1.08.2009

A Reluctant Entertainer

We don't entertain often. I find it difficult to entertain dinner guests with young children. It's not that I don't enjoy having people over. I do! It's because dinnertime has always been a battle in our home. Breakfast and lunch don't seem to be a problem. Breakfast and lunch foods are, for the most part, kid-friendly. But oh, those yucky dinner foods!

When we have family visit from out of town, I'm always reminded of how pleasant it can be to sit and linger and visit over a home-cooked meal. Grandmas, grandpas and aunts don't seem to mind an occasional squabble or tantrum, but what about friends and neighbors?

I love visiting 4 Reluctant Entertainers. This lady is amazing! She makes entertaining seem fun and extremely doable. I've heard people say this season will pass and I'll be able to entertain when my kids are a bit older. True...it would be easier, but sometimes I think my kids are missing out on the joys of sharing our home with others. Maybe I can set small goals for myself. I can have company over once a month, or invite a family with small children, or just make something kid-friendly for the kids and "yucky food" for the adults to avoid the infamous squabbles. Any thoughts on entertaining with young children?

12 comments:

~nanashouse~ said...

I'm all about two menus. One for the kids and one for the adults. Oh yes, I hear all you "perfect parents" telling me the children should learn to eat what we eat, with perfect manners etc...
Oh come on...let them be little :-)

Give them "little food", give them meaningful activities, interact with them as you eat, give THANKS for everything...

This is the perfect start for hospitality.

C Maisy said...

Entertaining with small children is a bit of a challenge. A reallllly easy thing to do when the kids are little is to have a pizza party. Buy pre-made crust...I buy the dough at Trader Joe's and roll it out myself. I always make a kids pizza first. It gets them out of the way(not to be mean or anything). Then I work on adult pizza's. Our favorite is...we use pesto for the sauce. Then we put goat cheese and sun dried tomatos(the ones in oil)on it and top it off with a bit of mozzarella. It is a crowd pleaser. When the kids get older you then go to a fancier menu. I have even been know to order pizza from time to time. Good appetizers are key too. Just buy the frozen ones and hide the boxes. Really, no one cares. They are just happy that you invited them over and now they don't have to cook. :)
For us it's really about the people.

Danielle said...

On a daily basis it is one menu...take it or leave it. When we have company I try to serve kid friendly...if I am not sure how well the kids (theirs or mine)will like a dish I'm dying to serve...we like serving corndogs! The kids love it and can't wait to come back to our house again! But generally, your guests won't mind if you serve spagetti...a night out with friends is better than a fancy menu. So few people entertain these days it is a real treat to be invited!

the wild raspberry said...

good friends won't judge your food...they will just enjoy being with you. but yes, it does help to keep the little ones happy.

Traci said...

We used to do an adult Bible study with small children that included a dinner. We did this monthly. At first, we would try to eat and then carry on with Bible study amidst the children coming in and out fighting and screaming.....so, eventually we realized that the children played REALLY well for the first 30 - 45 min with NO INTERRUPTIONS....so, as soon as we got to the house, we would all jump out, run inside and begin our Bible study and about the time we would finish, the kids would get restless and be hungry.....THEN we would eat. Before, we would try to get them to eat BEFORE play...and they would only pick at it....
Once we changed the agenda, they ate most of their meal and then would still want to go back and play...worked like a charm.
So, you could have visit time AT FIRST....EAT....and visit some more.....that way if anyone needs to go home, they can.

Vintage Mommy said...

Wow..Thanks so much for these great tips!

Rebekah said...

I love Sandy's blog too! I enjoy reading about the neat things that she comes up with....especially the wonderful things she does with her daughter and her friends.

Rebekah said...

BTW, I love your new header...beautiful!

Mod Girl said...

Sandy is one of my heros! God is really using her blog in my life right now... to seek His help in being more hospitable, to make relationships more of a priority.

Exercising hospitality with kids means informal, simple, and laid back. I've found that Saturday at lunch time is a good time slot for families to eat an easy lunch (hot dogs!) together, visit, and let the kids play.

It takes effort, doesn't it?

simplebeauty said...

Oh my I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks about this. My little darling has started to do the, "I'm going to twist out of my high chair and clamp my mouth completely shut until you offer me M&M's for what I'm about to suffer!" If someone outside the family see's this I offer the OH DEAR mommy smile and find the M&M's. I know "they" say we shouldn't bribe, but it works. When we eat out or have dinner with others I try to cater to her just a little bit so we don't make a huge scene!(I try to serve her favorites).

:O)

Sandy said...

Hello Vintage Mommy - I loved reading your friend's comments and tips for entertaining w/kids! Many times (most times) I would just make MAC & CHEESE for the kids and the REAL FOOD for the adults.
By any chance did you scroll down my side bar and read the 3 posts (Entertaining w/kids?) It might be helpful.
Good luck - plz write me and tell me how it goes, ok? Hugs. ♥

~amy~ said...

This was my resolution last year! We started off with the families we havent seen the longest and then progressed to most recent... does that make sense? It was lovely... but fizzled out. Thanks for reminding me... we will have to pick it up again. It is always nice to have the adult conversation back:)