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child-feasts-msg - 9/25/10


Discussion of having separate feasts for children.


NOTE: See also the files: feedng-tddlrs-msg, child-kitchen-msg, children-msg, feast-serving-msg, pot-luck-fsts-msg, servng-drinks-msg, chd-ck-clsses-msg, p-rcipes-chld-art.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



Date: Tue, 04 Aug 1998 19:11:15 -0400

From: Bonne <oftraquair at hotmail.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Kids and feasts


melc2newton at juno.com wrote:

> I am bidding to be Kitchen Steward, for my shires winter event, it will

> be a German dinner with Sauerbraten as the main course. My question ... is

> this, should there be a seperate childrens course and sitting area?


If there is a convenient room, and your neighbors and guests are used to the idea of the children eating seperately, then go for it.  Be aware thought that most kids old enough to be seperated at meal time aren't going to be happy at being fed baby foods, especially those who have grown up in the SCA and don't find SCA food weird.



> yes where should this be in the feast area. And should the kinder be

> given the last  course first or should they be given something special (

> not regular feast) such as hot dogs or Hamburgers?


My experience with a "children's feast" was this.  It had a seperate menu,

which cost less and seemed to leave out the really odd stuff and include some

standard kid fare that my daughter wasn't interested in.  So, we paid full

price for her to eat with her older sister and I.  At the event, they were

desperate to make room for more adults in the feast hall, and so just took all

the kids in the children's area over to the room set aside for children, and

fed them. They made a big deal over it being "special" for the kids, so she

thought she wanted to stay and I let her. But I was peeved because I'd paid

for a full feast price for her. She ended up peeved because she didn't get

venison, because the 9-10-11 year olds were treated as no different than 4-5-6

year olds.  Their meat came cut up for them, they had stuff like carrot sticks

and macaroni and cheese instead of the fancy stuff we were having.


I don't think it went well.  But, if this is something commonly done in your

area, then you should ask locally for opinion and organizing tips.  If

someone's children are too picky for feast, they can plan accordingly to skip

feast or bring something to feed the child.  If I were you, I'd concentrate on

making one feast.





Date: Tue, 04 Aug 1998 21:51:32 -0400

From: Brenna <sunnie at exis.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Kids and feasts


melc2newton at juno.com wrote:

> I am bidding to be Kitchen Steward, for my shires winter event, it will

> be a German dinner with Sauerbraten as the main course. My question for

> all the cooks who didn't go to Pennsic and those answering afterward is

> this, should there be a seperate childrens course and sitting area? If

> yes where should this be in the feast area. And should the kinder be

> given the last  course first or should they be given something special (

> not regular feast) such as hot dogs or Hamburgers?


If a seperate children's feast is served, I usually do it in the child

care/child activities area rather than serving them with their family.  My usual

step is to make hotdogs, chicken strips, homemade mac and cheese, etc. then

serve the same desserts the parents are getting (or cookies).  The other

alternative is to not make a childrens' feast, let the parents know what the

feast is and serve the smalls what they will eat of it and suppliment from home.


The children were allowed to attend either feast.  It was the choice of the

parents (and the kids), but parents can judge whether the 11 year old will like

the adult feast vs the 4 year old who will like the children's feast.





Date: Wed, 5 Aug 1998 12:15:59 +1000

From: The Cheshire Cat <sianan at geocities.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Kids and feasts


>I have seen children's feasts done in Ansteorra on occasion.  Usually hot dogs

>or hamburgers are served. The kids eat much earlier than the regular feast

>time. And, the kids usually like it.


  What usually happens here when the organisers want as little interruption

as possible from the young children, is a children feast (hotdogs,

hamburgers, sandwiches and the like is served earlier to the little ones

and then (when I'm not cooking) a few other children minded people and I

run a sort of a play-group thing where we play medieval childrens games and

other such things.  So far both parents and children love it since the

children enjoy what they are doing and it give the parents a chance to

dance and talk adult stuff without being hindered by the children that are

too young to do such stuff.  They playgroup is fairly organised though, we

have a kinder teacher, an infant teacher and a registered nurse on call for

the entire event if needed although most parents with younger ones tend to

leave a little earlier than the rest.


