Food ideas for baby shower afternoon tea

37 Crowd-Pleasing Baby Shower Food Ideas

Planning a baby shower is lots of fun, especially when it comes to brainstorming food ideas. Whether you’re looking for food ideas that match your chosen baby shower theme or you’re just looking for quick, easy, and flavorful options that everyone will love, you’ve come to the right place. Check out our 37 baby shower food ideas, including savories, sweets, and thirst-quenching drinks.

9 Tips and Ideas for Planning a Baby Shower Menu

When planning a baby shower, you can be as creative as you like with the food ideas, but it’s also important to consider some practical aspects.

As the host, you’ll have a lot to take care of, including decorating the venue, so it’s good to plan food that is quick to make and easy to serve and eat.

Here are some tips to help you think about the types of food to choose, how to serve it, and more:

Savory Baby Shower Food Ideas

Whether you plan on having only finger foods or an entire menu at the baby shower, here are some ideas for the savory food:

Baby Shower Dessert Table Food Ideas

Besides having a baby shower cake as a centerpiece, you may want to have a dessert table with an assortment of other sweet offerings. Here are some ideas for crowd-pleasing sweets and desserts:


Beyond serving the usual wine spritzer or sparkling wine at the baby shower, consider some alcohol-free drinks, like mocktails, punch, and homemade sodas:

The Bottom Line

You’ll no doubt have lots of fun planning and serving the food for the mom-to-be’s baby shower.

If you’ve decided to prepare most of the food, round up some of the mom-to-be’s friends and family to help. Make it easier on yourself by using some store-bought elements, too. You could also make some of what’s on offer but ask each guest to bring a small plate to share.

Set up food and dessert tables so that guests can serve themselves buffet style, and stick to foods that aren’t too messy to eat while standing up and mingling.

If you have a set theme, you can tie the food into the theme by using colored frosting, or by piping lettering onto foods like “Oh, Baby!” Cookie cutters are your friend! Cut everything from brownies to sandwiches into shapes that match the theme. You can also connect the food and drinks to the theme based on the colors you choose for the straws, napkins, and cupcake liners.

Having a chocolate fondue fountain or a soda bar can create an interactive element that guests will love.

Have fun with it! Your options are endless, and you might find you really get into it once you get started. And, always remember, no matter what food and drinks you serve, your guests — especially the guest of honor — will really appreciate your efforts and thoughtfulness.

While you’re here, check out our baby shower checklist to double-check that you’ve covered everything for the upcoming event.

An Afternoon Tea Baby Shower

It almost seems like a cliche to write about a shower in April, but I had to share a few details from a recent celebration that was a long time coming.

This afternoon tea is also another chapter in my sister’s story, and since you’ve already joined us virtually for the winter engagement, the West Coast wedding, and the backyard reception here on the homestead, it’s only fitting we tie things up with a baby shower.

Now this joyous event had originally been planned to take place back in November, when my sister, Miranda, was six months pregnant, a comfortable stage of the pregnancy to travel from her Halifax home.

The invites had been sent, Miranda had purchased a plane ticket  – and then my nephew was born early. Almost 2 months early.

Since he weighted a mere 3lbs, 4 oz and was making his home in the NICU, all baby shower plans were postponed – until now. Of course every baby shower and every new life is incredibly special, but we had extra reason to celebrate Alfred (Alfie) James considering his adventurous start.

{Side note. Why do people have to give their opinion on such matters? I had more than one person tell me that they never heard of a baby shower after the baby is born – as in who does that? Let there be no right or wrong, black or white for celebrating life, be it the first baby or the fifth, pre or postpartum.}

So celebrate we did! With tea and scones, sandwiches and pickles, Pimm’s Cup punch and a tableful of sweets shared among friends and family. Read on for details on the full spread, then be inspired to host your own tea! Mother’s Day is on the way, after all…

Some time after serving that famous outdoor buffet in a canoe, I decided the baby shower must be considerably more civilized. A while back Miranda and I had spent some time in London together, including a most memorable Wolseley afternoon tea, and the charms of that occasion inspired this present day event. We’re also half British (my dad is from Lancashire), so spending the afternoon chatting over Eccles cakes and scones feels perfectly natural to us.

