5 Fun Food Birthday Gifts that Won’t Break the Bank

Portrait of a group of children at a birthday partyIt just does not seem right to go to a party empty handed – especially if it is a party celebrating a child’s birthday. However, when tough times hit, it isn’t always easy to find the money – or time – to get a nice gift. Fortunately, there is hope. With a little bit of planning, creativity and quick thinking, you can deliver the perfect birthday gift each and every time.

Here is a list of 5 gift ideas you can use which cost next to nothing:

1. Bake their favorite dessert or treats.

Do not prepare just anything, especially since this is for a child – they will never understand the value. Instead, find out what they like specifically, such as dessert or other sweets. Examples could be their favorite kind of cookies. Instead of bringing the cookies as part of the serving food for the party, package the cookies in a decorative tin can, or other container that you can wrap in birthday wrapping paper. Kids love to open gifts, and as long as it’s their favorite kind of cookie or treat, they won’t mind at all that you didn’t spend a lot of money! In fact, it probably will not even cross their minds.

2. Have a tea party.

If the child is a girl, there is always the option of throwing a special tea party. Ask everyone who attends to bring some special crackers, scones, or other items. Decorate a room in your house such as the dining room, to reflect the theme of the party. Have everyone dress up and wear a fun pretty hat. Many times there are local boutiques which have separate rooms which are used for holding tea parties. Ask them what their hours are and if there are any requirements. They will be more than happy to offer additional ideas and suggestions to make the event a success. Make sure to tell them it is for a birthday as they may offer discounts, or free desserts. Going out for ice cream afterwards is also a nice way to end the day because every dressed up little girl loves to show off their outfits in public! Of course, they also love the ice cream!

3. Make a junk food gift basket.

Ok, so perhaps junk food may not go over so well with the parents, but certainly fun food will! Visit a local store that sells bulk food items. Choose some items which you know they do not eat often. Perhaps some fun crackers, cereal, cookies, chocolate bars, soups, olives, nuts, etc. The goal here is to buy a few items to put together and place in a gift basket or other container. However, try to buy bulk items which are purchased separately, this way you will be able to create multiple gift packages from your one purchase. You can also create your own theme gift basket – such as a pizza theme where everything in the basket can be a pizza topping or ingredient.

Often times, bulk purchases will cost less than buying each item individually. However, this is not always the case, so make sure you check the prices carefully.

4. Make homemade ice cream branded with their name.

Kids love this idea and love to be a part of the ice cream making process. There are many ways to make ice cream, some methods are more labor intensive than others. You can make ice cream or even Italian ice cream called gelato, from a machine. This is the easiest way. To make the gift more special, create a new flavor – preferably one which includes their favorite tastes such as mint, or cherry. Then give the ice cream a unique name specific to the child. An example could be “Mary’s Minty Mix”. Create a fun label and attach it to the ice cream container. Do not forget to take a picture!

5. Go on a picnic.

Picnics unfortunately are not as common as they used to be. However, this also makes the idea of going on a picnic all the more exciting, novel and new. Choose food items which will not spoil or taste bad if eaten cold. For example, a hamburger or hot dog would not be a good idea, however a fruit salad, sandwich or even fried chicken along with cheese and crackers, and soda would suit the bill fine.

Creating an innovative way to offer a meaningful birthday gift to a child, does not have to always include taking a stroll down the toy aisle at a retail store. There are two things children love, one is to unwrap a gift, and the second is to feel special. With a little creativity, you can still manage to meet these needs while not spending a lot of money.

This article was contributed by Simple Italian Cooking which features Italian recipes, and reviews on kitchen appliances frequently used in Italian kitchens such as a foodand meat grinder for making Italian sausage, or a food and meat slicer for making fresh prosciutto.

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