Family reunions are always great times to meet new relatives, bond with older relatives and catch up with the news. It takes some creative planning when you host a family reunion. One of the biggest headaches is planning the meals as there are a lot of different people with varied tastes and eating habits. Let us explore some ways to hone your meal planning skills.
- If the reunion is just for the whole day, much like a picnic, then you can request for potluck. Everyone can bring their own favorite dish that they can share with the rest of the guests, as well as snacks, fruits and drinks while you as the host can provide the main course or at least two courses – lunch and dinner. Buffet is the best option in these occasions.
- You can vary the potluck by assigning different food to each family unit. Assign one to prepare their famous appetizer; others can take charge of a variety of salads, side dishes and desserts. If you are going to do a cookout, then someone can prepare their best fish, chicken and meat dishes.
- If the reunion is longer than one day, you can assign one family or family group to take care of a meal from purchasing the ingredients to cooking it. In this way, you spread the work around and you get to taste different meal preparations.
- Meet with family representatives to discuss the meals as well as the budget. Planning a reunion can be costly. If every branch of the family contributes to finance the reunion, then it relieves the host of that burden. You will also be able to gauge how many will likely attend it and their food preferences. Consider also some food allergies other relatives may have. Of course you cannot cater to all but you will gain valuable information and select the food that will be eaten by the majority.
- If there are a lot of children who will be attending the reunion, then you have to stock up on a variety of snacks and other food items that children usually crave. You can check with all the family members to know which kinds are common favorites.
- You should also consider the food requirement of the older guests like the grandparents who might have special diet requirements.
- If you can afford it, then you can take care of lunch and/or dinner but let your relatives know that they have to take care of their own breakfast. This will lessen your burden since people wake up and eat at different times and their tastes cover a wider selection of breakfast fare.
- Pasta dishes are great tummy-fillers. Be sure not to miss preparing some. For spaghetti, it is best not to mix the pasta with the sauce in one go to prevent spoilage.
- Barbecues are one of those dishes that almost always disappear faster than other types of food so it will be wise to have enough to go several rounds. Let those who are able to tend to the task of cooking them.
The idea of a family reunion is to keep in touch and renew ties. Although a major consideration, planning a meal should not be stressful. Just make sure that no one gets hungry by providing plenty of snack items and back up store-bought food for emergency. Of course, there is always the option to hire a caterer to take care of the meal planning and preparation.