For two years my kids asked me if we could have a food fight. I kept telling them we had to do it in the summer. One year we even put it on our summer bucket list, but we never got around to it. FINALLY this summer, we did it! Man oh man was it FUN!!

picture with 6 messy family members

Here are some tips for a successful Food Fight!

Set the stage
Do it outside. Set out a huge tarp, one you don’t mind throwing away afterwards. Put your table(s) on top of the tarp(s). Set out paper plates for each participant.  

Plan to put all the foods on each person’s plate before the beginning of the fight. I wish we’d each had two plates for food. This worked much better than having food in bowls. Plus, then everyone gets to try throwing all the foods rather than just the ones near them.

We also had plastic and wooden spoons. These were really only useful for the beginning. Then, we just dug in with our hands!

We set up a stand for our camera to film the event. We wish we’d followed this website’s advice and used our GoPro and/or that we had invited someone over to take during photos/video.dv

before pictures with food nicely laid out

Choose your menu
Here are the foods we used: 

  • applesauce
  • cool whip
  • cottage cheese
  • crumbled chips
  • fruit loops
  • jello
  • juice boxes – a food fight favorite! Haven’t you always wanted to squeeze one and watch it spray…at someone?
  • marshmallows
  • mashed potatoes
  • peas
  • popcorn
  • pudding – the more of this the better!
  • shredded cheese
  • spaghetti

Many of these we had to make ahead of time and I let the kids make most of them: jello, pudding, mashed potatoes, spaghetti, etc. because I didn’t really care how it turned out and it was a good chance for them to do some cooking mostly by themselves.

List of food items
We starred items we need to prepare or that were in the refrigerator.

Decide the “rules”
We decided we would all throw the food at one person at a time to start. We went around once and then it was a free-for-all after that. We also made the rule that someone couldn’t only throw all their food at one person.

One food fight recommended a rock/scissors/paper contest where the winner throws the food at the loser. Some said they had card games. I bet these options extended the duration. We ended up having a super fun time for about 20 seconds.

Explain what’s going to happen to little participants
We didn’t do a great job of explaining to our 3-year-old what was going to happen. In hindsight, we definitely should have. We also should have let him throw at each one of us a bit more first. And, possibly, not thrown at him at all during the free for all.

“Simon, how did you like that?” we asked our 3-year-old.
“Not too good,” he replied. Definitely needed to prepare him better.

Pick your outfit
Everything got dirty so the fewer clothes you can wear the better. We also wore goggles. Highly recommend those!

One food fighter recommended a garbage bag shirt but since we had all boys, most of them just took their shirts off.

4 year old boy with goggles

Plan for clean up
We set out buckets of water, the garbage can, wet wipes, the garden hose and some towels.

three photos of clean up

Get your mind set
Everyone has to want to do it. As the grown-up, remember it’s going to be a lot of clean up. Stay positive. Don’t get grouchy and remember your mood will make or break the whole thing. Enjoy this moment. Laugh a lot. Haven’t you always wanted to be in a food fight??

Oh…and one more thing: plan something else for dinner. We didn’t get to eat much.


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A committed member of the boymom club, Meghan has five active, adventurous, crazy sweet men in her life she often calls her “favorite boys”. Charles is 14, Oliver is 12, Bennett is 9, Simon is 6 and her husband, Luke is a fun, patient, loving father to all these crazy characters. For 18 years, Meghan worked in higher education at a private college in recruitment, marketing, and social media. Now, working from home, she balances four boys, a great husband, freelance writing and social media consulting. Meghan grew up in St. Charles, IL (a western Chicago suburb), attended Augustana College, and is a true Quad City transplant - she loves living in this area! She likes to read, sing, plan adventures, travel and just be with her favorite boys.


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