It's also led to an increase in the number of children coming to events,

and showing an interest in medieval stuff.  As they get older we introduce

them to medieval food and dance and pretty soon they are strutting around

the dance floors with their parents and enjoying themselves as well as

being settled at the appropriate times (like court)  Most of the (carers)

work on a rotation thing, half-hour shifts here and there, so no-one misses

out on enjoying the feast.  It's a win-win situation for everyone involved.


- -Sianan



Date: Wed, 5 Aug 1998 07:04:39 EDT

From: WOLFMOMSCA at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Kids and feasts


I've done feasts in a million different ways.  I can but give you my

expereiences and let you make up your own mind.  One caveat:  If this is the

first time you've been the Kitchen Steward, keep it simple for the sake of

your own sanity.


Separate table(s) for those feasting with young ones:  The adults were, for

the most part, miffed at being unable to sit with their households and/or

friends. I took too much heat for this little experiment, so I didn't do it



Earlier easting time for the young ones:  This one was more successful.  The

kids were fed a variety of mundane comfort foods (hot dogs, hamburgers, and

homemade macaroni & cheese), along with selections from the regular feast

menu. They were allowed to choose whatever they wanted to eat, the parents

went along with this splendidly.  There was also a special children's activity

area with supervision after they ate, which lasted through the duration of the

adult feast afterwards.  This works well as long as you have something for the

kids to do after they've eaten.  We had the parents provide bedding, in case

they wanted their kids to go nitey-nite before the feast was over.


Optional kids menu served during regular feast:  One server was assigned to

trot around the hall, asking parents with children whether this option was

preferable to the regular feast.  I did this twice, and never had a parent

take me up on it.  By and large, they either fed their kids from the regular

feast, or had already provided their own options in case Junior turned up his

nose at the funny-looking meat thing.  :=)





Date: Wed, 05 Aug 1998 09:24:58 -0400

From: Phil & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - RE: SC Kids and feasts


What I've done in the past, and which seems to work pretty well, is arrange for a children's feast to be set up separately, which will begin at the same time, or shortly before, the standard grown-up meal. Children generally have a lower

tolerance for things like long toasts and belly dancers, etc., which they tend to regard as delay tactics. Unusually perceptive, some kids are ;  )


You might want to reserve a small percentage of your kid food in case anyone is

napping during the children's feast, or if for some reason the children are being brought to the main feast instead. You can either have your server let you know if there are any children who might appreciate being offered the kid food, or even have someone go around the hall looking for really short people.


Menus are pretty much along the lines Brenna describes. Mac-and-cheese, made with flat noodles, is a favorite, and I've had great success with McNuggets (either chicken or fish) Egredouce, served, as the name suggests, with (note "with", rather than "in") a sweet-and-sour sauce, which we whiz up in a blender, so the raisins provide a thickener. Also sawgeat (scrambled eggs with fresh or smoked sausage, more or less), pancakes with cinnamon and sugar, which kids seen to regard as _extremely_ decadent to eat in the evening, various stewed pears or

apples, applemoy, and whatever simple vegetables you think this particular batch

of kids will eat. Peas or spinach, boiled quickly and buttered, make for what a

medieval cook would consider a simple boyled sallat. You might talk to the parents of any children you know are attending, and get an idea of what they might like best. This method seems to emphasize the ways in which period foods are like modern ones, which I've found is an excellent way to introduce the less

adventurous kids, and their adult counterparts as well, to period foods.


One of the bizarre side-effects of this type of more-or-less period kid-oriented

foods is that I've had adults come looking for leftovers of the children's feast. But then I've also known four-year-olds who had thirds on the haggis, so go figure...





Date: Wed, 5 Aug 1998 09:20:20 -0500

From: mfgunter at fnc.fujitsu.com (Michael F. Gunter)

Subject: Re: SC - Kids and feasts


> I know I posted about a children's feast but, I can only recall one or two my

> entire time here in Ansteorra.... and I have been playing since the late 1980s

> in this kingdom.  Most of the time the children eat with their parents. I even

> know some kids (a 5 yr old at that) that loves period foods... guess it helps

> his mom is a cook.

