Oh shit! It’s your beautiful baby’s birthday and you haven’t done a thing! Now what?

1. Anything on a stick 

Out of cheese and pineapple? No stress, other things can be popped onto sticks too. Lace some crisps (Hula Hoops or Monster Munch work a treat – ready made holes – or you can impale a Pom Bear. RIP buddy) onto a cocktail stick and keep them in place with some wilting lettuce from the back of the fridge. No sticks? Turn party prep into a fun game for all the family by foraging twigs from the garden and declaring the theme “rustic”. V hipster. 

2. Lucky dip

It’s all about the presentation. Mix together some milk and flour, put it in a nice colourful pot and declare it “home made houmous”. The kids will believe anything and the parents will be too polite to slag it off. Likewise, ketchup + any old crap mashed up veg  = salsa. It’s probably what they do in restaurants.   

3. Pizza

Slip the delivery guy a quid to stick a few candles in it. A fiver if he’ll sing. 

4. The unfortunate mix-up

Scatter dirty plates and empty but slightly sticky cups around the house, sprinkle crumbs and empty serving platters across your kitchen table. When your guests arrive bang on time, look confused and say “I’m so sorry, the party started at midday, not 2pm, did you get in a bit of a muddle? You’ve missed the food I’m afraid!”. They will be too mortified to protest. 

5. The icing on the cake 

Grab some generic fairy cakes from the corner shop, spread some butter on the top and stick on some of your little one’s most annoying plastic toys. What a beautiful spread (and you needn’t bother with party bags either).