Whether you're planning your own baby shower or one for a close friend or family member, deciding what type of food to serve guests is probably at the top of your to-do list. Although it may seem like a daunting task to do on your own, hiring a professional catering company will solve the issue for you, and allow you to focus on other aspects of the special event. 

When deciding between a few different local event caterers, consider the ones that have the most experience with baby showers, or other elegant types of celebrations, such as wedding receptions. After picking the company that best matches your needs, sit down with them and discuss the type of food you'd most like to serve at the shower. 

If you know the baby's gender, you can use that as inspiration when choosing the perfect menu options. You can also use the shower's color or decor theme as a menu starting point.

Planning any type of special event can be costly, and if you're on a tight budget, consider serving foods that can also serve as party favors at the end of the day. Build-your-own bars work double duty as they provide hands-on activities for guests as well, and are especially entertaining for kids. 

Here are some additional baby shower catering ideas to get you started:

1. Finger Foods 

Not only can finger foods be classy and upscale, but they'll also provide your guests with plenty of variety, and allow them to easily mix and mingle while eating. Since they are smaller portions, they may also be easier on your wallet than larger portions. 

Some elegant finger food ideas include delicate tea sandwiches filled with egg, ham, tuna, or chicken salad. You can also serve mini hamburgers, grilled vegetables, fruit or seafood skewers, or individually sized pizzas. Bruschetta, meatballs in sauce, and small meat kabobs are other small-yet-filling menu options. 

2. Themed Foods

Give mealtime a whimsical touch by serving foods inspired by the baby's gender or the party theme. For example, treat guests to pink punch, pink-frosted cookies, sandwiches filled with raspberry jam, bagels with pink-tinted cream cheese, or strawberry milkshakes. 

If the baby shower is zoo-themed, have the caterers make frosted cookies shaped like different zoo animals. These can serve as both desserts and individually wrapped party favors. Other zoo-inspired food ideas include animal-shaped sandwiches cut with large cookie cutters; frozen, chocolate-covered bananas; banana bread; or carrots and dip arranged to resemble a lion's face and mane. 

Contact a local event caterer to learn more.