entertaining friends with kids
I don't have any children but most of my friends do. I'm potentially planning a Superbowl party, with friends and kids to be invited.
Several friends have toddlers, most of whom will eat whatever I put out for the adults. The others all have infants. Am I expected to prepare separate food the the toddlers and infants? I was planning on having a bowl of plain cooked pasta for the picky toddlers, but is that enough? Should I put out baby food? Or can I tell the parents to bring food for their babies? Is that tacky?
I've never had the parents and children over before... only the parents.
not to worry about the babies. what the infants are eating or drinking is so specific that the parents always supply it. you don't even need to mention it. the toddlers branch out a bit more but parents usually pack the things they know they like if they're picky. or let them try grownup stuff if they're not. if you want to do a toddler-friendly spread maybe add some cheerios or goldfish crackers and some sliced bananas.
Generally speaking, parents of small children will bring food (at least for those that still eat smooshed up jarred food). If you offer a not too spicy item then you should be just fine. My kids always appreciate apple juice (or some other juice). If juice isn't something you normally keep, then get a package of box juices so whatever is left won't go bad.
You certainly do not provide food for the infants but having some toodler friendly food would be a good idea. I wouldn't go much further then some cut up fruit and cheese and crackers. The kick off isn't until 6:30 so I'd expect some of the toodlers to have eaten already.
You're not expected to serve the babies. Toddlers might eat whatever you're serving to adults (chili?) but some plain pasta never hurts. Finger sized pieces of fruit are pretty universally accepted by the toddler set.
I never expected people to provide food for my kids when I went to friends' houses when my kids were that young, although that may have been because my son was (is, sigh) so incredibly picky. If plain pasta isn't OK for the kid, then it's the parent's responsibility to deal with it, not yours. If you really want to make friends with the toddlers, have some squeezable yogurt tubes and juiceboxes around in addition to the pasta. The parents with infants will either bring baby food or finely mince whatever you're serving... not your job, definitely, but if you wanted to accomodate them, you could have some applesauce, which goes over well with kids but a nice homemade version is a often a hit with parents too.
i agree you're not necessarily obligated, but if you want to put things out that are toddler friendly, here are a few ideas:
-mini PB & J sandwiches (cut into quarters)
-spinach nuggets - mix chopped spinach with bread crumbs, parmesan, and a little egg; mold into nuggets and bake til golden
-quesaditas - works for both adults and kids; just cut some smaller wedges
Thanks.. all the suggestions were a lot of help.
The toddlers that are coming aren't so picky- they'll eat the chili I'm going to make. I'll keep some juice boxes on hand since I never have apple juice in the house.
Re the infants... I just hope the parents will bring food for them!