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I would do a fairly substantial snack, but not a full meal at those times. IME toddlers don't tend to eat many sandwiches, but I'd do breadsticks, cheese cubes, sausages, cherry tomatoes, fruit, vegetable sticks- that kind of thing.
Don't all soft play places have food in the last half hour? As a parent that's what I'd expect. I'd provide crisps/wotsits, tiny sausage rolls or sausages, grapes, cheese cubes, cherry tomatoes, chocolate fingers, party rings, probably half a sandwich each of jam and something else. Nothing too time-consuming but at least you've made an effort!
That would have been a good idea to have mentioned it on the invites, but I've already sent them out. Could maybe send a text though when people text if they're coming or not. Thanks for your replies on the matter.
My DD is having her third birthday party between 2pm and 4pm at a soft play place where food isn't included. I'm wondering what everyone's expectations and experiences are regarding food provided at parties thrown at these times for a bunch of mostly babies and two year olds. I don't mind doing a full savoury/sweet and birthday cake 'spread', but I don't like throwing away lots of left over food. But then again, would it look a bit mean to just provide fruit and cakes and sweets as a kind of mid-afternoon snack?