At the last wedding my family went to, my kids thought they had died and gone to heaven when the waiter rolled out with plates piled high with chicken fingers, fries, and individual serving bowls of ketchup, just for them. While I as their parent had been fully prepared to load them up with whatever was on the adult buffet, and had snacks aplenty in my purse, the kid food was an unexpected – though much-appreciated – special gesture. It let us know that the bride and groom had put some extra thought into making all of their guests happy, even the kids.
Check with your caterer to see what your options are for kid food. Since this food is typically inexpensive and easy to prepare, you may be surprised at what a budget-friendly option this can be. Here are some ideas for welcoming just a few (or a whole crew!) of kids:
1. Special Plates: If you’re only expecting a handful of kids, it’s probably most cost effective to order just the number of kid-food plates you need. And while you may be giving your grown up guests the option of chicken or fish, it’s really not necessary to ask little Nancy to select “pizza or mac-n-cheese.” Believe me, Nancy will be thrilled with any option that isn’t available on the hand-rolled sushi bar!
2. Kid Food Station: If you’re looking at a relatively large number of children, a small, dedicated buffet may be your most cost effective option. Caterers can get all kinds of creative with kid food, so you might even be able to select from themes such as “Make Your Own Pizza” or “Taco Bar.” Just be forewarned, the adults may try sneaking over to the kid-food station! Which brings me to our next idea …
3. Everyone’s a Kid at Heart! If you’re feeling a little irreverent, consider branching out with your entire menu and serve up comfort food treats that are sure-fire crowd (and kid) pleasers. These days brides and grooms love the trend of serving up their favorite foods at their weddings. We’ve seen everything from mashed potato bars (served up in elegant martini glasses) to hot dog bars, made-to-order Asian stir-fry stations, and even candy bars with enticing glass jars filled to the brim with rainbow colored treats (check out the gorgeous version above, and click on the photo to link to Ace Lindsay Longacre’s excellent post on “How-To” pull off this impressive sweets station!). I like to think of this trend as Kid Food Gone Couture!
Next up in this series, I’ll delve into the topic of hiring babysitters for your wedding!