How to host dinner/lunch parties at home with a Toddler

Just got done with a family dinner at my place! Such a hard work and then the food gets gobbled over in mintues! And I absolutely hate cleaning up ! I mean seriously, I love and enjoy cooking food. I can cook loads and loads, but please don’t ask me to clear up the after mess and wash the dishes. Infact – offer me a cup of hot mint green tea and massage my feet ( right) !

So this blog is all about my experience.

Just really thought of sharing my personal examples of how I host dinner parties with my little toddler ‘Nayel’ around. Might be helpful to few mummies out there.

Ta daaa!! here’s my check list of getting things sorted out for a dinner at your place with a baby/ toddler.

1. Plan – atleast 3 days before the dinner night, you need to make a checklist of what you will be cooking. I always make my list on my phone’s notepad. Not just about the food, plan your sitting arrangement, your table set up, and your Toddler’s dealing for the day 😂. It was an ipad overdose day! No matter how guilty I felt, it really helped him to stay busy and I got to done with chores. Shh! ( mummy confession )< strong>2. Organize- this is absolutely the key. So once you have planned everything, the next thing is hitting a grocery store. Buy all your essential that you need for the party. A tip: To stay in budget, don’t go hungry, the probability of you buying double and unnecessary stuff increases right away😂. Here’s a simple way to divide your list:

✔️ Meat

✔️vegetables and fruits

✔️frozen items

✔️ disposables

✔️drinks

✔️dry ingredients

✔️fresh flowers or any other decorations ( candles are my must !)

3. Start a day before: yes! With a lil one in the house, theres no way you can do everything in a day! Even if you think you can, you end up being totally exhausted and dull faced- stinky too! Keep it easy and smooth for yourself and start cooking a day earlier. For today’s dinner, I semi cooked my biryani gravy, pasta sauce and seekh kabab handi yesterday. Today wasn’t as hectic then. I had plenty of time to chill around with Nayel, and stay calm overall. Oh also got dressed and did some 💄 makeup! Finally, it gives you an opportunity and time to actually sit with everyone rather than acting like an octopus with two hands in the kitchen and two outside😂.

4. Use Disposables! If you don’t have a helper or a dishwasher ,save yourself from the horror of dishwashing. If you have a casual family dinner, I’m sure everyone understands how hard it is to work with a baby/ toddler! So serve in beautiful disposables and throw them away! ( smart mummy) – not so eco- friendly, but cmon you’re a mum, happens sometimes 😬

5. Breath – Ok this one I usually forget, but thanks to Nayel’s daddy who keep reminding me to chill! Like today was a bit disaster as all my Haleem got kharab ( messed up) right when it was dinner time!😩no idea how!! Daddy was kind enough to grab some from a restaurant – (student biryani in Barsha dubai) and let me tells you- it was delicious!! Why didn’t I think of that before 😐☺️. Don’t aim for perfection! It’s absolutely fine to ask for help and order some food too 😍

6. The table setup : I’ve got a small home and a dinning table for 4 which extends to become a table for 6. Bought it from ikea! Love it!! But my guests were more than 6 hence I decided to present food in a buffet style. This is my favorite! Everyone gets to take food and sit anywhere they like. For a buffet set up, remember to set your plate and cutlery at one end following with salads next, main course, rice and dessert in the other end. This keeps the flow going on ( how you see in buffet restaurants) and keep the traffic moving. Desserts are optional. Sometimes I like to serve them after the dinner but today as it was just a cake that I baked, I kept it on the table with the food right at the end. To make the table presentable, add fresh plants/ flowers and candles, beautiful table runners or mats. Go creative! You can also give it a color theme!

7. Enjoy! Finally – have fun!! Compliment yourself , take loads of pictures and eat! Usually the host is so tired in serving and asking everyone else that they don’t eat properly. Remember you’re a mom! Feed some food to ur baby and yourself too!

I had a fabulous time and everyone enjoyed the dinner. Alhamdullilah!!Just cleared up the living room dumping all the plates in the sink as my cleaner would come in the morning to wash them ! Wohoo! Kept the little leftovers in the fridge for next day happiness ❤️. Nayel’s asleep and Im going to tuck right in the bed next to him , hugging him tight — Now.

Nite Nite – hope you enjoyed reading. How would I know? Please leave me a comment!

xx

6 thoughts on “How to host dinner/lunch parties at home with a Toddler

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  1. I tend to clean up as I’m cooking so by the time the guests arrive I have an empty sink. The dishes and utensils used by the guests take less time then as most of the cleaning and washing is already done! I agree with the point about not aiming for perfection though!!

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