You don't have to live near the beach to help your teen throw a beach party. Whether it is for your teen's birthday or other special event, your teen will most likely look to you to supply the food. Teens can be particular eaters, so keep it simple, with tried-and-true teen favorites that would be ideal for a day at the beach.
Prepare simple snacks that teens love, such as potato chips and dip, and an assortment of nuts, served out of metal sand pails to keep with the beach theme. Have a platter of freshly cut fruit and arrange it so it looks like a colorful beach ball. Fruit ideal for the beach ball look include blueberries, strawberries, pineapples, kiwi and mandarins. Grilled shrimp on skewers or fried fish bites can help tide over hungry teens and works perfectly with the beach theme.
Keep it simple and teen-friendly by serving grilled hamburgers and hot dogs. Set up a toppings bar so the teens can customize their burgers and hot dogs, choosing from an assortment of toppings such as grilled and raw onions, a variety of cheeses, relish, lettuce, sliced tomatoes, barbecue sauce and hot peppers. While some teens might not like seafood, offer fish and shrimp patties options for those that do. Complimentary side dishes include french fries and grilled corn on the cob. If the party has a Hawaiian luau beach theme, you could service sliced grilled pork in a pineapple sauce, pineapple and ham pizza mini pizzas and teriyaki chicken.
For a beach theme, serve desserts that will cool you down. Create an ice cream bar that gives the teens an option among vanilla, chocolate and strawberry flavors. Provide an assortment of toppings, including caramel and chocolate fudge sauce, sprinkles, crushed cookies, fruit chunks, sprinkles, chocolate candy bars and whipped cream. You can serve cupcakes, using food coloring to create a beach and water scene on each one. Keep it simple, however. Teens don't want adorable-looking cupcakes that look like they should be at a kids party. If you can, rent a snow cone machine to serve the kids flavored snow cones.
Serving plain fruit punch is for kids. Instead, get creative with nonalcoholic "mocktails," serving them exotic, adult-looking drinks from a tiki-style bar. For a fruity mojito mocktail, lightly mash a small handful of fresh berries and mint in a glass, then add in the juice of one lime, about 2 tablespoons of sugar, and fill the glass with seltzer water. For a refreshing virgin white sangria, combine white grape juice with sparkling apple cider and add in any type of freshly cut fruit you'd like such as pineapples, apples and pears.