Author Topic: Child Sized Portions and Buffets  (Read 7764 times)

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soon2bemrsf

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Child Sized Portions and Buffets
« on: February 06, 2014, 04:17:25 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!

auntmeegs

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Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2014, 04:22:46 PM »
Welcome to the forum!

How much cheaper are we talking?  How many kids are invited?

baritone108

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Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2014, 04:28:10 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.

Harriet Jones

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Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2014, 04:32:04 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 ....

shhh its me

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Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2014, 04:36:24 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?

QueenfaninCA

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Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2014, 04:42:48 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).

Yvaine

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Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2014, 04:47:08 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

soon2bemrsf

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Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2014, 01:22:38 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.

CakeEater

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Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2014, 08:07:04 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.

cicero

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Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2014, 10:30:10 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.

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Promise

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Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2014, 10:32:29 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.

baritone108

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Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2014, 01:38:03 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.

Tia2

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Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2014, 08:26:14 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.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2014, 08:33:47 AM by Tiamet »

auntmeegs

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Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2014, 09:29:43 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.

Tia2

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Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2014, 10:39:47 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.