S/O do you set your table for supper?

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Post  Mon, May 18 2020, 1:28 pm
What does your supper table look like ( set up and food etc) when everyone eats supper?

I only have two little kids and a baby. I want my table to look as appetizing as possible so my kids WANT to eat (ha, ha)
Sometimes my supper table looks hosh plosh..sometimes I set it up..

I see many of you cut up fresh vegetables. I am always afraid to make salad...hate when food goes to waste. same for soup...
I have two kids that eat supper - a 3 & 4 yr old girls.

Its hard to work hard on supper and be the only one that enjoys it.

My dh eats his own thing (later at night)
No matter what food my dh eats, the kids are begging for his food.
I'm rambling..
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Post  Mon, May 18 2020, 1:43 pm
I'm not sure what you mean by "setting the table." How would people eat if the table weren't set--drink from the juice bottle and stick their hands in the pot? Of course I set the table: Fork, knife, spoon if there's soup, dinner plate and cup. teaspoon if there's dessert that needs a spoon--usually there is not. A tablecloth if it's fleishik, because my table is milchik.

If you mean do I make a big fancy deal with flowers that match the tablecloth, candlesticks, crystal stemware and napkin rings, no, of course not.

Back in the day when I was really pressed for time, I bought microwavable lidded plastic divided "TV dinner" trays, one for each family member. They had about five or six sections, so each type of food went into its own well. The whole tray went on the table instead of a plate. DH's portion went in the fridge for him to have when he came home. Elegant? No. Convenient and efficient? You bet. For a F/T working mom, elegance is overrated and convenience is king.

Now that I think about it, I remember that we also had a formal job rotation for supper, so that each child had a task to do each evening: set the table, clear the table, wash the dishes and so on.
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Post  Mon, May 18 2020, 1:50 pm
Haha our supper “table” is my two kids sitting on bar stools at the counter.
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Post  Mon, May 18 2020, 1:52 pm
I do. Tablecloth, dishes (we have a small, young family and a dishwasher) the whole thing. Dinner is always a main (protein), and 2 sides: one carb and one veg.
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Post  Mon, May 18 2020, 1:52 pm
I usually assemble each person a plate in the kitchen. DH always wants everything so I make him a plate and then based on that the kids tell me what and how much of each main/starch/vegetable that they want. Then they or I take their plates to the table to eat.
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Post  Mon, May 18 2020, 2:08 pm
wasted food is pretty much a given with young children. it's not a good idea to make them clean the plate, and you can never be sure what they'll like or how much they'll want at any given meal. I have a deal with my kids. each one is allowed to choose two foods that they never have to eat under any circumstances. people have to be allowed to have their own taste, and it's just cruel to force someone to eat something they really detest. allowing them to cut out one or to foods gives them a sense of control. otoh, it can't be hefkervelt, and kids do need to learn to eat things they don't absolutely love. notice it's one or two foods, not classes of food. iow, child A can choose to avoid beets and hard cheese, not all veggies and dairy products. child b will never eat gefilte fish but has to eat other kinds of fish. this can get complicated in a large family but saves a lot of argument.

some moms "solve" the wasted food problem by eating their children's leftovers. that never appealed to me and b"H finances aren't so tight that I have to. waste is part of tzaar gidul banim. I don't think many people try to eat the food that a toddler dribbles down his front or drops on the floor, and I consider young children's leftovers to be in the same category. what really pains me is when adult guests take a generous portion of something and leave most of it on the plate. they're old enough to know better.
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Post  Mon, May 18 2020, 2:08 pm
No. everyone gets a plate takes a fork or spoon and eats. Shabbos I set or rather DH sets the table.
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Post  Mon, May 18 2020, 2:10 pm
I bring all of the food out and put it on the table, but not in fancy conatiners (including salad). If something is a big deal, I may make it only for myself and husband. I do make extra of certain starches (like macaroni,) so that if someone wont touch dinner the next night, they can have yesterdays macaroni if that's what floats their boat.
I don't set the table per say, rather bring a pile of plastic plates and cutlery and hand it out as I fill up the plates (my kids are youngish).

It's my understanding that kids need to try a food multiple times before they like it. They may also need to just see and smell it for a while before they take the plunge, so there is going to be some food wasting before they become mature eaters. They also learn eating habits by example, so it's a great idea for you to make yourself food that you like and enjoy, and eat it in front of them (and ignore them while some of their plates end up on their laps). It's not silly or wasting, it's developing a stress free meal routine with flexible eaters.

Last edited by Refine on Mon, May 18 2020, 2:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post  Mon, May 18 2020, 2:12 pm
We do the buffet style where I put everything on the counter and that everyone takes for themselves. Usually everyone winds up taking out their own plate and fork. We try and eat at the same time most nights but sometimes it doesn't work out since I have a wide range of kids. I do try to make a normal dinner almost every night.
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Post  Mon, May 18 2020, 2:24 pm
My "setting the table" is making sure there's a tablecloth, bringing out the food, and a stack of plates and a bunch of forks.

I don't set the table every day. Sometimes I tell them to come to the kitchen to get food.

I do not ever force kids to finish their plates, or to taste any food. I encourage them to do so, pointing out that sometimes tastes change. B"H despite me being extremely picky to this day, this policy has resulted in none of the kids being very picky at all, although of course they have preferences.

My only comment regarding unfinished food is if someone took a huge portion and didn't eat any of it, and I point out that it sometimes is a better idea to take less and then come back for seconds.

The Chumash says that kids waste food, so why should I expect more of mine? I just encourage them to minimize the waste by not taking more than they think they will actually eat.
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Post  Mon, May 18 2020, 2:57 pm
My 6 year old prefers it when the table is set fully - tablecloth, place settings and the food in the middle to be passed around, and he's willing to set and clear so for dinner we always have the table set. The actual dishes vary, I do try to have salad for dinner and everyone has to take salad first before the main, usually we'll have vegetables as well and then whatever else we happened to make that night and then it's just a nightly reminder and practice about table manners.
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Rachel Shira


Post  Mon, May 18 2020, 3:31 pm
Since we’ve all been home eating together every night, I set the table with plates and forks (real or plastic, depending on my mood) and put the pans right on the table. My toddler does better with family style and I’m not about to dirty serving dishes. I always make a protein main, a vegetable, and usually a carb side and make sure to include at least 1-2 (I try for 2) things I know he likes. Sometimes he eats a lot of one item, sometimes everything, sometimes hardly anything, and that’s his choice.
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