Having a host of messy two, three, or four year olds over for a birthday or similar party means you’re tough.

You’re brave. But pulling off a spill-proof, stain-proof menu for the toddler guests? Well, that makes you brilliant.

Let’s be honest with ourselves, though, to accomplish this feat, your options are pretty limited. It’s safe to assume that there will be no beef burgundy with mashed potatoes at this party—unless, of course, you want your dining room floor to enjoy the meal as well!

Finger foods are the way to go for toddlers, but you don’t have to limit yourself to just a few with this novel idea: create a “baby buffet” using empty ice cube trays to hold mini-portions of your kids’ favorite snack foods.

Need a few ideas to get started? Mommy blogger Jennifer Bishop came up with these great ideas:

  • Cereal
  • Peas
  • Pieces of fruit
  • Cheese cubes
  • Crackers
  • Raisins
  • Chocolate chips

The many choices and organized structure will keep the kids engaged and a mostly mess-free at mealtime so that you can relax and enjoy the big day. (Well…who are we kidding? You’re not going to “relax,” but a quick and easy cleanup is about as relaxing as a birthday party with toddlers as it gets!)

In fact, these look so good, you might just make one for yourself. Everything is more fun in mini-size, right? Hat's off to Jennifer Bishop and her blog On To Baby for the great idea and photos.