How to Plan a Menu for a Luau Party

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The scents of tropical fruits and pork wafting from the BBQ are sure to please your luau party guests. When you plan your menu, take into account the age of your partygoers: Children's luau parties usually offer easy-to-make finger-foods while adult parties typically offer more elaborate fare such as roast pig or poi, a traditional Hawaiian dish made from taro root.

Things You'll Need

  • Tropical fruit
  • Pork and chicken
  • Seasoning
  • Flavored drinks

Plan a Kids' Luau Menu

  • Keep it simple when planning a kids' luau. Kids can be finicky eaters, so think about making finger foods or skewered food. A combination of marshmallows and fruit speared with toothpicks can be a great choice, as long as the kids are old enough to handle toothpicks safely.

  • Cut up chicken and steak seasoned with Teriyaki sauce and put them on presoaked wooden skewers along with pineapple and green and red peppers. Throw them on the grill, and you're done!

  • Buy half-pint-sized water bottles and remove the labels. Add a few drops of food coloring to the water in red, yellow or green to make plain water festive. You can use clear soda instead of water with older kids and teens. Kool-aid or lemonade also makes a good choice. Or, if you're more ambitions, you can concoct non-alcoholic versions of drinks like strawberry daiquiris and piña coladas.

  • Hollow out and halve the pineapples to make pineapple boats to display your fruit.

  • Rent a shaved ice machine for making sno-cones. Add a few tropical syrup flavors like pineapple, coconut, and mango.

Plan an Adult Luau Menu

  • Keep the cooks out of the kitchen by calling in a catering company. Professionals will make hard-to-prepare foods such as poi and whole-roasted pig. Catering your party may be the ideal way to keep you focused on your guests and enjoying your luau.

  • Prepare your own menu of grillable entrée items such as Macadamia-Crusted Tilapia or Lemon and Dill Roasted Salmon, popular on fancier luau menus.

  • Fill a heated chafing dish with mashed sweet potatoes. You can buy fresh sweet potatoes boil them and add coconut milk before setting them out for your guests. A delicious aroma will fill your party as the coconut milk warms.

Tips & Warnings

  • Channel your inner Betty Crocker and create a cake in a pineapple shape to follow the luau theme. A standard pineapple upside-down cake will be a good substitute if you are short on time or creative energy.
  • Ask your guests if they have any food allergies ahead of time. Some guests may be allergic to nuts or other food items.

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