We started with Pimm’s Cups, because it is the spring cocktail in the UK, and very complementary to finger sandwiches. I served it up in punch form for practical reasons (no need to stand by and play bartender). I played around with my recipe a bit, but based it off of this version from Serious Eats. If it’s good enough for J. Kenji, it’s good enough for me!

While guests arrived, found a glass of punch and made little Alfie’s introduction, my two shower co-hosts (Alfie’s grandmothers) and I piled hot scones and sandwiches onto tiered trays.

I am currently enamoured with finger sandwiches, cut into lengths rather than triangles, and with the crusts removed, of course. They are ever so dainty and a perfect three-bite accompaniment to a cup of tea or a glass of Pimm’s punch.

We served:

  • Chicken salad, which my mother-in-law cleverly assembled with one side of each white and wheat bread.
  • Cucumber & cream cheese – a classic!
  • Smoked salmon & radish on rye – which I served open face, with a sprig of dill and a smear of creme fraiche.
  • Cream cheese & red pepper jelly – tangy cheese and hot/sweet jelly make for an unexpected and delicious bite.
  • Herbed avocado egg salad & onion sprouts – another classic, dressed up for tea.

I could have added even more to this list, as my Sandwich board on Pinterest hints (avocado! radish & butter! pickled carrot & Brie!) but I restrained myself. I almost always go overboard in the food department and I wasn’t sure how enthusiastic our guests would feel about, well, plain old sandwiches.

As it turns out, I shouldn’t have worried; the sandwiches disappeared in a twinkling, along with several pots of tea.

Oh hey, look for my egg salad recipe to make an appearance here on the blog next week. I made it without mayonnaise, and instead I used smashed avocado for a creamy binder, which worked out really well. Update >> it’s HERE!

We need to talk about scones. I may have obsessed over finding the perfect British-style recipe, testing variations from Jane Hornby, Pippa Middleton’s book, Celebrate, and many more. We ate a lot of scones, but there was no complaining from the kids!

The absolute best recipe I found was from cookbook author, Claire Ptak, who owns the Violet Bakery in Hackney, East London. Her sweet cream scones graced the cover of Saveur magazine a few months ago; fortunately you can also find the recipe over at Saveur along with the story of their evolution.

It’s worth noting that I was hunting for a classic scone, with no additions whatsoever. I do love my Triple Berry Scones in the summertime, Cranberry Orange Scones for the winter holiday months and Cheesy Irish Soda Scones to accompany a pot of soup any day of the week. But for afternoon tea, the scones had to be inspired by London tea rooms: the classic cream.

After nibbling on all the scones and sandwiches we could, we took a bit of a break for – you guessed it! Games. And gifts, too. And Clara took the opportunity to break away from the festivities and rip around the sopping wet yard in her party dress and stocking feet. Gracious me. Apparently she can only behave like a lady for a few hours before the tomboy urges take over.

When we had wrapped up an intensely competitive game of Nursery Rhymes Jeopardy, it was time for sweets. I kept most everything bite-sized, so guests could sample one of each.

  • Eccles cakes, in tiny, two-bite servings.
  • Buttermilk pound cake, my mother-in-law’s excellent recipe.
  • Vanilla and toasted coconut marshmallows.
  • Cream cheese cut-out sugar cookies, in little teddy bear shapes and dressed up with royal icing and sprinkles.
  • Strawberry cream puffs. Janice’s recipe, with strawberry jam swirled into the cream and a strawberry slice, too.
  • Lemon-glazed lemon madeleines. A basic version of these beauties.
  • Chocolate truffles, because chocolate is essential.

I boiled the kettle yet again and made a fresh pot of each English Breakfast and Earl Grey tea. Everyone lingered over the sweets for some time as the sun slanted through the trees and the afternoon slipped away.

Guest of honour Baby Alfie seemed unruffled by the attention; a handsome little man in a room full of women.

Motherhood certainly suits my sister, who is a glowing new mama. Her sweet boy is now triple his birthweight and has just started laughing out loud. Their whole little family has relocated to the Greater Montreal area, so we’re going to get to see Alfie grow up.

Here’s to many more special occasions shared between our two families and our wider extended family. Here’s to babies, and here’s to afternoon tea!

