Baby shower food ideas

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Planning a baby shower is lots of fun, especially when it comes to brainstorming food ideas. Whether you’re looking for food ideas that match your chosen baby shower theme or you’re just looking for quick, easy, and flavorful options that everyone will love, you’ve come to the right place. Check out our 37 baby shower food ideas, including savories, sweets, and thirst-quenching drinks.

9 Tips and Ideas for Planning a Baby Shower Menu

When planning a baby shower, you can be as creative as you like with the food ideas, but it’s also important to consider some practical aspects.

As the host, you’ll have a lot to take care of, including decorating the venue, so it’s good to plan food that is quick to make and easy to serve and eat.

Here are some tips to help you think about the types of food to choose, how to serve it, and more:

1. Consider the size and style of the baby shower. Think about whether you’re going for a more formal sit-down gathering or leaning toward a casual affair. Will your guests be seated at a table, standing, or eating on their laps? Would you prefer finger foods or a full-on meal that guests will need forks and knives to eat? Once you’ve made this basic decision, creating your baby shower menu will be much easier.

2. Offer a variety of options. You probably know that pregnant women are advised to stay clear of certain foods and drinks — such as undercooked or processed meats, undercooked or raw fish, fish high in mercury, and unpasteurized foods — but you may want to check in with the mom-to-be and other guests to find out if anyone has any specific allergies or intolerances, or follows a special diet. You can add this question to your baby shower invitation wording. That way, you're sure to have appealing, safe choices for everyone! And keep variety in mind when it comes to colors, textures, food temperatures, and degree of spiciness.

3. Keep food safety in mind. Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly, using separate cutting surfaces for these and other raw foods as you're preparing them. Make sure all meat is well cooked, and ensure that any hot menu items stay hot or are reheated to safe temperatures when you're serving them.

4. Label the foods. Labeling the dishes is a thoughtful gesture for baby shower guests who have food allergies or are following special diets, and it also makes it easy for guests to know what foods they’re eating. If you’ve chosen to do a buffet-style food table, label the foods with little tags or cards. Otherwise, you may decide to print a few menus that you frame and place on each dining table.

5. Use sturdy tableware. If you’ve chosen disposable plates for the baby shower, avoid poor quality ones that food may soak through and end up staining a guest’s outfit. Avoid plastic cutlery that snaps or doesn’t cut food well. It’s a good idea to look for paper or plastic plates that are durable and can stand up to salad dressings, sauces, and everything in between. The good news is you can find quality disposable baby shower plates and cutlery at all price points.

6. Feature a creative and practical food table. Make it easy for all of your guests to get their food. A great idea is to set up two food tables (such as one for savories and one for dessert) and let guests serve themselves buffet-style. Instead of pushing the food table up against the wall, pull it out so that baby shower guests can easily drift and mingle around the table, and access the food without having to line up. Use stands made up of overturned pots or bowls to add height so that different dishes are not only more eye-catching but also easier to reach. You can cover these stands with doilies or a tablecloth so that they go unnoticed.

7. Opt for make-ahead dishes. To make the day of the baby shower much less stressful for you, try to make a majority of your foods ahead of time. You can easily put together a crudité platter a night in advance. Have the cookies iced and the cupcakes frosted. Certain foods like meatballs and mini sausages can also be prepared in advance and simply heated up just before you serve them. Certainly not all food ideas will work if prepared in advance, such as guacamole, which will inevitably turn brown, but think about what can be made in advance, and get those dishes taken care of ahead of time. To make things easier for you, you might also like to ask a friend who’s invited to the shower to arrive a little earlier to help out.

8. Choose mess-free foods. Having a few dips and sauces on offer is great, but you may want to think twice about serving Buffalo wings or baby back ribs. The same goes for desserts: A slice of cherry pie is harder to eat standing up or while balancing it on a napkin. Do your guests a favor and stick to cookies, cake pops, and cupcakes. Consider how you serve items, too; for example, you could assemble desserts like tiramisu or trifle in individual glasses or clear plastic cups to help make it mess-free.

9. You don’t have to adhere to a theme. For example, with a baby shower jungle theme, you could go for a very tropical menu with all kinds of tropical food specialties, but keep in mind that choosing to coordinate your foods to the theme may limit your options and could end up being more expensive than what you bargained for. Instead, you might like to serve all kinds of typical party foods that you know your guests will love, and then give the foods a theme by using food dye to color the cookie icing, choosing colorful paper cupcake liners, or deciding on themed table decorations. Get specific ideas on how to easily match your food to the theme in our articles on baby shower themes for boys and baby shower themes for girls.

Savory Baby Shower Food Ideas

Whether you plan on having only finger foods or an entire menu at the baby shower, here are some ideas for the savory food:

1. Crudité platter. Arrange a variety of cut or sliced raw vegetables such as carrots, bell peppers, celery, broccoli, or whatever you prefer on a large platter. Use hollowed out bell peppers for serving dips, such as sour cream and onion, chipotle, or olive.

2. Cheese plate. Cheese is pretty much a party favorite, so plan on having many different kinds. Typically, you’ll want a mix of hard and soft cheeses. (Keep in mind that pregnant women are advised to steer clear of unpasteurized cheeses.) Make sure to have plenty of crackers, including different kinds like whole-wheat, rye, and gluten-free.

3. Olives and pickles. They say that pregnant women have odd cravings for pickles. Whether the mom-to-be does have this craving or not, it’s a good idea to have bowls of olives, pickles, and pickled onions — all of which go well with the cheese or meat platter.

4. Swedish meatballs. A party favorite, Swedish meatballs are easy to make, and can even be prepared in a slow cooker the day before. Serve them on toothpicks or little skewers to make serving easy or mini swords to match a pirate theme!

5. Chicken satay. Skewered chicken breast pieces or chicken tenderloin can be dipped into cashew sauce instead of the traditional peanut dipping sauce if you’re wanting to avoid serving peanuts at the shower.

6. Egg or spring rolls. Look for readymade spring or egg rolls and bake them the day of the shower. Serve with a sweet and sour dipping sauce that you can either buy or make.

7. Veggie sushi. Given that raw fish isn't safe for pregnant women, choose vegetarian sushi instead. If you’re an adventurous cook, you could try making the rolls yourself, filling them with anything and everything from cucumber and avocado to edamame and sweet potato. You could even go with quinoa rather than rice.

8. Deviled eggs. A crowd-pleasing favorite, deviled eggs can be decorated to look like little babies in bassinets. Simply prepare your favorite deviled eggs recipe, and using a piping bag, pipe the egg yolk filling into one half of an egg white. Then take the second egg white and cut it crosswise and attach it to one end of the piped egg white. Then add two sliced black olives for eyes.

9. Quiche bites. A great idea for a brunch baby shower, quiche is very versatile since you can tailor the ingredients to your taste, such as spinach and ham, leek and bacon, etc. Use your favorite quiche recipe, but instead of baking it in a pie or tart pan, use a mini muffin pan. Even better, use a silicone mini muffin pan so that the mini quiches are even easier to remove and you won’t need paper liners.

10. Mini cornbread. Bake your favorite cornbread recipe or favorite boxed mix in mini muffin pans. Serve them just as is, or slice them in half to create little cornbread sandwiches filled with cream cheese.

11. Bruschetta. Slice up a baguette or a loaf of ciabatta, and toast the bread slices in the oven. Top each with chopped tomato, olive tapenade, or whatever spread you prefer.

12. Mini mac and cheese. Cook your favorite mac and cheese recipe, and then bake the mac and cheese in a silicone mini muffin pan to create mini versions! Before baking, sprinkle each with some panko breadcrumbs and a drizzle of melted butter to create a crispy topping.

13. Bacon-wrapped dates. These are a catering classic, and easy to prepare: simply wrap dates in bacon, skewer each one with a toothpick, and then broil until the bacon is crispy.

