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Tea party for 5 year-olds--what to serve?

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I owe my 5 year-old a tea party with two of her closest friends. My problem is that I'm not sure what traditional tea items would really work for the kids.

I could do PB&J or tuna finger sandwiches, but it seems like cheating. I can't really test on my own 5 year-old, because she eats a much wider variety of foods than the two guests.

Am I stuck with using familiar ingredients in fancy shapes, or has someone out there found other tea items that work for kids who are of the chicken nugget cuisine set?

I'll use a sweetened fruit tea for the kids, with pink lemonade as a backup.

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  1. sounds like fun... I would think that the fancy shapes would go a long way... you can always cut out sandwiches with cookie cutters. you can always slip in a few cucumber sandwiches in with the peanut butter and jelly. this wouldn't be a big committment of ingredients... and you can always enjoy the leftovers with proper tea. also, an assortment of tea biscuits or scones with jam.. and maybe clotted (or whipped) cream might go over well.

    my niece loves to have tea parties (though still just pretend tea with goldfish crackers). I can't wait until she is older. :)

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      Amuse Bouches

      I fondly remember my own five year old tea parties. Cream cheese and jelly sandwiches in familiar shapes are a big hit - cream cheese can also be mixed with multiple ingredients -- mashed or pureed strawberries come to mind, that make good tea sandwiches. Small sweet scones could be good, and cinnamon toast. Fruit and whipped cream, meringues, egg salad sandwiches, macaroons, etc.

      1. A very traditional tea is composed of finger sandwiches, followed by scones and biscuits, and finally small cakes or a tart. I would avoid PB&J if you're aiming for traditional as tea foods are usually quite "regular" and easy to eat.

        Some things you can do are:

        Herb cream cheese sandwiches. You could add cucumber or cress. Actually anything with cream cheese will work in a tea sandwich. I've had chopped walnuts and honey, apples and cinnamon, and cheddar and chutney.

        Chicken salad or egg salad sandwiches on a dark bread (or chicken mayonnaise and egg mayonnaise as they're called in England).

        Vegetable pate or anything you can spread on bread and roll and slice to make spiral sandwiches.

        Scones with cream and jam. Mini butter cookies.

        Fruit tarts.

        If there is enough time, you can include the menu with the invitations so there won't be any surprises for the more finicky eaters.

        And if all else fails, PB&J minis cut with cookie cutters.

        Good luck!!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Blackbird

          i am a big supporter of the sentiment of cream cheese/honey/walnut sandwiches.

          as well as egg mayonnaise. also, why not use an english white cheddar with some mango chutney? even grill them and then cut into the traditional tea triangles.

          also wyler's makes a green tea with peach "tea" thing which is very kid friendly and very tasty.

          this sounds like a lot of fun.

          1. there are many good nutritional foods to serve-
            manners, etc can be introduced as well-
            u may want to also psost this msg on yahoo goup teamail for more info on tea parties for kids

            1. Cream cheese and thinly sliced cucumber sandwiches are also a good and innocuous option.

              1. Just did a big tea party for my 7 year old in April (Original post & photos on the Home Cooking board).

                I made pound cake squares topped with cream cheese whipped up with jam (raspberry or strawberry, etc.)and piped onto small pound cake squares. VERY pretty, and tasty too. (Costo pound cake is perfect for these.)

                Another popular item was deli ham spread with cream cheese and a sliced pickle at the end; roll then cut into pinwheels (Can keep spirals together with a toothpick, if desired.)

                I also had bread colored pink and made cream cheese, ham & pickle tea sandwiches. (Kids seem to really like that flavor combination.)

                Serve strawberries (dipped in chocolate if you have the time) alongside.

                1. m
                  Michele Cindy

                  This might be better for the "Home Cooking" board. I'll add my 2 cents on the way though... cream cheese and jelly sandwich's cut into heart shapes, Mini pizza bagels, fruit salad on a skewer (cut off the pointy tips) + bananas cut into circles, served with a chocolate syryp dip.

                  1. I think you need to stop calling it a "tea party" and serve these...

                    Link: http://www.yummyfun.com/amonkeys.html

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Sir Gawain

                      Plenty of booze for the adults.

                    2. I wouldn't agree to give 5-year-olds caffeine. I hope your tea is herbal. Raspberry herbal tea is a classic. And, add fresh raspberries for the ultimate treat. They'll look twice, but they will like it.

                      I have found that if one child will taste an item, the others will at least taste it, too. So, don't worry if your daughter starts them off. We've enjoyed the typical, but simple, tea sandwiches such as egg salad, deviled ham, chicken cashew, tuna (lots of mayo), and butter w/watercress.

                      And, placing a fresh raspberry on top of some of the tea sandwiches is very good and very typical at Women's teas. Glue with cream cheese or butter. Also, properly prepared strawberries are a treat. Angela took notice that they were specially fanned after flat slicing almost up to the green. Some didn't want to eat them because they were so pretty, but you can flat slice a small bowl (without the green) and put the fanned cut ones as a garnish or on each little lady's plate as garnish.

                      I have also found that serving small bites of celery filled with cream cheese and three or four capers inline on top of it is interesting to them. Some pick off the capers. If you flatten the bottom a little with a quick small slice, it's better.

                      Besides the typical scones (some girls think it hurts their mouth), petit fours are good. Vanilla cake and fondant. Not too odd; forget the almond paste filling. Also, mini tarts are often well recieved. Lemon, chocolate, and banana cream are popular. I would also offer a small box of chocolates. See's sometimes has individual boxes and the girls can take home as a party favor. Godiva does, too. A small bite of chocolate will keep them all smiling. And, those gold covered coin chocolates can also be good, however, not the best chocolate. They eat them anyway. Alot.

                      Last week, we added fruit roll ups cut into small rounds. The girls were all dressed up in princess dresses and felt most comfortable to request them. They rule! You can also use the fruit roll ups instead on fondant on the vanilla cake petit fours.

                      And, also not too typical, but small bowls of cashews and raw almonds are good.

                      I'm sure yours will be just wonderful.

                      1. The American Girl Place in Chicago and NYC offer a tea in their cafe. My grandaughter loved it. You might cantact them (begin with the web site) for a menu as it is somewhat traditional (based on the era of teas for each American girl book) and yet child friendly. First, invite each girl to bring along their doll to your girls tea. Begin the party with hat making. Get some hats and child-safe plastic flowers that they can add. A great dessert that is part of the AGP tea is a small plastic flower pot with a plastic flower but the dark soil in the pot is really crumbled Oreo cookies. You can buy the reusable flower pots from AMP.