Fancy a cuppa? British tea traditions

Tea and everything connected with it is very important for the British. In their opinion, if a person adds too much milk or sugar to tea, then he, without realizing it, commits a mortal sin, and perhaps he simply belongs to the lower class. Tea traditions adopted by the British from the colonial past remind of themselves in culture, art and language. Afisha.London magazine and sociolinguist Elena McCaffrey talks about how to “not fall into the tea face” and understand what exactly the British mean when offering a cup of their favorite drink.

How do British people make and drink tea?

A warm drink has always been especially attractive to the British because of the cold and humid climate of Great Britain. Tea helped mitigate some of the effects of industrial urbanization, as drinking tea required boiling water, thereby killing disease-causing bacteria that lead to dysentery, cholera, or typhoid fever.

Since then, the first and key rule has appeared - do not boil the same water in the kettle more than once, because this has a bad effect on the taste of tea. The idea of ​​warming up a cold cup of tea in the microwave will also be considered outrageous by the British. Cooled tea should go straight to the sink, no second chances.

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Tea bags are used in many countries, but loose tea is brewed in different ways. Unlike today's hurried office tea parties, tea used to be traditionally brewed in a teapot.

We are accustomed to the fact that tea is languishing in a small teapot, which is poured into cups, and then boiling water is added there so that the drink is not too strong. That is why the teapots in our domestic sets are small. In the UK, tea is brewed in a large teapot, and then poured into cups and topped up with milk. It is especially difficult for me to come to terms with such strong tea, which my British colleagues generously share at conferences and working meetings. They will flavor it with milk, and I will have to drink a full cup of steep tea leaves. For 20 years in the UK, I have not become addicted to milk tea.

Photo: Cottonbro/Pexels

Why do British people put milk in their tea?

For several centuries, milk was added to a porcelain cup, then tea was poured into it, and then stirred. Oddly enough, the main reason for adding milk to tea has nothing to do with taste. When tea was first imported into Britain in the 18th century, many people could not afford table china, according to Simon Hill, a professional tea buyer with Taylors of Harrogate. The dishes did not always withstand the high temperature of the water, and milk was added to the cup to soften the effect of boiling water.

Another theory is that milk was used to prevent staining of fashionable china cups. For poor families, milk had the added benefit of softening the bitter taste of some cheap teas.

London Faberge Exhibition (1)

What is a traditional English tea party?

The English Tea Party is an important social event. As part of the tea drinking, official business meetings, public celebrations and receptions are held. The time for traditional English tea drinking (Afternoon tea) is around four o'clock in the afternoon, just between lunch and dinner. The nibbles served with tea are not intended to replace dinner, but in the old days they helped keep you going until dinner, which was served in high society at eight in the evening.

Afternoon tea was introduced to England in 1840 by Anne Russell, 7th Duchess of Bedford. Dinner in her house, in accordance with the fashion, was served late, at eight o'clock in the evening, and by four o'clock in the afternoon the duchess felt hungry (feeling peckish). In order not to die of hunger during this long period of time between lunch and dinner, she came up with the idea of ​​​​drinking tea “with cookies”. Afternoon tea is also called Low tea, as it was drunk at low tables with comfortable chairs and sofas in the living room.

The Blue Drawing Room, where Anna Russell treated guests to afternoon tea. Photo: Woburn Abbey
Portrait of Anne Russell, 7th Duchess of Bedford

. ), and the tea party ends with sweet pastries. All dishes are divided into small portions, and they should be eaten with your hands.

There is another concept - High tea. Many people define Afternoon tea as High tea, but these are two different things. The name High tea stuck to a working-class family dinner. Coming home after a hard day's work, people did not sit down in low armchairs for languid looking at newspapers, but at an ordinary high table with massive chairs.

High tea consists of hearty meals and takes place between 5 and 7 pm after people get home from work. Instead of small sandwiches without a crust - meat dishes, potatoes and baked beans, that is, a dinner quite usual for many Englishmen, without gourmet pastries and shortbreads.

Photo: The Spruce Eats/Lisa Fasol

Therefore, establishments that offer afternoon tea are sometimes referred to as High tea. Tourists love the idea of ​​experiencing the haute couture of the English tea ceremony. But don't worry: when you're invited to High Tea, you're more likely to be treated to thin sandwiches (crustless finger sandwiches) and Opera cakes, not mashed meats.

