Christmas is all about the children and presents, parties and new things. In the Philippines, people hold Christmas parties left, right and center. Children attend parties in their school, churches, communities and even in their parents’ companies. In most of these events, food is brought potluck-style. In this article, you will find delicious Christmas party food ideas that are especially popular in the Philippines.
Universally popular, fried chicken pleases kids and kids-at-heart. Children like finger food, something they can munch on while dancing around and playing with friends. Fried chicken is perfect for this. Personally, I like making fried chicken fingers or nuggets — do away with the bones to make it easier (and safer) for the kids. It is great with Filipino-style spaghetti, another party favorite.
Even before Jollibee made this pasta dish popular in the country, mothers have been serving Filipino-style spaghetti to their children. Compared to its Italian counterpart, Pinoy-style spaghetti is sweet, a little sour and mixed with meat and hotdogs. My recipe includes a little spice because my family like it that way. The secret? A few globs of spicy banana ketchup — it makes the sauce richer and adds just the right amount of spice.
Lumpia runs out first in every Filipino party. These Filipino spring rolls are usually a mixture of meat and vegetables but some versions have all meat or all vegetables. Depending on the filling, lumpia is best served with a dip. We like to dip lumpia in simple banana or tomato ketchup but some like a spicy garlic-infused vinegar dip or a sweet and sour sauce.
Filipino barbecue is basically marinated meat on sticks. Kids love it because it is sweet, savory and easy to eat. It is great with rice and a dip made of soy sauce and calamansi extract. I find the sticks very dangerous especially for small children so I remove them after grilling.
This Filipino noodle dish is traditionally served during birthdays to symbolize long life for the celebrant. Chinese in origin, pancit is a mixture of egg noodles, meat, seafood and vegetables. It is seasoned with soy sauce and is usually served with a slice of lime or lemon. We like pancit with rice but it is mostly consumed without it.
This Christmas party food idea is very easy to make, even the kids can help. Parents serve this treat topped with slices of cheese. I make puto in different colors to entice the kids more. Puto pairs well with dinuguan (blood stew) which is not really one of the best Christmas party food ideas there is, especially for kids.
Kids like ham and other easy to eat meats so this one’s definitely a crowd-pleaser. Filipinos usually serve ham during noche buena but it is becoming popular in children’s parties, too! Just make sure to cook the ham well to avoid any tummy issues. While you’re at it, serve cheese and some bread, too.
Pork lechon can be too much for children’s parties so lechon manok (roast chicken) is great alternative. It is very easy to prepare — marinate the chicken overnight then just chuck it in the oven or turbo broiler. If you’re pressed for time, you can just buy one from a lechon stall. They’re in almost every street corner in the Philippines.
Who does not love hotdogs? Kids go for these things when it’s time to hit the buffet. Filipinos usually serve hotdogs on sticks with marshmallows at the ends. I am not a huge fan of hotdogs for my kids but this is definitely one of the popular Christmas party food ideas and it’s easy to prepare too!
Embutido is the Filipino version of the western meatloaf. Children love this dish because it is colorful and it’s stuffed with eggs and hotdogs. Embutido is a great way to sneak in some vegetables into the party food. Mix carrots, onions and even celery into the minced meat and you can hoodwink the kids into eating their veggies.
Dessert completes a party, especially those with kids involved. Leche flan is quite popular with children. It is sweet, creamy and if served in small cups, very easy to eat. Leche flan can be messy and sticky so make sure to have napkins or wet towels handy for cleanup.
Filipino ice cream excites everyone, even the adults. Sorbetes in the Philippines is often made with coconut milk instead of dairy. Popular flavors include buko, mango, ube and chocolate. These days, you can order entire tubes of sorbetes from vendors or actually hire a sorbetero and his cart to your party!
So there you have it — 12 Christmas party food ideas for children’s parties. Prepare a couple or serve them all — I’m sure your party will be blast with these treats.