Add an Aussie twist to your child's next birthday party or special event with kid-friendly treats from Down Under. Much like the U.S., children's parties in Australia include games, gifts and plenty of food. But Australians have a few distinct foods that distinguish their children's celebrations, from miniature versions of beloved Australian dishes to special treats that no Aussie child's birthday party would be without.
Meat pies are a classic Australian dish, made traditionally with minced beef and gravy cooked into a pastry shell. It is typically served at parties for both children and adults in miniature, bite-sized portions, known as party pies. For kids, make chicken party pies in addition to beef. Cupcake tins are used to bake these tiny pies, which need less than 30 minutes in the oven at about 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Sausage rolls are another bite-sized classic served at children's parties. Similar to party pies, sausage rolls are essentially sausage meat rolled inside puff pastry. The sausage meat, which can be pork, beef, lamb or a combination, typically is shaped into a log before being covered in the pastry and baked until golden brown.
On the Barbie
Many birthday parties for children in Australia are celebrated barbecue-style, as barbecuing is practically a national pastime. Australians cook up all kinds of meat, including burgers, steaks and sausages, with few signature differences. For example, grilled sausages are most often stuffed in a slice of regular white bread, and topped with ketchup. This simple offering may especially appeal to young children. Seafood, abundant in Australia, is also a regular part of Australian-style barbecue. Try shrimp skewers for kids, making sure to use kid-safe skewers with rounded ends. Other simple barbecue options for kids include grilled chicken strips and sliders. For older, more adventurous eaters, you could grill up rissoles, which are essentially lamb or beef meatballs slightly flattened and grilled.
Light and Refreshing
Make an Aussie-style fruit salad for a healthier party snack by including fruits that are grown or native to Australia. These include kiwi, pineapples, papayas, passion fruit and cantaloupe, known as rockmelon in Australia. Some Australian fruit salads are topped with Chantilly cream, a sweetened whipped cream flavored with brandy or vanilla. Kids might also enjoy fruit jelly cups, which combine flavored gelatin with all types of fruit. You can use a combination of jelly flavors by filling cups halfway with unset gelatin, then adding a handful of fruit. Refrigerate until set, then pour in another flavor of gelatin and fruit and return to the fridge to fully set.
No children's birthday party in Australia is complete without fairy bread, a rather simple but timeless classic. It consists of white bread spread with sweet butter and topped with colorful round sprinkles, commonly known as "hundreds and thousands" in Australia and the U.K. Variations of fairy bread include using chocolate-hazelnut spread instead of butter. Chocolate crackles are another essential birthday party treat, a mixture of crispy rice cereal, cocoa powder, shortening, confectioner's sugar and coconut flakes, served chilled in cupcake liners. The pavlova is another beloved Australian dessert for all ages, consisting of a baked meringue crust, filled with whipped cream and fresh fruit. Lamingtons are bite-sized sponge cake cubes dipped in chocolate and rolled in shaved coconut. You can offer them as an alternative to birthday cake and kids can eat the cake with their hands.
- Celebrating Birthdays in Australia; Cheryl L. Enderlein
- Food By Country: Australia
- LA Weekly: Meat Pies, Vegemite + Other Australian Treats at Downtown's Bronzed Aussie
- Kidspot: Chicken Party Pies
- Today: Cooking, Aussie Style: Sausage Roll
- Herald Sun: The True Blue Aussie Barbecue
- Bold Palates: Australia's Gastronomic Heritage; Barbara Santich
- The Chew: Beef Rissoles with Grilled Potatoes
- King of Fruit: Classic Aussie Fruit Salad Recipe
- Australian Women's Weekly: Fruit Salad with Chantilly Cream
- Photo Credit Kitchner Bain/iStock/Getty Images
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