snacks packed with meat or protein.
- Crabcakes are an easy, filling seafood option. Make mini versions guests can pick up and eat in one bite.
- Cook up a batch of Beef Croquettes, which are similar to crabcakes as they feature beef and breadcrumbs. Since you hand-form the croquettes, you can make them look more like a meatball size and skewer them with toothpicks for an easy mini appetizer.
- For something easy, try shrimp cocktail. It's always a crowd pleaser and it requires almost no effort.
Offer up a variety of dipping sauces like barbecue sauce, horseradish, ketchup at this station.
Lighter Fare Station
- Make a regular sandwich and cut it into four equal squares to make them miniature.
- Swap out white bread for whole wheat or whole grain bread for a healthier sandwich.
- Pair these with simple salad skewers made by stacking a grape tomato, folded leaf of bibb lettuce, and small square of cheese on a toothpick. Drizzle skewers with a favorite salad dressing or offer them as dips.
No baby shower is complete without an adorable and tasty dessert.
- Get creative with chocolate-covered strawberries by dying white chocolate pink or blue before dipping the strawberries.
- If you're looking for a less sweet dessert option, coat the strawberries in yogurt instead of white chocolate.
- Serve next to decorative mini cupcakes for the perfect delicious and tiny dessert station.
Fill a decorative metal bin with ice and mini water bottles for an easy drink option. Create individual punch bowls by filling mini Mason jars with a classic baby shower punch recipe. Cut a hole in each jar lid big enough to fit a straw through and embellish with cute striped or polka dot designer straws.
Vegetarian Family-Style Menu
Capitalize on the friendly nature of a vegetarian meal and serve it in a family-style sit down lunch. Place platters of each dish down the center of the tables so guests can pass them around. Guests are sure to strike up conversations over the food choices, which may be out of their comfort zone. Garnish dishes or platters with fresh herbs or sliced fruits and vegetables that pair with the flavors in the food. Thin slices of lemon or peppers look great around the rim of a plate.
Offering options ensures all guests have a good experience.
- Since not all guests are likely vegetarians, opt for a main dish with familiar ingredients like a Garden Quesadilla. Loaded with peppers, onions, cream cheese, and spices like cumin these quesadillas are easy to make and easy to eat. Make them even more healthy by using whole wheat tortillas instead of flour tortillas.
- Pair the quesadillas with Vegan Lettuce Wraps like a Quinoa Sweet Potato wrap. Baked sweet potatoes, quinoa, and avocados star in these yummy meals wrapped in a lettuce leaf. These wraps use similar spices to the quesadilla, so they'll go together well for those who want to try both main dishes. You can swap the quinoa for rice or another grain to make it more mainstream.
Choose sides that go well with bold main dishes.
- Since the main dishes pack a lot of flavors and a little heat, one great side dish is a Mango Salsa Vegan Casserole. Black beans, mango, corn and tomatoes blend over hot rice for a flavorful, warm side. If you can't find mango, try using pineapple instead.
- For a cold, refreshing side try a Marinated Vegetable Salad. Raw artichokes, zucchini, onions, peppers, and cauliflower get a flavor boost when marinated in a simple honey mustard marinade. For a heartier side, add in marinated tofu or diced cold cheese like mozzarella. Choose whatever vegetables you like or those that are in season near you.
- Round out your menu options with a simple Eggless Banana Bread recipe. Try out one of many egg substitutions like vegetable oil or a fruit puree. Most people won't be able to tell the difference between this and a classic recipe, so it's appealing even to unadventurous eaters.
Finish off the meal with a themed cake or cupcakes made with a Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe. Using ingredients like almond milk, vinegar, coffee and applesauce you can create a delicious, vegan-friendly cake. Decorate the cake to match your theme and guests won't even realize it's vegan.
A vegetarian menu should include water as one of the main drinks. You can also serve a homemade lemonade made with real lemons. An old-fashioned version works best in this menu. Pour a pitcher for each table and make it look festive by including ice cubes with individual pieces of soft fruits like raspberries or strawberries frozen inside.
Multicultural Buffet Menu
If your parents-to-be are from different cultures or the shower theme is something worldly like a geography or map theme, a multicultural-inspired menu works well. Serve this menu as a classic buffet so guests won't feel pressured to try everything. Add tiny cocktail flags to each dish to help point out where they originate from. Use serving dishes, platters and tablecloths inspired by art styles from different cultures to round out the look.
When choosing main dishes, try to pick things that are likely to have broad appeal.
- Crock-Pot Curry Chicken. While the curry powder might be a new flavor for some, this simple soup-like recipe includes mostly basic ingredients like chicken, onion and garlic. Serve with a bread option like naan to keep the authentic feeling.
- Give guests a vastly different flavor profile with Slow Cooker Carnitas inspired by Mexican culture. This shredded pork is perfect for a build-your-own burrito bar where guests can fill a corn or flour tortilla with the carnitas and toppings like salsa, tomatoes and lettuce. Add heat with chili peppers or jalapeños and swap out the pork shoulder for any cut you like best.
Choose sides that have a rice or pasta base.
- Add flair to a traditional side dish when you cook up Cajun-inspired Dirty Rice. A side like this takes white rice to the next level with the addition of spicy sausage.
- Get a taste of Egyptian culture with a simple Falafel recipe. Pureed chickpeas with a variety of spices get shaped into flattened balls and fried to make this delicious dish. Trade out chickpeas for fava beans to get a more authentic dish.
- Round out your offerings with an easy noodle dish called Yakisoba. This Japanese dish mixes shredded carrots and cabbage with wheat flour noodles to make a dish that most people love. If you can't find wheat flour noodles, try ramen noodles or even spaghetti noodles.
Forgo the traditional baby shower cake or cupcakes and replace them with fun, easy layered dessert options.
- An Easy French Dessert is the Napoleon, which includes layers of puff pastry and pastry cream.
- Serve up a similar alternative to a Greek Baklava. A chocolate version includes layers of phyllo dough and a chocolate-pecan mixture drizzled with chocolate glaze.
Keep up the multicultural theme by serving teas and coffees from different regions of the world. Add in a cold, refreshing option like the nonalcoholic Irish cocktail called Irish Rose. This simple option uses soda water and fruit juices to create a tasty drink.
Options for Everyone
Successful baby shower menus include options to cover the variety of guest tastes. When possible, match your menu theme with either the shower theme or some aspect of the new parents' lives for a cohesive event.