14. Spinach-and-garlic palmiers. Easy to make and elegant, palmiers can be filled with almost anything — try spinach sauteed with garlic, or olive tapenade — as long as the filling is finely chopped. Spread the filling onto store-bought puff pastry, and roll up the two ends so they meet in the middle. Using a sharp knife, slice up the rod of dough to create the palm leaf shape, and bake according to the directions on the puff pastry packaging. You can also bake a sweet version with cinnamon and sugar!

15. Puff pastry cheese sticks. With the same type of puff pastry used to create palmiers, you can create cheese sticks. All you do is thinly brush the sheet of puff pastry with an egg white wash, and then sprinkle the sheet of puff pastry with some salt, pepper, and grated cheese like Parmesan or Cheddar. Then, slice the dough into long strips using a pizza wheel. Place them on a baking sheet as they are or give them a little twist so they have a cute shape. Bake according to the directions on the puff pastry packaging.

16. Tea sandwiches. A really cute baby shower food idea, especially if you’re doing a teatime-themed shower, tea sandwiches are a great choice because you can easily make so many different kinds. Think: cream cheese and cucumber, thinly sliced cold roast beef and horseradish sauce, or sliced turkey and pimiento cheese. Feel free to use the bread of your choice, and you may even want to have a gluten-free version as well.

17. Mini meatball sliders. Everyone loves a yummy hamburger, so how about mini burgers with the patties the size of meatballs. Serve the meatballs in between mini rolls with cheese, pickles, lettuce, and tomato — avoiding any drippy sauces — and spear each with a toothpick or skewer to make handling and eating them easier.

18. Pull-apart bread. Bake your favorite recipe for a savory pull-apart bread. A favorite savory filling is cheese and garlic, but you could also do a sweet version with cinnamon and raisin.

19. Salsa, guacamole, and tortilla chips. Serve bowls of salsa and guacamole with your favorite tortilla chips for a classic party combination. If you’re aiming for something a little different and would like to tie the food into a tropical theme, make a tropical salsa with mango instead of tomato. Sprinkle the guacamole with crumbled queso fresco to make it more visually enticing and delicious.

Baby Shower Dessert Table Food Ideas

Besides having a baby shower cake as a centerpiece, you may want to have a dessert table with an assortment of other sweet offerings. Here are some ideas for crowd-pleasing sweets and desserts:

20. Cookies. These are easy to customize and you can use your favorite recipe. You can tailor the cookies to the theme by using specific cookie cutter shapes like a bow tie, baby bottle, or a toy rattle. Or, you could simply ice round cookies to match the theme by adding food coloring to the icing.

21. Cake pops. Easy to make, whether you start by buying a cake or baking one from a mix, all you need to do is mash the cake and mix it with frosting, and then form the balls. Dip the balls in different colors of icing or melted candy melts and sprinkle them with edible glitter or sugar beads to make them really snazzy and unique.

22. Cupcakes. Everyone loves cupcakes, and they’re fun to decorate to match your chosen baby shower theme. Use different colors of frosting, and top the cupcakes with marzipan figures, mini flags, cocktail umbrellas, edible glitter, or any another idea you might have. If you’re really creative you could even pipe the frosting so that it looks like a flower.

23. Brownies or blondies. Bake a batch of brownies or blondies and cut them into small squares, or use cookie cutters to create fun, themed shapes.

24. Chocolate truffles. An easy, no-bake chocolate truffle recipe is all you need to create this simple, crowd-pleasing dessert.

25. Monkey bread. Bake your favorite cinnamon-and-sugar monkey bread, and have some cream cheese frosting on the side for dipping.

26. Ice pops. Who doesn’t love ice cream? But for an easier alternative (avoiding the chore of scooping out the ice cream), serve ice pops. Your guests will love to feel like kids again. And for a super cute baby shower idea: Decorate the dessert table to look like an ice cream cart. You can buy or prepare ice pops in a color that matches your theme, too.

27. Chocolate-dipped strawberries. This is a great way to add some fresh fruit to your dessert table. Plus, chocolate-dipped strawberries are a crowd pleaser. Decorate them to look like the berries are wearing tuxedos, if you’re having a little gentleman theme, or decorate them to look like little ladybugs if you’re working with a ladybug theme.

