Many teens have big appetites, so planning the menu for a sweet 16 birthday party is important. Know your guests and what types of foods they want. Some teens still like the favorites they ate as children, while others are beginning to try new kinds of foods. Also, tie the food in to the theme of the party.
Mexican food is usually a favorite of teens. This menu would tie in perfectly with a Mexican fiesta party, but it would work with other parties as well. Serve chips with salsa and cheese dip as a snack. Then, give the teens a few options for something more substantial. A taco bar is easy to make. Simply set out hard and soft tortilla shells, some grilled chicken and beef and all sorts of toppings, such as lettuce, tomato, cheese, sour cream and guacamole. The teens can choose what they like.
Throw some food on the grill for outdoor celebrations, such as a pool party. Make it easy on yourself and serve hamburgers and hot dogs with chips and dip. If you want to serve more sophisticated food, choose grilled chicken, steaks or seafood. Make side dishes such as pasta salad and grilled vegetables.
Choose pizza if you aren't sure what kinds of foods the teens will like. Order a few pies from your favorite local pizza parlor. Alternatively, let the teens make their own pizzas. Purchase ready-made pizza dough in personal pie sizes. Then, place all kinds of toppings on a big table. The guests can put sauce and cheese on their pie and then top it with pepperoni, sausage, ham, onions, peppers, mushrooms and whatever else they like. Because the dough is already cooked, these pizzas won't take long in the oven. Serve bread sticks and marinara sauce while they wait.
This is a great idea for the birthday boy or girl who has a major sweet tooth. Set up a buffet filled with all kinds of dessert treats. The guests can select from cupcakes, cookies, truffles and bonbons. Another addition to the dessert bar is a chocolate fountain. Rent one from a party store and let the teens dip fruit and other items into the flowing fudge.