The festive season is upon us. Festive party invitations are arriving via email and in the mailbox. Some invitations may be adult only parties, but some may include the kids.
Depending on the age of your child or children, heading out to a gathering of work colleagues, distant family members or friends of friends might make you gulp as you watch Johnny tip his bowl of dinner over the edge of his high chair. How on earth are you going to keep him under control enough, keep his wandering hands from sampling every dish on the buffet table, or worse pull the table cloth off the table along with every meatball and deviled egg (you know what I mean—you’ve seen it in the movies).
I’ve got some suggestions for you that have helped me survive possible embarrassment from my kids:
1. Don’t go with any expectations that that she’ll eat anything at the gathering. If it’s a family get together and Aunt Trudy’s famous spicy meatballs are being served as a main dish, your kid is going to go hungry and worse, be crabby.
2. Feed him before you go. Serve a slightly later lunch if attending an afternoon party along with a snack en route. A full belly should lessen the need to dip fingers in the double Brie, and the hunger induced melt down as the afternoon goes on.
3. Ask the host what’s on the menu. If you need to bring some snacks from home and it seems appropriate (depending on how well you know said host), it might be worth a mention.
4. Talk about what’s likely to unfold before you go. Explain who’s who and those that need special attention and hugs such as great grandmother.
5. If you know it’s going to be boring, without any other kids to keep yours occupied, take along something quiet to do like crayons and paper, a favourite book or a quiet, non rolling toy to play with (you wouldn’t want to be responsible for it getting under Uncle Bert’s foot and him landing on his behind!)
6. Avoid any gathering at naptime unless it’s at your home and he can sleep in his crib and the bedroom is sound proofed. You are asking for trouble if that nap is missed, cause you’ve been there and lived it. No nap = misery. There’s not way around it.
And lastly, never be afraid to leave. If you’ve got young kids and you can’t enjoy yourself because they are underfoot, out of control and you are losing your mind, just excuse yourself, wish everyone a happy holiday season and head out.
Here’s a fantastic snack recipe to make in advance and feed to your wee one on the way. Although they are called “Go-Faster Granola Bars” I promise, they won’t instantly become an Energizer bunny!
Go Faster Granola Bars
These wholesome granola bars are packed with slow-releasing carbohydrates and healthy fats to keep your toddler going longer.
1 cup Nature’s Path Millet Rice Flakes cereal 250 mL
1 cup whole rolled oats 250 mL
¾ cup dried fruit (raisins, chopped dates, apricots) 175 mL
¼ cup sunflower, pumpkin, or sesame seeds 50 mL
¼ cup chopped almonds 50 mL
½ cup brown rice syrup 125 mL
2 tbsp coconut butter or unsalted butter 30 mL
¼ cup almond butter 50 mL
1. Mix cereal flakes, rolled oats, dried fruit, seeds, and almonds in a bowl.
2. Gently heat brown rice syrup, coconut butter, and almond butter in a large saucepan until melted and smooth. Add dry ingredients to saucepan and quickly stir well to coat. Press into an 8-inch (2 L) square pan.
3. Refrigerate at least 1 hour and cut into squares. Store at room temperature. Makes about 16 bars.
A good source of vitamin E, calcium, zinc, vitamin B1, manganese, magnesium, protein, copper, selenium, phosphorus, vitamin B5, and folate.
For ideas on how to hold your own holiday parties with ease check out this video!
How do you handle gathering with your kids?