Are you going with a theme for your party such as Labor Day or 4th of July? Head on down to your local party store or shop online for party goods (plates, napkins, etc.) that will go with your theme. They will enhance the food experience too.
Easy, tried and true foods are chips and dips and veggie platters with dips. These are easy and everyone loves them. They keep people satisfied until the main event – lunch or dinner are served.
Another idea is to just serve appetizers instead of a heavy meal. Offer a variety of them and they will fill people up – they are ideal for pool parties that are in between lunch and dinner times. Ideas for appetizers include pigs in blankets, cheese wedges with crackers, skewers with mozzarella balls, tomatoes and basil (Caprese skewers), fruit wedges on skewers. Taco cups are an easy and appealing menu idea. Buy Tostitos which are shaped like little bowls and put taco meat, a bit of shredded cheddar cheese, a few minced onions, a bit of salsa and a black olive slice in them. Later in the event, put out cupcakes or brownies with little paper umbrellas in them to add to the festivity.
Kid and adult friendly foods include chicken fingers, tacos, hot dogs, mac n cheese, fruit salad and meatballs.
Grab a large ice bucket or metal tub and fill with ice and canned drinks. Make up some lemonade in clear plastic pitchers and add fruit slices and cherries for a colorful garnish. Consider making a wine sangria for the adults.
We recommend investing in several of those netted food covers to keep insects away. You can find them online or at party stores from a few dollars each to a few for $10 to $12. Keep your cold food cold by placing bowls or shallow platters filled with ice beneath the platters you are serving them on.