My favorites are the Afternoon tea tradition in the atrium of the Wallace Collection and the vintage Fortnum & Mason store (both in London). Table setting, exquisite porcelain, slides with dishes, coupled with the noble atmosphere of the institution - this is a truly English spirit. Most hotels across the country offer afternoon tea on their menus with varying degrees of fantasy, sophistication, and prices.

Another type of tea ritual worth mentioning is Royal tea. This is a more expensive version of the afternoon tea with the addition of champagne. This truly decadent version of the tea ceremony is especially popular for smaller celebrations such as birthdays, engagements, or mother-to-be parties.

Photo: Elena Mccaffrey
Photo: Fortnum & Mason

Tea - a way to calm the nerves

The English associate a cup of tea with the concept of anti-stress, with a blissful balm that spreads evenly over the soul and heals all sorrows. Not so long ago, the Danish-Norwegian concept of “hygge” (Hygge) was popularized - this is an intimate comfort that is present not only in Scandinavian homes, but also in public places. This feeling is achieved thanks to burning candles, warm blankets, plump pillows and the sweet smell of coffee and Danish buns. As a young professional, I worked in Denmark and visited various government agencies and ministries on a regular basis. The fragrant smell of coffee and buns met immediately at the doorstep and set you in a positive mood.

The British have their own concept of "hygge", and it is broadcast through a cup of tea. Perhaps not the most budget option (especially with the whole ceremony), but definitely more achievable.

Faberge Exhibition in London

If you are in a bad mood, it is clear that something has happened, or you just came in from the cold, then the British will definitely offer you a cup of tea. "Shall I get you a cup of tea?" or "Fancy a cuppa?" It is also a kind of cultural code. Under no circumstances should you refuse. I usually quietly drink steep tea leaves.

And if a serious conversation is planned, the British will ask: “Shall I put the kettle on?”. Sometimes, however, they can use this as a trick if there is an uncomfortable pause and they want to sneak out, for example, to the kitchen. Shall I put the kettle on? can mean: I have exactly the opposite opinion on this issue, but I will not voice it, because you will definitely not like it.

Photo: Sebastian Coman Photography/Unsplash

Tea slang

The word "tea" can mean gossip (gossip) in colloquial lexicon. In this case, it should be served hot - best served piping hot - with all the personal information and juicy details (a juicy scoop).

I recently found this journal entry:

“InsideKent can now “spill the tea” (gossip) on this specialist tea blender (tea connoisseur) which is far more than a “storm in a tea cup” (great outrage or excitement about a trivial matter)" / "Now InsideKent can "spill tea" (gossip) about this tea blender (tea connoisseur), which is much more important than just a "storm in a teacup" (great indignation or excitement about trivial question).

And one more important point of conversational tea etiquette, while the owner or hostess is brewing a cup of tea for you, “thank you” and “please” should appear almost every word. Don't be afraid to sound overly polite, it's almost impossible to do that in British English.

Would you like a cup of tea?

Yes, please.

- With milk?

Yes, please.

Any sugar?

Yes, one, please.

And what is the most important thing in tea business, remember? Do not overdo it with sugar and milk! Enjoy your conversation over a cup of English tea.

Elena McCaffrey



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Herbs for tea – “Food”

From May until autumn, country tea parties turn into a beautiful ritual story dedicated to summer. At this time, they put everything in tea - mint with tarragon, and currants with raspberries, and apple slices along with lingonberries, and much, much more.

To diversify summer tea parties, we talked about them with Denis Shumakov, a tea expert and judge of various tea championships. Denis told us about two types of teas - those that consist of herbs growing around, but they also have lemon or orange or even mango added to them. And about those that consist entirely of pasture.

We offer both paths - they are all exciting.

Denis Shumakov, tea expert, judge of tea championships:

Two approaches are possible in the preparation of dacha teas. The first is purist, when we pretend to be a wild animal that jumped out into the forest, ate a fern root and ran away. That is, we use only pasture, only what is in nature around us or in the garden, and we value in these components only their availability and proximity. The second approach is when we value their freshness in these components. And we can use not a pure foot mixture, but mix fresh garden herbs, for example, with an orange - since it is sold everywhere. For me, as a person who spends a lot of time on teas, the second option is more interesting - it gives room for imagination and taste. But I will try to mention both here and there.

