Author Topic: Child Sized Portions and Buffets  (Read 7766 times)

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Copper Horsewoman

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Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
« Reply #45 on: February 17, 2014, 04:55:24 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.

whatsanenigma

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Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
« Reply #46 on: February 17, 2014, 04:57:27 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.

cattlekid

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Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
« Reply #47 on: February 17, 2014, 05:21:48 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.

dirtyweasel

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Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
« Reply #48 on: February 18, 2014, 06:30:14 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. 



Twik

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Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
« Reply #49 on: February 18, 2014, 11:40:17 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.
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LadyR

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Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
« Reply #50 on: February 18, 2014, 11:29:07 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.


catrunning

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Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
« Reply #51 on: February 19, 2014, 12:31:43 PM »
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.   

kudeebee

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Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
« Reply #52 on: February 27, 2014, 04:21:10 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.

Eeep!

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Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
« Reply #53 on: February 27, 2014, 04:35:53 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.
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sparksals

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Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
« Reply #54 on: February 27, 2014, 06:09:44 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. 

Eeep!

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Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
« Reply #55 on: February 27, 2014, 07:08:06 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.
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Jones

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Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
« Reply #56 on: February 27, 2014, 08:41:01 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.

alkira6

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Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
« Reply #57 on: February 27, 2014, 09:30:16 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.

sparksals

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Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
« Reply #58 on: February 28, 2014, 12:10:04 AM »
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. 

eee

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Re: Child Sized Portions and Buffets
« Reply #59 on: February 28, 2014, 06:59:03 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.