If they are what they eat, let them be happy, healthy and full of fun.
- If you are going to serve a meal, include that information on the invitation.
- Do as accurate a head count as possible so that you can make the right amount of food.
- Figure at least two to three glasses or cans of soda or other drinks, one to two servings of entree and a quarter of a bag of snack foods for each teen. Teenagers eat a surprising amount.
- Prepare food as much in advance as possible, keeping storage capabilities in mind. You don't want to be in the kitchen while havoc is raging in your den.
- Choose portable foods that can be eaten with the hands: tacos, burgers, pizza and “wraps” are good teen foods and are easy to make or buy.
- A one-pot entree, such as chili or pasta, can be easy to make and can be served with paper plates and disposable utensils.
- Offer a sandwich bar with cold cuts, cheeses, condiments and bagels, wraps, breads and buns.
- Place bowls of snacks around where you want the kids to congregate, such as in the den or backyard.
- Fill tubs, plastic garbage pails or coolers with ice and cans of drinks.
- Keep one iced cooler for watermelon, pineapple or other healthy fruit offerings.
- Consider cupcakes instead of a cake for ease of eating and cleaning up.
- Cut up veggies and serve with dips such as ranch, hummus, French or French onion.
Keep an eye on the perishables that are outside or unrefrigerated for a while.