Your teen might plan the details of her birthday party, but it's a good bet that she expects you to provide the food. And choosing the right food for a teen party can be tricky. While teens likely won't want food that's considered childish, like chicken nuggets and colorful cupcakes, high-end gourmet appetizers might not look too appetizing to them either. Talk with your teen about what she wants for her party -- and decide together on simple, yet slightly sophisticated snacks that teenagers commonly enjoy.
Fruit and Vegetables
Offer the teens an assortment of cut-up fresh fruit and vegetables on a platter. Fruits that are easy to pick up, like strawberries, pineapple slices, melons and grapes, are good choices. Include sweet dips for the fruit like a chocolate or cinnamon cream cheese dip. For vegetables, serve baby carrots, celery sticks, sliced bell peppers and cucumbers, with ranch and blue cheese dips. Another idea is to serve fruit and vegetables on skewers with small squares of cheese.
Chicken wings are a party favorite and super easy for teens to eat with their fingers. Offer a variety of chicken wing flavors, such as barbecue, teriyaki and spicy ranch. Slider burgers are also an easy option. Create a toppings bar for the teens to customize their burgers to their tastes. Pigs in a blanket, which are miniature hot dogs wrapped in a flaky biscuit, is a classic appetizer favorite. Other meaty snacks to consider include small meatballs and turkey roll-ups.
Classic Finger Foods
You can also offer the teens baked potato skins, which they can customize as well if you provide a toppings bar that includes sour cream, onions, crumbled bacon, sauteed mushrooms, cheddar cheese and chili. You can also serve miniature muffin pizzas with a variety of toppings. Spinach artichoke dip or a cheesy pizza dip in a bread bowl with tortilla chips or bread sticks is another good option. For a teen party with a Mexican theme, quesadillas and loaded nachos are ideal finger food options.
Serve the teens sweet treats with a hint of gourmet sophistication. For example, you can hull strawberries and fill them with whipped cream. You can also dip pretzel sticks in different flavors of melted chocolate -- and make brownies in miniature cupcake pans, core out the middles and fill with toppings such as hot fudge, peanut butter and sweet cream. You can also have the teens make their own ice cream sandwiches, offering a variety of cookie and ice cream flavors.