And one more thing - if you find yourself in a supermarket before going to the country, I strongly advise you to go to the counter with herbs and look at them carefully, try to hear their aroma and understand their character. Probably a branch of tarragon or rosemary will fit perfectly with what is growing in your front garden. The same goes for fresh fruits - try to imagine them in tea, but what else would you add there? Well, now to the specifics.

Green tea + chamomile + mango

Basic version, very common blend in commercial products. But when we try such a mixture in bottles, it is usually smeared with preservatives and other things that mass drink manufacturers use. And if we come to the dacha with green tea and mango, find chamomile in the garden, brew this green tea, add chamomile to it during the brewing process, and then throw some mango into the kettle, then we will get an amazing and partly pasture drink.

Black tea + orange + lavender

A similar scheme - take black tea - about 2-3 teaspoons per half-liter teapot - add a centimeter-thick slice of orange and a lavender inflorescence. Lavender, of course, is not the most Central Russian herb, but many people grow it in their dachas, and finding it is not a problem. It turns out a gorgeous mixture that can be easily customized. They did it once, and it’s clear how to change the proportions: someone wants more lavender, someone wants orange, it doesn’t matter here.

Green tea + lemon + mint

This version is different from the previous one. Banality, but that doesn't make it any worse. Moreover, such tea makes sense to prepare as lemonade. We take an ordinary liter jug, pour a tablespoon of green tea into it, put a sprig of fresh mint and fill everything with water at room temperature. And let it all stand in the shade for an hour or two. Then we add ice to this tea, if you want, and we get a completely gorgeous refreshing soft drink.

Black and green tea blend + orange + mint + honey

Another summer and combo recipe that I love. It is probably correct to call it Tashkent tea in Alma-Ata. A crazy name, but in Alma-Ata such a drink is served as Tashkent tea, and in Tashkent it is prepared differently. Strange thing, it's very easy to do. A mixture of black and green tea is taken - three parts of the first and one of the second - and brewed in a liter teapot. At the same time, either a circle or two of an orange, or a circle or two of an Uzbek lemon with a thin orange peel is added to the teapot. A bunch of fresh mint and a spoonful of honey are also added there. If you want transcendent aesthetics, then you can search the market for Central Asian sweets, for example, navat - this is such a crystalline sugar. And if the above-mentioned recipe with lavender is a summer-evening luxurious version with French tunes, then Tashkent tea is a summer daytime drink. And it must be brewed in a transparent container, because it looks incredibly festive. You put it on the veranda, and the inhabitants of neighboring cottages begin to envy.

Green tea + tarragon + cucumber

If you want stunning experiments, then, in addition to herbs, cucumber should be used. For example, yes. We take green tea and tarragon. We insist them in a cold way, brewing with water at room temperature. And then, when all this is infused for an hour and a half, we cut the cucumber. But we cut it not across, but in strips, along. We put this strip into a glass. It turns out a little crazy drink - the cucumber flavor goes well with green tea and tarragon. If this approach seems too perverted, then the cucumber can be replaced with melon or watermelon, although they are not so convenient to work with, but the tea will be sweeter. Green tea also goes great with green basil, especially if you add lemon to them.

St. John's wort + oregano + immortelle

Well, if you imagine pure grass mixtures, then there are two basic compositions. The first is oregano and St. John's wort. Two very common herbs, the virtues of which are also that they grow side by side. This is not thyme, for which you need to crawl through the forest edges, God knows how much. The only difficulty is that they must be used dried, but in hot weather it is a matter of several hours. Roughly speaking, you collected the grass during the day - it’s better during the day, when the dew has already come down, - you hung it all somewhere, and by the evening the herbs are ready. St. John's wort gives us a body - so tart, a bit like tea, and oregano gives taste. It is better to mix them in half, and brew the strength that you like. If you want, you can add a little more thyme, then the tea will have honey notes. Or, for example, chamomile. Or immortelle - in the mixture it is bitter, but the tea will become very beautiful.

Raspberry + black currant + cherry + mint

Well, if the first example of pure grazing is dried herbs, then the second direction is pure fresh.

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