The Qick Guide to successful children's parties
The Quick version of The Complete Children's Party Survival Guide

"Let's Eat" (2)

Party food boxes may make the laying out of the table easier but tea time will be over much faster. Also some children will get upset if the box contains foodstuffs that they do not like.
Sandwiches are the least popular food item so use sparingly or avoid altogether.
Use cartons of drink with straws as these are less likely to spill if knocked over.
Begin with the savouries and allow a decent amount of time before putting out the sweet items. After another suitable period of time bring on the jelly and ice cream and finally the birthday cake.
Avoid using re-lighting candles on the cake and only allow the birthday child to do the blowing out.  
  Offer the children "a small piece of cake now" rather than letting them all take some home.

For more detailed information on the above points see Chapter 8, Chapter 9 & Chapter 10 of: