Etiquette Hell

Wedding Bliss and Blues => Receptions => Topic started by: soon2bemrsf on February 06, 2014, 03:17:25 PM

Title: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: soon2bemrsf on February 06, 2014, 03:17:25 PM
My fiancee and I are having a lunch time reception and we have decided to do a buffet, we'll have 2 pasta choices (chicken alfredo and 4 cheese tortellini), Cesar salad, fresh fruit, bread sticks, and focaccia, there will also be appetizers before lunch while we are getting our pictures taken. I am planning this wedding long distance, fiancee is in state A, where we are getting married, and I am in state B so fiancee was the only one to go to the tasting at the caterers yesterday. The caterer mentioned that we should only order half portions of food for the children we are inviting because it will cost less. Fiancee thinks this is a good idea but it makes me nervous. This isn't a plated meal, it's a self serve buffet. I'm worried it wouldn't even occur to parents that we'd only budgeted a half serving of food for their children, it certainly wouldn't occur to me at a buffet. And I'm already worried about running out of food, I know I have some big eaters in my family, so this makes me even more nervous. We are on a tight budget and are cutting corners on everything else but I really don't want to skimp on the food. So does this sound like a recipe for disaster or am I overreacting? Thanks!
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: auntmeegs on February 06, 2014, 03:22:46 PM
Welcome to the forum!

How much cheaper are we talking?  How many kids are invited?
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: baritone108 on February 06, 2014, 03:28:10 PM
Most of the weddings buffets I've experienced still had someone from the caterer serving rather than being self serve.  You might check with the caterer to see if this is possible.  Self serve buffet at weddings isn't a good idea because most people way-overjudge how much a portion is supposed to be and the people who get up to the food towards the end aren't going to find much food left.
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: Harriet Jones on February 06, 2014, 03:32:04 PM
How many servings are you ordering per person? (and how much would be considered a serving?)  If you're just ordering one serving per guest, I'm pretty sure that's not going to be enough.  It's highly likely people might choose a scoop of each pasta ....
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: shhh its me on February 06, 2014, 03:36:24 PM
Could you clarify? 

For me a buffet has always been either I had ordered 100 pieces of chicken or I order chick for 50 people. If I order per person I  expect the buffet to be refilled until everyone is served.   So in this case you are ordering a finite amount of food , right? How much cheaper and what is a serving?
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: QueenfaninCA on February 06, 2014, 03:42:48 PM
In addition to what others have said:

I think this will really depend on the age of the children. Under 10 years it's safe to assume they won't eat as much and reasonable parents would only put a reasonable amount of food on their plate at the buffet. Older kids, I'd plan adult-sized portions. My son is 12 and on a hungry day he easily eats more than my husband or I do (although he still has days where he eats a lot less).
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: Yvaine on February 06, 2014, 03:47:08 PM
In addition to what others have said:

I think this will really depend on the age of the children. Under 10 years it's safe to assume they won't eat as much and reasonable parents would only put a reasonable amount of food on their plate at the buffet. Older kids, I'd plan adult-sized portions. My son is 12 and on a hungry day he easily eats more than my husband or I do (although he still has days where he eats a lot less).

This is where I'm leaning too. Little kids don't eat all that much, but if you have a lot of pubescent and teenage guests...well, I remember having the appetite of a one-girl plague of locusts and I don't think I was atypical.  ;D
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: soon2bemrsf on February 07, 2014, 12:22:38 AM
Thanks everyone! The special price is only for kids under 7 and we don't have that many kids that young coming, at least on my side we don't. I'm not sure what's considered a serving or how big it is, fiancée only said that they were generous. It's half price for the child sized portions. I don't love the idea of a self serve buffet but it costs a lot more to do the full service option and I'm not sure we can afford it, fiancée did say that they bring a few extra trays in case we run short.
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: CakeEater on February 07, 2014, 07:07:04 AM
If it puts your mind at ease, I've never been to a buffet wedding that wasn't self-service. IME, people are generally fairly conservative in choosing from a buffet the first time through the line at a wedding, and I think it's pretty safe to only order half servings for kids under 7.
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: cicero on February 07, 2014, 09:30:10 AM
I think you're safe, too. I presume that the venue knows what they're talking about- if they're offering you a few half price meals it's because they know from experience that on average, the under sevens will take a few bites and then probably run off to play or fall asleep.
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: Promise on February 07, 2014, 09:32:29 AM
Consider getting 3/4 sized plates and not big ones for entrees and smaller ones for salad. It will cut down on the space on the plate to fill it up.  Once they eat what's on their plate, they'll be full and not go back. If a plate is big, we'll fill it up.
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: baritone108 on February 07, 2014, 12:38:03 PM
I didn't mean to imply that you should do a full service buffet if it's outside your budget.  You've gotten several good ideas here, especially the one about the 3/4 size plates.  I'm sure everything will be fine and it will be a lovely reception.
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: Sara Crewe on February 08, 2014, 07:26:14 AM
If it puts your mind at ease, I've never been to a buffet wedding that wasn't self-service. IME, people are generally fairly conservative in choosing from a buffet the first time through the line at a wedding, and I think it's pretty safe to only order half servings for kids under 7.

Unfortunately, the one buffet I ever went to, the first people through the line were greedy pigs (abandoned plates half full of food left on their tables, plates filled to overflowing) and the last 30\40 people didn't get any food.  Of course, the OP and her DF probably have a good idea whether their guests are likely to behave like this.

If the OP's DF has a normal appetite and thinks the portions are generous and none of the guests are the type to take a piece of fish and a piece of chicken and a serving of pasta etc. where each piece/serving is meant to be one helping then I would say a half serving for under sevens should be plenty.

If there are concerns about food running out, then a served buffet might be the answer.
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: auntmeegs on February 08, 2014, 08:29:43 AM
If it puts your mind at ease, I've never been to a buffet wedding that wasn't self-service. IME, people are generally fairly conservative in choosing from a buffet the first time through the line at a wedding, and I think it's pretty safe to only order half servings for kids under 7.

Unfortunately, the one buffet I ever went to, the first people through the line were greedy pigs (abandoned plates half full of food left on their tables, plates filled to overflowing) and the last 30\40 people didn't get any food.  Of course, the OP and her DF probably have a good idea whether their guests are likely to behave like this.

If the OP's DF has a normal appetite and thinks the portions are generous and none of the guests are the type to take a piece of fish and a piece of chicken and a serving of pasta etc. where each piece/serving is meant to be one helping then I would say a half serving for under sevens should be plenty.

If there are concerns about food running out, then a served buffet might be the answer.

Hmmmm, I think it's completely normal to take some of everything at a buffet.  In fact, I thought that was one of the main attractions of a buffet, getting to try a bit of everything.
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: Sara Crewe on February 08, 2014, 09:39:47 AM
If it puts your mind at ease, I've never been to a buffet wedding that wasn't self-service. IME, people are generally fairly conservative in choosing from a buffet the first time through the line at a wedding, and I think it's pretty safe to only order half servings for kids under 7.

Unfortunately, the one buffet I ever went to, the first people through the line were greedy pigs (abandoned plates half full of food left on their tables, plates filled to overflowing) and the last 30\40 people didn't get any food.  Of course, the OP and her DF probably have a good idea whether their guests are likely to behave like this.

If the OP's DF has a normal appetite and thinks the portions are generous and none of the guests are the type to take a piece of fish and a piece of chicken and a serving of pasta etc. where each piece/serving is meant to be one helping then I would say a half serving for under sevens should be plenty.

If there are concerns about food running out, then a served buffet might be the answer.

Hmmmm, I think it's completely normal to take some of everything at a buffet.  In fact, I thought that was one of the main attractions of a buffet, getting to try a bit of everything.

In this case it was a cold food buffet and they were doing things like taking one each of the 15 types of sandwich, taking a bite of each and finishing the 5/6 they liked.  As the plan was 4 or 6 sandwiches each (not sure which) and they were doing the same things with the other foods, this left the buffet empty for the last people through.

Also, with a hot buffet, my experience has been you pick either 1 entree or a half\third size portion of two or 3. I suspect that's what you mean as well.  I was talking about the sort of person who'd get full sized portions of all 4 entrees 'to see which one I like' and then leave 3 of them on the plate because they were full. 

Also, some buffets are set up to serve meals in the traditional one meat (or vegetarian alternative) 2/3 vegetables, 1/2 starches pattern.  Taking two different servings of the meat can cause the food to run out far too early if enough people do it.  The problems arise when the guests don't realise that is the understanding (or don't care).  I think a server asking pleasantly "would you like the beef or chicken" prevents a lot of problems.
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: Lynda_34 on February 08, 2014, 09:34:59 PM
I used to cater and you need to talk to your caterer to make sure they are on the same page as you.
Bread firsts then salads and or vegetables (no extra plate), starches next, (pasta, potatoes, whatever) and meat/protein last.  Condiments, butter, silverware etc. at the end of the line.
 
You need one server to ensure that tables are served/get up to the buffet in order of how you decide.  It shouldn't be just a rush.  Once everyone sees that there is order to getting the food they will cooperate and those that don't will make for great stories later.

You're going to have a seating plan, name the tables whatever you want but also make sure that the hired server is going to know which table to indicate what order to go in.

Tables need to be cleared so you're going to need to hire one or two someones to just clear tables.  A little more money (hourly rate) will ensure that there is order during serving, easy clean up and once the cake is cut they will be available to distribute cake.

These servers can also help great aunt Matilda, who uses a walker and crazy uncle Simon through the buffet.
I also agree with one of them standing over the protein asking, "Chicken or pot roast?"

Good luck, congratulations and the fact that you're thinking ahead tells me you're going to have a lovely wedding.
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: Hmmmmm on February 08, 2014, 10:18:03 PM
In my experience with buffets they expect most people to take a full serving of everything. If the caterer is suggesting this then I would take his advice because that means he plans to have generous servings.
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: kareng57 on February 08, 2014, 10:54:39 PM
You're only having a small number of young children at your reception, so I'd take the caterer's advice.

Even if it's a self-serve buffet - really, parents aren't going to try to pile up their kids' plates with enough food for the next 18 hours. ;)
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: sparksals on February 09, 2014, 01:35:04 AM
If it puts your mind at ease, I've never been to a buffet wedding that wasn't self-service. IME, people are generally fairly conservative in choosing from a buffet the first time through the line at a wedding, and I think it's pretty safe to only order half servings for kids under 7.

Unfortunately, the one buffet I ever went to, the first people through the line were greedy pigs (abandoned plates half full of food left on their tables, plates filled to overflowing) and the last 30\40 people didn't get any food.  Of course, the OP and her DF probably have a good idea whether their guests are likely to behave like this.

If the OP's DF has a normal appetite and thinks the portions are generous and none of the guests are the type to take a piece of fish and a piece of chicken and a serving of pasta etc. where each piece/serving is meant to be one helping then I would say a half serving for under sevens should be plenty.

If there are concerns about food running out, then a served buffet might be the answer.

Hmmmm, I think it's completely normal to take some of everything at a buffet.  In fact, I thought that was one of the main attractions of a buffet, getting to try a bit of everything.


I get what Tia is saying.. there are many people who take MORE than their share then don't eat the whole plate .Buffets are famous for that.  I would suggest going on the side of having more food than the risk of running out.


Also, OP, May I suggest, that your menu is a bit lacking in protein and looks very high carb.. unless you have other options you didn't mention?  I wouldn't be able to eat what you are offering except the salad and it is a high calorie version.  I would go hungry on your meal offering with the pasta, bread, fruit ... do you have other options available and just didn't mention them?
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: shhh its me on February 09, 2014, 09:08:56 AM
If it puts your mind at ease, I've never been to a buffet wedding that wasn't self-service. IME, people are generally fairly conservative in choosing from a buffet the first time through the line at a wedding, and I think it's pretty safe to only order half servings for kids under 7.

Unfortunately, the one buffet I ever went to, the first people through the line were greedy pigs (abandoned plates half full of food left on their tables, plates filled to overflowing) and the last 30\40 people didn't get any food.  Of course, the OP and her DF probably have a good idea whether their guests are likely to behave like this.

If the OP's DF has a normal appetite and thinks the portions are generous and none of the guests are the type to take a piece of fish and a piece of chicken and a serving of pasta etc. where each piece/serving is meant to be one helping then I would say a half serving for under sevens should be plenty.

If there are concerns about food running out, then a served buffet might be the answer.

Hmmmm, I think it's completely normal to take some of everything at a buffet.  In fact, I thought that was one of the main attractions of a buffet, getting to try a bit of everything.


I get what Tia is saying.. there are many people who take MORE than their share then don't eat the whole plate .Buffets are famous for that.  I would suggest going on the side of having more food than the risk of running out.


Also, OP, May I suggest, that your menu is a bit lacking in protein and looks very high carb.. unless you have other options you didn't mention?  I wouldn't be able to eat what you are offering except the salad and it is a high calorie version.  I would go hungry on your meal offering with the pasta, bread, fruit ... do you have other options available and just didn't mention them?

It is a lunch reception (which I'm assuming means the entire event is at the absolute longest from 10am-4 pm and more likely for 2-4 hours )  I think a pasta main is acceptable for a lunch. 
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: bonyk on February 09, 2014, 09:22:00 AM
Also there are appetizers before lunch.

OP, how much money are you saving?  I know your budget is tight, but is it worth paying that amount for piece of mind?
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: sparksals on February 09, 2014, 02:55:46 PM
If it puts your mind at ease, I've never been to a buffet wedding that wasn't self-service. IME, people are generally fairly conservative in choosing from a buffet the first time through the line at a wedding, and I think it's pretty safe to only order half servings for kids under 7.

Unfortunately, the one buffet I ever went to, the first people through the line were greedy pigs (abandoned plates half full of food left on their tables, plates filled to overflowing) and the last 30\40 people didn't get any food.  Of course, the OP and her DF probably have a good idea whether their guests are likely to behave like this.

If the OP's DF has a normal appetite and thinks the portions are generous and none of the guests are the type to take a piece of fish and a piece of chicken and a serving of pasta etc. where each piece/serving is meant to be one helping then I would say a half serving for under sevens should be plenty.

If there are concerns about food running out, then a served buffet might be the answer.

Hmmmm, I think it's completely normal to take some of everything at a buffet.  In fact, I thought that was one of the main attractions of a buffet, getting to try a bit of everything.


I get what Tia is saying.. there are many people who take MORE than their share then don't eat the whole plate .Buffets are famous for that.  I would suggest going on the side of having more food than the risk of running out.


Also, OP, May I suggest, that your menu is a bit lacking in protein and looks very high carb.. unless you have other options you didn't mention?  I wouldn't be able to eat what you are offering except the salad and it is a high calorie version.  I would go hungry on your meal offering with the pasta, bread, fruit ... do you have other options available and just didn't mention them?

It is a lunch reception (which I'm assuming means the entire event is at the absolute longest from 10am-4 pm and more likely for 2-4 hours )  I think a pasta main is acceptable for a lunch.

Pasta main is acceptable if there is a protein option or there are no diabetics or those with a low glycemic diet. Part of hosting is providing a meal that people can eat.  Having a high carb meal with very little protein, no matter the meal of the day is  not sufficient hosting.   At the very least there should be a vegetable side and a protein option.
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: shhh its me on February 09, 2014, 03:54:19 PM
If it puts your mind at ease, I've never been to a buffet wedding that wasn't self-service. IME, people are generally fairly conservative in choosing from a buffet the first time through the line at a wedding, and I think it's pretty safe to only order half servings for kids under 7.

Unfortunately, the one buffet I ever went to, the first people through the line were greedy pigs (abandoned plates half full of food left on their tables, plates filled to overflowing) and the last 30\40 people didn't get any food.  Of course, the OP and her DF probably have a good idea whether their guests are likely to behave like this.

If the OP's DF has a normal appetite and thinks the portions are generous and none of the guests are the type to take a piece of fish and a piece of chicken and a serving of pasta etc. where each piece/serving is meant to be one helping then I would say a half serving for under sevens should be plenty.

If there are concerns about food running out, then a served buffet might be the answer.

Hmmmm, I think it's completely normal to take some of everything at a buffet.  In fact, I thought that was one of the main attractions of a buffet, getting to try a bit of everything.


I get what Tia is saying.. there are many people who take MORE than their share then don't eat the whole plate .Buffets are famous for that.  I would suggest going on the side of having more food than the risk of running out.


Also, OP, May I suggest, that your menu is a bit lacking in protein and looks very high carb.. unless you have other options you didn't mention?  I wouldn't be able to eat what you are offering except the salad and it is a high calorie version.  I would go hungry on your meal offering with the pasta, bread, fruit ... do you have other options available and just didn't mention them?

It is a lunch reception (which I'm assuming means the entire event is at the absolute longest from 10am-4 pm and more likely for 2-4 hours )  I think a pasta main is acceptable for a lunch.

Pasta main is acceptable if there is a protein option or there are no diabetics or those with a low glycemic diet. Part of hosting is providing a meal that people can eat.  Having a high carb meal with very little protein, no matter the meal of the day is  not sufficient hosting.   At the very least there should be a vegetable side and a protein option.

I have to disagree and this is coming from someone with a diabetic , vegan and milk allergy in my very close family (yeah thats a fun meal to make) Pasta is a protein and a starch and chicken alfredo is a protein. There is no all weddings need to proved a diabetic meal option.  IF OPs DFs family has diabetics/celiac/milk allergies  then thats not a good menu.  Making a menu because of unknown  food issues would have to included every possible food issue...dairy , peanut , soy and grain allergies ..vegans , Jewish and diabetics etc.
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: sparksals on February 11, 2014, 08:39:56 PM
Pasta is a carb.  A very high carb.  I don't expect all conditions to be catered to, but a balanced meal offering that has a bit of everything.   ..protein, veg, starch.  Part of good hosting is offering a balanced meal selection.   
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: Hmmmmm on February 11, 2014, 09:13:00 PM
Pasta is a carb.  A very high carb.  I don't expect all conditions to be catered to, but a balanced meal offering that has a bit of everything.   ..protein, veg, starch.  Part of good hosting is offering a balanced meal selection.

As someone who follows a low glycemic diet, I do,recognize that chicken Alfredo with pasta, a salad, and bread is considered to be a full meal. While not a meal I can enjoy a lot of, I would take a small portion of the pasta, a larger portion of salad, and make up for any hunger after I left the event.
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: kareng57 on February 11, 2014, 10:57:23 PM
Pasta is a carb.  A very high carb.  I don't expect all conditions to be catered to, but a balanced meal offering that has a bit of everything.   ..protein, veg, starch.  Part of good hosting is offering a balanced meal selection.

As someone who follows a low glycemic diet, I do,recognize that chicken Alfredo with pasta, a salad, and bread is considered to be a full meal. While not a meal I can enjoy a lot of, I would take a small portion of the pasta, a larger portion of salad, and make up for any hunger after I left the event.


I agree, your plan sounds quite sensible to me.  I don't think that's it's reasonable to expect a fairly low-cost venue, early in the day, to be able to provide an extensive menu that will absolutely satisfy all dietary needs/requests.
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: mlogica on February 12, 2014, 12:11:24 PM
Pasta is a carb.  A very high carb.  I don't expect all conditions to be catered to, but a balanced meal offering that has a bit of everything.   ..protein, veg, starch.  Part of good hosting is offering a balanced meal selection.

As someone who follows a low glycemic diet, I do,recognize that chicken Alfredo with pasta, a salad, and bread is considered to be a full meal. While not a meal I can enjoy a lot of, I would take a small portion of the pasta, a larger portion of salad, and make up for any hunger after I left the event.


I agree, your plan sounds quite sensible to me.  I don't think that's it's reasonable to expect a fairly low-cost venue, early in the day, to be able to provide an extensive menu that will absolutely satisfy all dietary needs/requests.

I basically agree with kareng57 and Hmmmmm.  However, if it were my event I'd substitute a green salad (preferably with a selection of dressings on the side) for the Caesar salad.  Although not as filling as a Caesar salad, it would perhaps be more appealing to those trying to avoid fat and salt.  Not sure how "carby" a Caesar salad is compared to a green salad so don't know if it would make a difference there.

As a vegetarian, I know that attending any social event may mean a meal with little than I can eat.  Fortunately it's usually only one meal, and I have learned to tuck a protein bar or something in my purse, just in case.
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: eee on February 14, 2014, 01:04:50 AM
Pasta is a carb.  A very high carb.  I don't expect all conditions to be catered to, but a balanced meal offering that has a bit of everything.   ..protein, veg, starch.  Part of good hosting is offering a balanced meal selection.

I think this is a problem specific to you and your medical condition, not a problem of not "good hosting". Pasta is not a weird or unbalanced meal choice for the majority of the population so it seems inappropriate to chastise the OP for choosing it. Not everything is suitable for everyone, but acting as if it is an unreasonable meal seems unreasonable to me.
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: camlan on February 14, 2014, 05:44:23 AM
There would be protein in the chicken and the cheese, would there not?

My guess is that the OP did exactly what we tell people to do, here on EHell. She figured out the number of people she wanted to invite to her wedding, and then chose food choices that fit her budget. Sounds like she has one main dish with chicken and a second one with cheese, and that should cover the needs/wants of most of her guests.

The larger the number of guests, the harder it is to accommodate every possible dietary plan. Adults with very specific food needs should be able to cope with one meal in their day that doesn't completely meet those needs, either by planning to eat earlier or later, or carrying something with them.

I'm making the assumption that money is tight for this couple, and they are struggling to have a wedding to which they can invite all their loved ones and still offer a comfortable level of hospitality. Yes, their food choices are somewhat limited because of that. But I've been to expensive weddings where the food is plated and every guest gets exactly the same meal--decent sized piece beef or chicken, sometimes in a sauce; 6 one inch cubes of roasted potatoes, and 12 green beans. If you don't like or can't eat the beef or chicken, you just have to hope that you can fill up on the rolls or trade the meat for someone else's green beans.

OP, no matter what you offer for food choices, there will be someone who can't eat all of it, someone else who will complain about your choices, and someone who will take three servings of everything. Once I realized that, I plan events knowing this will happen, and just let the complaints roll off my back. You cannot please all the people, all the time.

Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: mechtilde on February 14, 2014, 05:57:10 AM
In addition to what others have said:

I think this will really depend on the age of the children. Under 10 years it's safe to assume they won't eat as much and reasonable parents would only put a reasonable amount of food on their plate at the buffet. Older kids, I'd plan adult-sized portions. My son is 12 and on a hungry day he easily eats more than my husband or I do (although he still has days where he eats a lot less).

Absolutely. My boys have really only started to eat more than a half portion. At ten and eleven they now have about 3/4 size.

Half portions are fine for under tens.
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: Teenyweeny on February 14, 2014, 08:19:43 AM
And since girls start puberty earlier, I'd plan on adult-sized portions for those aged 9-10 and over.

I'm not a greedy person now (previous weight gain was due to poor choices, rather than sheer volume of food), but I could easily put away two or three adult helpings when I was around ten years old. I was just hungry all.the.time. I'd have school dinners at lunch time (which was a proper meal, like this):
(http://www.expressandstar.com/wpmvc/wp/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/School-meals.thumb.jpg)

Then I'd have tea when I got home, which would be another hot meal (like spaghetti bolognese), and pudding. And I'd snack. I was an eating machine, and I don't think that's unusual.  ;)
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: LadyL on February 14, 2014, 08:28:30 AM
Making a menu because of unknown  food issues would have to included every possible food issue...dairy , peanut , soy and grain allergies ..vegans , Jewish and diabetics etc.

This is actually not as impossible as it sounds. In our bridal party alone we had two people who are gluten intolerant and one person who is vegan. We also probably had a dozen or two guests who are vegetarian, allergic to nuts, etc. We went with a caterer who in part specializes in dietary restrictions. Several guests who are used to not being able to each much, or anything, at events like weddings thanked us for providing food options each of them could eat.

I don't know how common this type of catering service is outside of major cities but my guess is that it's going to become way more common for restaurants, caterers, etc. to have menu options for a range of dietary restrictions.
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: Oh Joy on February 14, 2014, 08:48:29 AM
Thanks everyone! The special price is only for kids under 7 and we don't have that many kids that young coming, at least on my side we don't. I'm not sure what's considered a serving or how big it is, fiancée only said that they were generous. It's half price for the child sized portions. I don't love the idea of a self serve buffet but it costs a lot more to do the full service option and I'm not sure we can afford it, fiancée did say that they bring a few extra trays in case we run short.

It sounds to me like the caterer takes responsibility for ensuring there's an adequate amount of food, and the child-sized portion is really just a billing courtesy.

Just talk to your caterer about how they determine how much to bring.  You should be able to get a good feel of their perspective.  Especially with pasta, they'll be bringing a bunch of full pans...it's not like it's 27 1/2 chicken breasts for 25 adults and 5 children, KWIM?

Best wishes.
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: NyaChan on February 14, 2014, 09:15:25 AM
For myself, I think a host has to make an effort to provide a basic meal - as in food that is filling enough for that time of day while not knowingly leaving someone with nothing to eat.  It is not their automatic obligation to have multiple dishes on the off chance someone is going to feel peckish that day because at one meal out of their entire day they had more carbs than normal. 
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: shhh its me on February 14, 2014, 11:10:12 AM
Making a menu because of unknown  food issues would have to included every possible food issue...dairy , peanut , soy and grain allergies ..vegans , Jewish and diabetics etc.

This is actually not as impossible as it sounds. In our bridal party alone we had two people who are gluten intolerant and one person who is vegan. We also probably had a dozen or two guests who are vegetarian, allergic to nuts, etc. We went with a caterer who in part specializes in dietary restrictions. Several guests who are used to not being able to each much, or anything, at events like weddings thanked us for providing food options each of them could eat.

I don't know how common this type of catering service is outside of major cities but my guess is that it's going to become way more common for restaurants, caterers, etc. to have menu options for a range of dietary restrictions.
Which is great but I wouldn't suggest it was wrong not to if none of your guest had these know issues.   Wow, quadruple  negative let me try that again.  I think its great to accommodate your guests and that some caters can.   I do not think its poor hosting to plan for your  actual guests not hypothetical guests with food issues.  All meals don't have to be perfectly balanced for all food restrictions and no one food restriction is so prevalent that all meal should accommodate that one restriction. 
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: camlan on February 14, 2014, 02:59:16 PM
Making a menu because of unknown  food issues would have to included every possible food issue...dairy , peanut , soy and grain allergies ..vegans , Jewish and diabetics etc.

This is actually not as impossible as it sounds. In our bridal party alone we had two people who are gluten intolerant and one person who is vegan. We also probably had a dozen or two guests who are vegetarian, allergic to nuts, etc. We went with a caterer who in part specializes in dietary restrictions. Several guests who are used to not being able to each much, or anything, at events like weddings thanked us for providing food options each of them could eat.

I don't know how common this type of catering service is outside of major cities but my guess is that it's going to become way more common for restaurants, caterers, etc. to have menu options for a range of dietary restrictions.

This is quite nice and thoughtful.

However, this service may not exist in every area. And I suspect that it is more expensive than just regular catering.
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: soon2bemrsf on February 14, 2014, 10:47:31 PM
Thanks everyone! Sorry for not replying sooner, I was moving this week and it's been kind of crazy.  :P To answer some questions, we are only having the 2 pasta options, our budget is really tight and our guest list is pretty large (we both have huge extended families, we're only inviting grandparents/aunts/uncles/first cousins and a few family friends and that's almost 200 people) so we can't really afford to do another entrée. The package we are getting has a very low cost per head, but there are only pasta options to choose from. If anyone does have any allergies though we'll do our best to work with them, this has actually reminded me, I have a cousin that I know is lactose intolerant, I'm going to have to speak with the caterers and see if we can get something made just for him. We are also doing some appetizers so people have something to munch on while we are taking pictures, those aren't set in stone yet so I'll see if we can include some more protein heavy options in there.

Thanks though everyone! You've done a lot to set my mind at ease. Weddings in my area of the country are usually just cake and punch in the church gym, I've never been to one that served a meal and I want to make sure I do it right. :)
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: HorseFreak on February 15, 2014, 07:16:09 AM
The reception hall that did my graduation party was happy to make separate plates for those with dietary restrictions who couldn't eat from the buffet. My vegan cousin got a plate just for her as did two other guests.
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: bloo on February 15, 2014, 08:34:12 AM
If it puts your mind at ease, I've never been to a buffet wedding that wasn't self-service. IME, people are generally fairly conservative in choosing from a buffet the first time through the line at a wedding, and I think it's pretty safe to only order half servings for kids under 7.

That's really nice that people are generally conservative in your area. That doesn't happen in my area of the Midwest. We have a fair number of over-eaters or persons incapable of determining portion sizes. Every large gathering that doesn't have friends volunteering to serve food at the buffet ends up running out of main items. And when I say every large gathering, I'm not talking potluck, just wedding receptions, graduation parties and (sometimes) meals after a memorial service.

If OP is uncomfortable on skimping on the food, I just wouldn't do it. My son could live on air unless he was going through a growth spurt. My daughter has an enormous appetite, even at a young age she would eat an adult portion of food.

OP, even if you have food leftover, if the thought of running out gives you any anxiety, don't do it. The extra money may be nice, but it's not worth your peace of mind with everything else you're going to have on your plate. Just my two cents! Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials.
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: shhh its me on February 15, 2014, 11:04:18 AM
  OP I'm going to refer to your other thread.

Since its a Friday afternoon wedding unless most of your family don't work Fridays I think you will have a larger then average "no" RSVP from cousins especially.  So you'll be fine. 

Many caters will do "one of" plates for people with allergies/other food restrictions for a by plate fee.
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: sparksals on February 16, 2014, 10:02:04 PM
It is not a matter of enjoyment.  It is a matter of going to an event with nothing to eat. Only being able to eat a salad is not a meal.  Waiting to eat is not always an option.  Chicken Alfredo is mostly pasta with minimal chicken. I do stand by a host has an obligation to provide a balanced meal..

I happen to carry almonds with me as protein for situations like this.  As a guest, I would feel uncomfortable and rude for having to pull out food to sustain me.   

As a host I would be mortified to see a guest having to eat their own snack solely because my hosting was not sufficient in terms of a balanced meal. 
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: sammycat on February 16, 2014, 11:15:38 PM
If it puts your mind at ease, I've never been to a buffet wedding that wasn't self-service. IME, people are generally fairly conservative in choosing from a buffet the first time through the line at a wedding, and I think it's pretty safe to only order half servings for kids under 7.

That's really nice that people are generally conservative in your area. That doesn't happen in my area of the Midwest. We have a fair number of over-eaters or persons incapable of determining portion sizes. Every large gathering that doesn't have friends volunteering to serve food at the buffet ends up running out of main items. And when I say every large gathering, I'm not talking potluck, just wedding receptions, graduation parties and (sometimes) meals after a memorial service.

If OP is uncomfortable on skimping on the food, I just wouldn't do it. My son could live on air unless he was going through a growth spurt. My daughter has an enormous appetite, even at a young age she would eat an adult portion of food.

OP, even if you have food leftover, if the thought of running out gives you any anxiety, don't do it. The extra money may be nice, but it's not worth your peace of mind with everything else you're going to have on your plate. Just my two cents! Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials.

I agree with the bolded. I think it's better to have too much food than not enough, and if it's a buffet I'm not sure how anyone could assign children's vs adults portions anyway. I know plenty of kids who can eat way more than me.

The worst wedding I ever went to was held at a very expensive golf club*. There were 9 tables of guests. For the main course, tables 1-3 went first and left barely enough food for tables 4-6 (I was table 4), so tables 4-6 had barely full plates. They then refilled the buffet for tables 7-9.

For the dessert, tables 7-9 went first, filled up their plates and left nothing for tables 4-6. They then refilled for tables 1-3. I don't know if there just wasn't enough food or those other people were simply greedy, but 20 years later I can still remember that reception for all the wrong reasons - being hungry!

OTOH one of the the best weddings I went to was a far less ritzy affair at a local bowls club and they were practically begging us at the end to go back for seconds/thirds as there was so much food. There were fewer choices, but what they did have they had plenty of.

* It was only a few months after my own wedding and we had looked at that venue for ourselves but got put off by the very unprofessional liaison person we met, so I was well aware of the prices.
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: iridaceae on February 17, 2014, 03:22:02 AM
In my admittedly very limited experience the more generous the offerings the more likely the people holding the wedding/Super Bowl Party/church dinners were from small towns and/or farmers. The prevailing theory for party holders was approximately "invite 25, expect 35 and make enough food for 40 Packer linebackers. Hungry ones."

Has your fiance checked with other users of the caterers to see if they were satisfied by the quantities? If so then I'd do the half portions.
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: Copper Horsewoman on February 17, 2014, 03:37:48 PM
First of all, best wishes for your wedding!  Secondly, I would provide what I can afford to provide, and if anyone cannot/will not eat this food, it is up to that person to figure out what to do.  If a significant portion of the family is observant Jewish, or diabetic then of course one tailors the menu.  Please don't get into the "I have got to please EVERYONE even if I don't know all their diets" trap.
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: whatsanenigma on February 17, 2014, 03:54:32 PM
First of all, best wishes for your wedding!  Secondly, I would provide what I can afford to provide, and if anyone cannot/will not eat this food, it is up to that person to figure out what to do.  If a significant portion of the family is observant Jewish, or diabetic then of course one tailors the menu.  Please don't get into the "I have got to please EVERYONE even if I don't know all their diets" trap.

I agree with this.  It's nice to try to provide for specific issues that you know about for sure with specific people you have invited, but to try to cater to every possible dietary issue, especially when you aren't aware that anyone you have invited has that particular issue, that's just pretty much impossible unless you have an unlimited budget, or are, in fact, Harry Potter.

If anyone you've invited has any issues you don't know about yet, it's on them to let you know/ask you questions about the menu/figure out how to solve the problem.
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: Copper Horsewoman on February 17, 2014, 03:55:24 PM
I was married on a budget as well.  While the guest list was not as large as yours, it included a large number of young students who could eat like horses, as well as elderly who might just have "a bite".  If the reception hall will be seating the guests at large (eight or ten person) tables, may I suggest you ask if the food can be served "family style" (bowls or platters at each table to pass among the guests).  The caterer can then see that table three needs more entree, table six asked for more salad, etc. No worries about having food completely run out before the last table is served, people at the last table aren't getting the hind end of the cold or congealed food, and it puts a bit of a damper on the people who would shovel it all onto their own plate.  The caterer can send the platters out to the tables a bit "tailored"  to those sitting there - the football team of teen-aged cousins gets a fuller platter than the half-full table of elderly aunts.  Of course, the banquet personnel need to be open to "can we get more salad here" and to remove empty bowls with "shall I bring more chicken Alfredo?".  If that is an option, it cuts down on dropped plates and long waits for food, and will probably be about the same price.
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: whatsanenigma on February 17, 2014, 03:57:27 PM
I was married on a budget as well.  While the guest list was not as large as yours, it included a large number of young students who could eat like horses, as well as elderly who might just have "a bite".  If the reception hall will be seating the guests at large (eight or ten person) tables, may I suggest you ask if the food can be served "family style" (bowls or platters at each table to pass among the guests).  The caterer can then see that table three needs more entree, table six asked for more salad, etc. No worries about having food completely run out before the last table is served, people at the last table aren't getting the hind end of the cold or congealed food, and it puts a bit of a damper on the people who would shovel it all onto their own plate.  The caterer can send the platters out to the tables a bit "tailored"  to those sitting there - the football team of teen-aged cousins gets a fuller platter than the half-full table of elderly aunts.  Of course, the banquet personnel need to be open to "can we get more salad here" and to remove empty bowls with "shall I bring more chicken Alfredo?".  If that is an option, it cuts down on dropped plates and long waits for food, and will probably be about the same price.

This is an excellent idea, for all the reasons you mention.  It combines the benefits of a buffet with the benefits of a plated service, while minimizing the disadvantages of both, sort of.
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: cattlekid on February 17, 2014, 04:21:48 PM
POD 100% to the family style.  All the weddings in DH's family are served family-style.  It works out well because there are no long buffet lines and you don't have to balance a plate and silverware on your way back to the table.  It also works well because given enough servers, everyone can get their meals at approximately the same time, or at least much faster than with long buffet lines.  And yes, at least at the family style receptions I have been to, the servers will continue to bring food until you beg them to stop.

Given that most weddings in DH's family start at 300 guests and counting, there are a lot of pluses to the family style over a buffet.
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: TinyVulgarUnicorn on February 18, 2014, 05:30:14 AM
I think it really depends on your family dynamics and how much your families tend to eat on average. 

As an example: my husbands family is very polite and there are always leftovers when we do potlucks.  My family?  They're like a horde of ravenous hunger beasts that descend upon food like a plague of locusts.  You would think it was the Hunger Games looking at them eat. 
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: Twik on February 18, 2014, 10:40:17 AM
First of all, best wishes for your wedding!  Secondly, I would provide what I can afford to provide, and if anyone cannot/will not eat this food, it is up to that person to figure out what to do.  If a significant portion of the family is observant Jewish, or diabetic then of course one tailors the menu.  Please don't get into the "I have got to please EVERYONE even if I don't know all their diets" trap.

I agree. You know (or should) the people you are inviting. If, as Copper Horsewoman says, you know there are a significant number who have one problem (religious or intolerance), you may provide options. You are not required to provide options for every possible food issue out there, on general principle.
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: LadyR on February 18, 2014, 10:29:07 PM
I love family style at weddings, I find it flows better than buffets for sure.

As for 1/2 sized portions for children. My 2 YO can occasionally eat as much as me, it depends on if he happens to be growing through a growth spurt or not. Normally I'd say he eats 1/2 portions, but not always.
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: catrunning on February 19, 2014, 11:31:43 AM
Several recent family weddings had buffet service, and the food definitely ran out early - to the extent that some guests literally had nothing to eat.    Many of the culprits were kids who took way more than they could possibly eat.    Their parents either did not notice or more likely, did not care.   Young kids, given an unlimited food source, will often take as much as they can physically manage.

My table lost at the "table lottery" and got one of the last places.   There was literally no food other than brown, wilted salad to eat.   A family at an adjacent table noticed and offered us their kids' uneaten food.   Uh, no.....     Several people at my table got up and left, saying there was no point in staying.   OK, that's a bit rude, but understandable.   Especially when they had hungry kids themselves who, I guess, were expected to sit quietly and hungrily and just watch the more fortunate guests enjoying their meals.   

I always suggest being conservative and serve an over abundance.   
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: kudeebee on February 27, 2014, 03:21:10 PM
Family style can also find some dishes running out of food before everyone is served.  If you do family style, make sure that the dishes will be replenished if they are emptied before everyone is served.  This means having a server available for every 2/3 tables so that he/she can watch what is happening, get food refilled, etc.  This could actually add to their cost.  Also, using individual serving platters could end up costing more as well--more dishes for the caterer to bring, more help needed, etc.

Have you thought of hiring someone through the caterer to serve the food to people the first time through rather than letting people serve themselves?  That way you would be assured of everyone getting something to eat the first time, then the buffet can be self-serve for those wanting seconds.
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: Eeep! on February 27, 2014, 03:35:53 PM
It is not a matter of enjoyment.  It is a matter of going to an event with nothing to eat. Only being able to eat a salad is not a meal.  Waiting to eat is not always an option.  Chicken Alfredo is mostly pasta with minimal chicken. I do stand by a host has an obligation to provide a balanced meal..

I happen to carry almonds with me as protein for situations like this.  As a guest, I would feel uncomfortable and rude for having to pull out food to sustain me.   

As a host I would be mortified to see a guest having to eat their own snack solely because my hosting was not sufficient in terms of a balanced meal.

I have a wheat allergy and am essentially gluten free.  As such, I sometimes encounter times when all I can eat is a salad. So that's what I do.  My allergy, my problem.  I also have a tendency towards low blood sugar so generally need protein. So I, like you, bring a GF protein bar or almonds. I just eat them discreetly.  Heck - if I felt really uncomfortable I could pop into the ladies room and quickly down a protein bar. It's not like it takes a long time.

And for the record, I think the chicken in chicken Alfredo is sufficient to be a protein. Isn't a true serving of meat really the size of a deck of cards? I think, at least in the US, people get used to large portions but a deck of cards really isn't that large and I think you would likely get that much in chicken Alfredo.
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: sparksals on February 27, 2014, 05:09:44 PM
It is not a matter of enjoyment.  It is a matter of going to an event with nothing to eat. Only being able to eat a salad is not a meal.  Waiting to eat is not always an option.  Chicken Alfredo is mostly pasta with minimal chicken. I do stand by a host has an obligation to provide a balanced meal..

I happen to carry almonds with me as protein for situations like this.  As a guest, I would feel uncomfortable and rude for having to pull out food to sustain me.   

As a host I would be mortified to see a guest having to eat their own snack solely because my hosting was not sufficient in terms of a balanced meal.

I have a wheat allergy and am essentially gluten free.  As such, I sometimes encounter times when all I can eat is a salad. So that's what I do.  My allergy, my problem.  I also have a tendency towards low blood sugar so generally need protein. So I, like you, bring a GF protein bar or almonds. I just eat them discreetly.  Heck - if I felt really uncomfortable I could pop into the ladies room and quickly down a protein bar. It's not like it takes a long time.

And for the record, I think the chicken in chicken Alfredo is sufficient to be a protein. Isn't a true serving of meat really the size of a deck of cards? I think, at least in the US, people get used to large portions but a deck of cards really isn't that large and I think you would likely get that much in chicken Alfredo.


I don't think this is a matter of being someone's problem for whatever their medical issue is, but of a host possibly not serving an adequate meal that has no consideration whatsoever to people who might have issues.  I would be aghast if I didn't serve appropriate food choices for my guests to eat. 
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: Eeep! on February 27, 2014, 06:08:06 PM
It is not a matter of enjoyment.  It is a matter of going to an event with nothing to eat. Only being able to eat a salad is not a meal.  Waiting to eat is not always an option.  Chicken Alfredo is mostly pasta with minimal chicken. I do stand by a host has an obligation to provide a balanced meal..

I happen to carry almonds with me as protein for situations like this.  As a guest, I would feel uncomfortable and rude for having to pull out food to sustain me.   

As a host I would be mortified to see a guest having to eat their own snack solely because my hosting was not sufficient in terms of a balanced meal.


I have a wheat allergy and am essentially gluten free.  As such, I sometimes encounter times when all I can eat is a salad. So that's what I do.  My allergy, my problem.  I also have a tendency towards low blood sugar so generally need protein. So I, like you, bring a GF protein bar or almonds. I just eat them discreetly.  Heck - if I felt really uncomfortable I could pop into the ladies room and quickly down a protein bar. It's not like it takes a long time.

And for the record, I think the chicken in chicken Alfredo is sufficient to be a protein. Isn't a true serving of meat really the size of a deck of cards? I think, at least in the US, people get used to large portions but a deck of cards really isn't that large and I think you would likely get that much in chicken Alfredo.


I don't think this is a matter of being someone's problem for whatever their medical issue is, but of a host possibly not serving an adequate meal that has no consideration whatsoever to people who might have issues.  I would be aghast if I didn't serve appropriate food choices for my guests to eat.

But there are so many various medical issues that people can have, it is really not possible for a host to cover them all. Particularly one who is on a budget.  For instance, someone could be serving a perfectly well-balanced meal of a baked breaded chicken, veggies and a starch of some sort.  However, I would be out of luck on the protein as I can't eat the breaded chicken.  I don't think that this is a fail on the part of the host. It's just something that happens.  As a real life example - my friends were having a wedding reception which was Italian food. Because they are close, I felt fine calling to see if there was something that was GF as I could see there very well not being. But that was just to see if I needed to eat beforehand.  If they had said Oh shoot! It's pasta and chicken  or eggplant parmigiana, I would have just eaten ahead of time. I would not have been sitting around appalled at their hosting.

And, as I stated before, I personally think that having chicken alfredo and a salad IS providing a protein, a veggie and a starch.
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: Jones on February 27, 2014, 07:41:01 PM
Spaghetti dinners (with a side and dessert) are a big thing in my neck of the woods, for feeding lots of people at once. So are chili dinners. Not everyone can have spaghetti or chili, but I don't think I've heard anyone disparage the hosts of such a meal.
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: alkira6 on February 27, 2014, 08:30:16 PM
I've had lots of issues over the years (blood sugar, allergies, medicines and so on).  As an adult I fully realize that my health and my food are my responsibility. While it is nice of someone to cater to the specifics, in reality food will cater to the majority.  I have recently had to become wheat, soy, and dairy free.  I also have diverticulitis and have a long list of seeded and high fiber fruits and veggies that I cannot have in conjunction with not having nuts. 


Do you realize what a nightmare it is having to work around those restrictions cooking at home?  I have no expectation at all of having someone try to cater to my needs in that fashion at a wedding or large event.  If I was invited to this wedding there would literally be no food that I could eat.  I would take care of myself beforehand because I am a grownup and my needs are my responsibility. I am going to a wedding to wish the happy couple well on their new life and to physically be present for them.  If I am unable to cope with this because of food or health, I play the part of the considerate invited guest and decline to attend while sending my best wishes. 

Last year I sent my husband to new York alone because of food/health issues.  Did I want to go? Heck yes! But as an adult I had to make choices about what is best for me.
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: sparksals on February 27, 2014, 11:10:04 PM
It is not a matter of enjoyment.  It is a matter of going to an event with nothing to eat. Only being able to eat a salad is not a meal.  Waiting to eat is not always an option.  Chicken Alfredo is mostly pasta with minimal chicken. I do stand by a host has an obligation to provide a balanced meal..

I happen to carry almonds with me as protein for situations like this.  As a guest, I would feel uncomfortable and rude for having to pull out food to sustain me.   

As a host I would be mortified to see a guest having to eat their own snack solely because my hosting was not sufficient in terms of a balanced meal.


I have a wheat allergy and am essentially gluten free.  As such, I sometimes encounter times when all I can eat is a salad. So that's what I do.  My allergy, my problem.  I also have a tendency towards low blood sugar so generally need protein. So I, like you, bring a GF protein bar or almonds. I just eat them discreetly.  Heck - if I felt really uncomfortable I could pop into the ladies room and quickly down a protein bar. It's not like it takes a long time.

And for the record, I think the chicken in chicken Alfredo is sufficient to be a protein. Isn't a true serving of meat really the size of a deck of cards? I think, at least in the US, people get used to large portions but a deck of cards really isn't that large and I think you would likely get that much in chicken Alfredo.


I don't think this is a matter of being someone's problem for whatever their medical issue is, but of a host possibly not serving an adequate meal that has no consideration whatsoever to people who might have issues.  I would be aghast if I didn't serve appropriate food choices for my guests to eat.

But there are so many various medical issues that people can have, it is really not possible for a host to cover them all. Particularly one who is on a budget.  For instance, someone could be serving a perfectly well-balanced meal of a baked breaded chicken, veggies and a starch of some sort.  However, I would be out of luck on the protein as I can't eat the breaded chicken.  I don't think that this is a fail on the part of the host. It's just something that happens.  As a real life example - my friends were having a wedding reception which was Italian food. Because they are close, I felt fine calling to see if there was something that was GF as I could see there very well not being. But that was just to see if I needed to eat beforehand.  If they had said Oh shoot! It's pasta and chicken  or eggplant parmigiana, I would have just eaten ahead of time. I would not have been sitting around appalled at their hosting.

And, as I stated before, I personally think that having chicken alfredo and a salad IS providing a protein, a veggie and a starch.


I don't think it is reasonable for all medical issues to be provided.. it is impossible to do that.  I guess we will have to agree to disagree.  When I think of a protein in a meal, it is the bulk of a meal.. say 25 to 30%... when pasta is the bulk, b/c alfredo is not providing a full serving of chicken.. unless it is a chicken breast with pasta on the side.. that is different.  Most Chicken alfredo is pasta 80 to 90% with little tidbits of chicken. 


As I said, I would provide a much more balanced meal.  Others may not, but I would look at their hosting if it is a very carb heavy meal as an inconsiderate host offering. 
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: eee on February 28, 2014, 05:59:03 AM

I don't think it is reasonable for all medical issues to be provided.. it is impossible to do that.  I guess we will have to agree to disagree.  When I think of a protein in a meal, it is the bulk of a meal.. say 25 to 30%... when pasta is the bulk, b/c alfredo is not providing a full serving of chicken.. unless it is a chicken breast with pasta on the side.. that is different.  Most Chicken alfredo is pasta 80 to 90% with little tidbits of chicken. 


As I said, I would provide a much more balanced meal.  Others may not, but I would look at their hosting if it is a very carb heavy meal as an inconsiderate host offering.

Considering how many restaurants offer and sell pasta-and-meat dishes as main courses, I think your characterisation of a pasta dinner as inadequate represents your own personal food/health philosophy, not a universal rule. I think it is inappropriate to tell the OP her hosting is inconsiderate, since the dinner she is thoughtfully providing is likely to be sufficient for and enjoyed by the majority of her guests.
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: LadyL on February 28, 2014, 08:39:25 AM
As I said, I would provide a much more balanced meal.  Others may not, but I would look at their hosting if it is a very carb heavy meal as an inconsiderate host offering.

I eat a low carb diet, and frequently run into the issue of catered food being very carb heavy (i.e. pasta salad and sandwiches at a lunch function). It is sometimes frustrating, but I recognize it for what it is, a cost saving measure. If there is lots of extra food I will sometimes deconstruct a sandwich and eat only the meat and cheese, or pick the cheese and toppings off a slice of pizza leaving  the crust. In the case of chicken alfredo, I would try to get a serving that was mostly chicken and just a few bites of pasta - that plus salad would be enough (thankfully I have a small appetitie). If it was REALLY scant on the chicken (like, 2 cubes per serving or something) then I guess I'd be slightly annoyed if there was NO other protein available (like a meat and cheese platter, or even breaded chicken cutlets with cheese on top or something). But I still don't know if I'd find it *inconsiderate*. Many people can eat a carb-heavy meal and be perfectly satisfied. I tend to have a protein bar with me at all times for such situations, because my dietary restrictions are primarily my responsibility to deal with.

Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: shhh its me on March 01, 2014, 07:12:11 AM
As I said, I would provide a much more balanced meal.  Others may not, but I would look at their hosting if it is a very carb heavy meal as an inconsiderate host offering.

I eat a low carb diet, and frequently run into the issue of catered food being very carb heavy (i.e. pasta salad and sandwiches at a lunch function). It is sometimes frustrating, but I recognize it for what it is, a cost saving measure. If there is lots of extra food I will sometimes deconstruct a sandwich and eat only the meat and cheese, or pick the cheese and toppings off a slice of pizza leaving  the crust. In the case of chicken alfredo, I would try to get a serving that was mostly chicken and just a few bites of pasta - that plus salad would be enough (thankfully I have a small appetitie). If it was REALLY scant on the chicken (like, 2 cubes per serving or something) then I guess I'd be slightly annoyed if there was NO other protein available (like a meat and cheese platter, or even breaded chicken cutlets with cheese on top or something). But I still don't know if I'd find it *inconsiderate*. Many people can eat a carb-heavy meal and be perfectly satisfied. I tend to have a protein bar with me at all times for such situations, because my dietary restrictions are primarily my responsibility to deal with.

I think Stouffers frozen dinners are pretty light on the chicken and even they have 26grams of protein.  They're not huge servings I think its reasonably close to what a carter would consider a serving. Considering an adult needs less then 60 grams , any lunch that hits around 15 grams of protein I would consider balanced for protein.
http://www.stouffers.com/products/detail.aspx?id=199&c=55#   the page was very slow to open.
Title: Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
Post by: baglady on March 05, 2014, 05:25:51 PM
I'm on Atkins (for weight loss reasons, not medical), and I would be disappointed if I went to a wedding and found the only entree choices were chicken alfredo and tortellini. But big whoop -- I'm disappointed. Not the HC's problem. I wouldn't consider them rude for not providing a carb-free entree; this is my issue. I can eat the salad and maybe pick the chicken pieces out of the alfredo. Or declare a cheat day for myself and eat the pasta. Or pick something up on the way home.

I think the OP is safe in ordering half-price meals for guests under 7. Even if one or two 6- or 7-year-olds eat a lot, they'll probably be balanced out by an adult or two who doesn't eat much.

Definitely don't do separate plates for salad. Juggling two plates at a self-serve buffet is a recipe for disaster, especially if there are long dresses, high heels and/or children involved. And besides, if guests are required to put their salad on the same plate as their entree, they're less likely to take too much of the entree -- not enough room on the plate!