For everyone who just shows up at mealtime ready to chow down, Thanksgiving is a relaxing Thursday off from work. But for those of us whose job it is to not only prepare the food, but to keep both the adults and the kids happy, it can be pretty stressful. Metro spoke with Andrea Correale, celebrity caterer and Lenox Home Entertaining expert for her tips.
Make the table feel special.
Making a place setting for each child shows that this dinner is a special event. I like to make gingerbread turkeys with each child’s name, but using name cards is great, too. Another way to make the table fun is to use paper as the tablecloth so kids can draw on it with crayons or stick stickers on it.
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Give traditional Thanksgiving food a kid-spin.
Mini turkey pot pies, corn dog lollipops and sweet potato fries are all festive foods that kids will love. You can also make stuffing in little muffin tins so they look more like breakfast muffins. And the great news is that all of this can be made ahead of time and heated up later.
Give tweens mocktails.
It’s easy to feel left out when you’re too old for the kids' table but still younger than everyone else. When all the adults are drinking wine, make tweens and teens feel special by serving them sparkling cider in a fancy glass.
Three words: hot chocolate bar.
When the adults are having coffee, make the kids feel part of it by setting up a hot chocolate bar. You make a big pot of hot chocolate and have different toppings, like salted caramel crumbles, flavored whipped cream and marshmallows.
Do as much as you can ahead of time.
Battling the supermarket the day before Thanksgiving almost rivals shopping at Wal-Mart on Black Friday. Buy what you need ahead of time so you and make as much as you can the day before so you can actually enjoy the holiday. Even setting the table can be done in advance. And don’t underestimate the power of asking for help – you’d be surprised at how much people would love to bring a dish!
Follow Emily on Twitter:@EmLaurence