28. Fruit salad. Fruit salad is always a good choice, especially for those guests who would like a healthier dessert option. Use a melon baller to scoop watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew. Add cubes of pineapple and different berries. Serve the salad individually in glasses or clear plastic cups, or in a large hollowed-out watermelon that can be made to look like a baby carriage.

29. Fruit skewers. This idea makes serving and eating fruit fun and easy. Simply string cut or cubed fruits like grapes, orange, kiwi, pineapple, and berries onto a skewer. You might even like to arrange the fruit so that it looks like a rainbow.

30. Tiramisu. It’s easy to whip together this no-bake dessert. Instead of assembling it in a pan, create individual cups of tiramisu. Not only will it look pretty, it’ll be easier for your guests to enjoy as they can take their mini cups and enjoy their desserts while mingling.

31. Trifle. You can bake your favorite sponge cake recipe or buy one at your local store to create a homemade trifle. Assemble the dessert in individual cups to make serving easier.

32. Chocolate fondue fountain. Take the dessert table to the next level with a vat of melted chocolate for dipping, or have it flowing from a chocolate fountain. You may be able to buy one of these at your local big box store, or rent one from a party supply store. Have skewers, bowls of fruit, and cookies like vanilla wafers or ladyfingers on hand for dipping. For a baby shower, you might even consider using white chocolate, as the color might better tie in with the rest of your theme, or you could add food dye to make it pink or blue.

Drinks

Beyond serving the usual wine spritzer or sparkling wine at the baby shower, consider some alcohol-free drinks, like mocktails, punch, and homemade sodas:

33. Tropical punch. Go for something old school, and serve a punch made with your favorite lemon-lime soda and some juice or nectar, such as mango or passion fruit. Jazz it up with a container of sherbet turned out into the punch like a big, rainbow-colored melting island.

34. Mocktails. It’s easy to come up with a mocktail with just a little bit of imagination. If you’re having a medieval prince or princess theme, you could serve ginger beer with a squeeze of lime and a rim of salty cayenne and call it spicy mead! Or, come up with something tropical for a rainforest theme.

34. Iced tea. Offer a few different iced teas, including a sugar-free version. Add fresh sliced peaches and berries to your iced black tea to make it look like sangria.

35. Seasonal favorites. If the baby shower happens to take place around summertime, why not offer the classic thirst-quencher, lemonade? You could also make limeade, or combine both lemons and limes. For fall or winter, you could even serve hot cider or hot chocolate instead of the usual coffee or tea.

36. Flavored sodas. Instead of your usual brands of flavored soda, why not offer a homemade soda bar? Gather together different syrups, many that you can make yourself. Think mango, coffee, berry, passion fruit, grapefruit, etc. Each guest can flavor her own soda as she likes. Have some sprigs of fresh mint for garnish and striped paper straws or swirly straws to make drinking fun. You could even take it one step further and have vanilla ice cream on hand to create ice cream floats!

The Bottom Line

You’ll no doubt have lots of fun planning and serving the food for the mom-to-be’s baby shower.

If you’ve decided to prepare most of the food, round up some of the mom-to-be’s friends and family to help. Make it easier on yourself by using some store-bought elements, too. You could also make some of what’s on offer but ask each guest to bring a small plate to share.

Set up food and dessert tables so that guests can serve themselves buffet style, and stick to foods that aren’t too messy to eat while standing up and mingling.

If you have a set theme, you can tie the food into the theme by using colored frosting, or by piping lettering onto foods like “Oh, Baby!” Cookie cutters are your friend! Cut everything from brownies to sandwiches into shapes that match the theme. You can also connect the food and drinks to the theme based on the colors you choose for the straws, napkins, and cupcake liners.

Having a chocolate fondue fountain or a soda bar can create an interactive element that guests will love.

Have fun with it! Your options are endless, and you might find you really get into it once you get started. And, always remember, no matter what food and drinks you serve, your guests — especially the guest of honor — will really appreciate your efforts and thoughtfulness.

While you’re here, check out our baby shower checklist to double-check that you’ve covered everything for the upcoming event.