Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Baby Shower

By Edie Mindell

You have your entire baby shower decorations ready, now it's time for you to prepare the menu. You may, however, find yourself confounded over what to do next. What food should you serve and how much should you order? Would your guests prefer a lobster dinner or a chocolate fountain? What about refreshments? Is wine strictly off-limits? Most importantly, will the guest of honor approve of the menu?

Once the time comes for you to determine the right baby shower foods, there is no need to panic. If you already have most of the other baby shower essentials set, then your menu should be simple to plan out from there. When in doubt, it never hurts to consult the mother-to-be on some of the food choices. After all, you are throwing the party for her.

Among the most basic things organizers need to know about baby showers is that they are known primarily as intimate gatherings spent with the expectant mother's closest family and friends. Due to the casual and easygoing nature of the event, the best baby shower foods are often light snacks that guests can carry around easily on their plates. Salads, finger foods and small pastries are compact enough that guests can nibble on them while still being able to chat and socialize.

Full-course meals should not be completely discounted from your possible selection of baby shower foods. While casual home gatherings are the norm, it is not uncommon for baby showers to be held at a somewhat larger scale venue like a hotel or a fine dining restaurant. When canvassing establishments, try and see if they offer set menus. In addition to being better for your budget, set menus allow you to be able to take the guesswork out of dining selections for your guests.

Regardless of where your party is going to be held, there will be a very plausible chance that the guests will have trouble interacting with each other. This is a real possibility especially if they are not all familiar with one another. To encourage your guests to mingle, you can set up a buffet spread laid out with a wide variety of baby shower foods for everyone to choose from. Your guests have an opportunity to introduce themselves while standing at the buffet line. They may even start bonding over the deliciousness of the hors d'oeuvres or their own family recipes for quiche.

As far as baby shower refreshments go, many organizers prefer to play it safe and hold off on serving alcoholic beverages. This is done out of respect for the guest of honor, who usually cannot consume alcohol in her condition. While alcohol is not a strict no-no at baby showers, it is crucial to always offer non-alcoholic alternatives and gently dissuade guests from having too many drinks. This is not just for the sake of the expectant mother, but also for other guests who do not drink. To keep things interesting, hosts can serve a number of fun and safe drinks like virgin cocktails, flavored teas or freshly-squeezed fruit juices.

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