Don’t tell mom-to-be, but the true star of most baby showers is the food. Hosting a shower is a chance to flaunt a unique menu of tasty, bite-sized treats. Since baby showers lend themselves most easily to tea party and brunch-style gatherings, an ideal menu combines an assortment of sweet and savory snacks. From tarts, crostinis, and tea sandwiches to cookies, cakes and fruit, baby showers are a great opportunity to prepare a fun assortment of food to accompany the exciting occasion. Depending on the preference of the soon-to-be mom, the bite-size menu can also be paired with a selection of light cocktails or ‘mocktails.’
Regardless of the host’s baby shower theme, the trend tends to be foods in small serving sizes. Since guests are mingling and playing games and not generally sitting in one spot, as with a dinner party, it is best to offer small bites that are not too complicated to maneuver. Since the food should reflect the mom-to-be’s taste, asking her for some favorite flavors in advance is a good idea.
Bite-size sandwiches could be something as simple as ham and brie on a sliced baguette. If the guests have more adventurous palettes, a sandwich with a mix of sweet and savory, such as a fig and prosciutto mini-sandwiches with gorgonzola and arugula could be a hit. Be careful when using soft cheeses, though, since they are a big no-no for pregnant women! The egg salad sandwich is a classic hit and a great option for potential vegetarian guests. A variation on the egg salad sandwich, including chopped and mashed avocado, can spruce up the traditional style.
The crostini is the toasted or grilled relative of the tea sandwich, and is generally a big hit for those seeking a melted snack. A simple, but delicious option is the tomato and mozzarella crostini. With a bit of ripped basil in each small, toasted sandwich, this is a vegetarian treat that is sure to be a main attraction. Toasted black bread bites filled with smoked salmon, cream cheese and scallions are another tasty brunch or tea party option. In addition to being relatively simple to prepare, the benefit of serving crostinis and tea sandwiches at a baby shower is that the style of sandwich can be customized for guests from simple to intricate, meat-lover or vegetarian.
Though they may not be the most innovative elements of the host’s menu, certain hors d'oeuvres are common favorites that have come to be expected at baby showers. Pigs in a blanket are very simple to prepare, whether the host chooses to wrap them in a pancake or biscuit dough. They are quick to pop on a plate and can be spiced up with a side of hot mustard or a paprika aioli. The crowd-pleasing vegetarian alternative is the deviled egg. Of course, adjustments to the deviled egg filling can create a variation that is most appealing to baby shower guests.
There is no easier way to serve baby shower snacks than on a stick. Guests are always impressed with the simple watermelon and feta spear. Alternating cubes of watermelon and feta cheese on a toothpick, or sticking with one cube of each is not only a palette-pleasing combination of sweet and savory, but also a colorful addition to any baby shower food display. Again, be careful with soft cheeses. Another, similar, option is alternating cubes of cantaloupe and prosciutto. For the hungrier guest, a speared French toast bite is a great way to offer the brunch staple with less of a mess. Mini cups of syrup or a larger syrup pitcher to drizzle the toast sticks will minimize the sticky factor.
Fruit is a baby shower must that offers a light alternative to some of the meat, cheese and bread-heavy bites. A simple fruit salad or fruit skewer will always be a hit. If the host would like to offer a sweet accompaniment to the fruit, apples and caramel are an ideal fall option. White, dark and milk chocolate-dipped strawberries are decorative and will surely be enjoyed by guests.
The mini muffin tin has never had more use than preparing for a baby shower. From savory to sweet, a majority of the baby shower menu can be whipped up using a mini muffin tin. Individual quiches are a perfect option for a daytime celebration. The quiche ingredients can cater to the tastes of the attendees, and most guests will enjoy starting the day with a baby quiche before jumping into the sweets. After an individual-sized quiche or three, guests may want to try a baby cheesecake, also prepared in the mini muffin tin. Plain cheesecakes with different flavored fruit toppings are a crowd favorite. And, lest we forget, the mini muffin tin can, of course, be used to make an assortment of mini muffins.
Most baby shower guests will look forward to a decent array of sweet treats. This is where the baby shower host can exhibit the most creativity. For an ‘It’s a Girl’ shower, the sweets can be strawberry, raspberry or cherry flavored and create a beautiful pink display. Blueberry bites and frosting will complement the baby boy shower.
A cupcake tower as centerpiece is the perfect combination of decoration and deliciousness. An assortment of macaroons serves as perfect petit fours as well. These can be a colorful addition to any sweets display and the range of flavors promises that there will be one to suit everyone’s taste.
Cookies are a blank canvas for baby shower decoration. Sugar cookies can be shaped as baby shoes, pacifiers or rattles. With colorful icing and perhaps the aid of an artistic friend, cookies can even be used as guest take-aways. By wrapping the cookies in cellophane bags with ribbons and hanging them from flowering branches gathered in a vase, party hosts can suggest that guests pick from the cookie tree before leaving.
Depending on the preference of the mom-to-be, lightly alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks are the best options to wash down the baby shower small bites. As non-alcoholic options, lemonades, punches and fruit-infused waters are refreshing options. A raspberry lemonade punch is a sweet combination of traditional favorites. Virgin pink grapefruit “margaritas” are refreshing drinks beautifully presented in a sugar-rimmed martini glass. They are simply created by putting a teaspoon of grenadine at the bottom of the martini glass and adding grapefruit juice blended with ice. For the mom-to-be who would like to offer the option of light cocktails, bellinis, mimosas or prosecco sangria are perfect baby shower brunch options.