Food is like clothes. There is no wrong clothes just certain times in your life and times of the day and places you shouldn’t wear certain things. ( like a swimsuit to church) There is no wrong food but there is wrong times and circumstances to serve certain things. I am not talking about serving breakfast for dinner or steak and potatoes for breakfast.... nothing wrong with that.
I bring this up because I recently attended a memorial service at 5:00 in the evening and all they offered was cookies, desserts, and punch. It was dinner time. I was starving. I paid my respects and left. Feeling guilty for leaving but very hungry. I understand there are budgets to consider. So if that is all they could afford they should have picked a time that cookies and punch would be ok.
During Mealtimes serve a meal or enough finger foods to make a meal. Breakfast 6:00 to 10:00am. Lunch 12:00 to 2:00 Dinner 5:00 to 8:00 anytime in between you can serve a snack or dessert. Midmorning between 10:00 and 12:00. Its ok to have some fresh Fruit muffins, trail mix, beverages. Teatime is between 2 and 5:00 it ok to have finger sandwiches, light finger foods, snacks or desserts.
When choosing finger foods for dinner consider at least 10 to 12 pieces of Hors D oeuvres per guest and a grazing station or two of Cheeses, crackers, vegetables and fruits etc...The items you select should include all the food groups you’d have for dinner. Starch, hot and cold produce and proteins. Don’t forget the vegetarians.
When choosing grazing stations the same rule of thumb should apply. Something with produce, starch and proteins. Offer enough of each item for all your guests. Don’t split things up so the first get their choice and the ones that arrive later or are at the end of the line have to eat what ever is left.
When planning miniature desserts plan at least three per guest. If you do a variety of cakes and pies people will want to try several kinds. So don’t just plan one slice unless you are only serving one kind.
Beverages should be at least 1.5 servings per person for an hour long event 3 to 5 for an evening of it.
I far too often have clients with small budgets trying to feed to many people. Invite the number of guests you can afford to feed and don’t shortchange those that are there. When the budget is low and guest count is high adjust your event time so that a snack can be sufficient. There is nothing wrong with having to much food but so embarrassing when you run out with people left to feed.