> meadhbh


I did a seperate children's feast at Mahdi's Coronation. It was served in the

seperate children's area a bit before the main feast. I did the usual terrible

practice of serving them "kid food" (spaghetti-O's, hot dogs, and pudding) but

that was the "thumbs up" I got from the kids I asked. Children were also allowed

to eat the feast with their parents if they desired. Since there was no charge

for either feast it was no hardship on anyone.


As far as period food goes, I've found kids like the "weird tastes" of period

dishes. An example that comes immedietly to mind was when I served a Blanche

Porrey at an outdoor feast. Everyone liked it but the kids really loved the

fact that it had cinnamon in it.





Date: Wed, 5 Aug 1998 08:08:58 -0700

From: "Anne-Marie Rousseau" <acrouss at gte.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Kids and feasts


hi all from Anne-Marie

we are discussing the treatment of children at feasts.


As for feeding said short people, I get a little bristly at the idea of

pushing them to the side and feeding them modern food (and modern food that

I wouldnt want to eat myself!)  just cuz its easier. But that's me. There

are TONS of very period foods that kids would easily recognise, would be

tasty and could be incorporated into both menus (assuming you even wanted

to do two seperate menus! Not me man!). Even the most food persnikety kid

(and grownup) can be fed on period food, with a little research and some

careful testing beforehand.



- --macaroni and cheese (ie pasta with cheese and maybe some parsley for


- --ramequins of fleshe (a meatloaf type unit, not spiced. can be done as

meatloaf, or served on bread as....hamburgers!)

- --hedghogs/yrchons

- --many types of carrot dishes are food weenie friendly, as most of the

funges recipes out there

- --frumenty (plain barley) or rice

- --applesauce or pearsauce

- --plain roasted meats with food weenie sauces like mustard

- --for dessert, marchpanes (ie sugar cookie units with marzipan that they

can peel off if so inclined), or the aforementioned fruit tarts, or even

just fresh fruit


Again, maybe its just me, but kids can be a really neat part of the event.

I enjoy feeding them...they can be brutal critics, but when you get them to

try something new and they like it its the greatest feeling. I cant think

of a single example in this area where short people got relegated to their

own tables and got separate food. The concept is very foreign to us! Kids

are as much a part of the SCA as they were in the middle ages, at least

around here.


If I might make a suggestion, perhaps you can incorporate "food weenie

proof" recipes into your main banquet, so that there's something in every

course that's "safe". That way kids can sit with their folks, and eat

together. They may not want to eat everything that comes by, but who knows?

Maybe they'll try something new and find out they really like cretonnee of

new peas after all? The food will be better, you wont have to cook two

seperate meals, and everyone will get a chance to play together, regardless

of age.


let me know if you need any recipes to help...

- --AM



Date: Wed, 05 Aug 1998 11:24:44 EDT

From: melc2newton at juno.com

Subject: Re: SC - Kids and feasts



The consensus seems to be that the children should sit with Parents and

eat, What if  the parents were given a choice to pay full price or a

discounted price for a childrens only menu. Publishing same at Troll and

then let the parents decide.





Date: Wed, 5 Aug 1998 10:38:12 -0600

From: aldyth at juno.com (Deborah J Hammons)

Subject: Re: SC - Kids and feasts


I think that kids should be at the feast.  Same as church. If they don't

learn what is proper behavior in a large setting with adults, they seem

to "grow up" to be unmanagable kids.  I have never served separate things

to kids at feasts, as most of the parents look at the menu and if their

kids don't eat it, they bring something else.  Our kids 6-12 eat for half

price anyway.





Date: Wed, 05 Aug 1998 20:13:49 -0400

From: Brenna <sunnie at exis.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Kids and feasts


> - HOWEVER, I would utterly disagree with serving them hotdogs

> or hamburgers.  There is so much fun period food you can serve to kids

> which they just love; hedgehogs for example, and just about any subtelty

> you can think of will go down a treat.


As the mother of a 4 year old girl and aunt to a 2 year old and 6 year old, you're obviously thinking of the 6 year old.  Put a subtelty in front of

the other two and you get anything from a "yuck" to a scream to something thrown across the room.  Serving the more innocuous things from feast mixed

with readily identified kid foods is the way to go.  Having done both, kids under 6, or even 15 in the really picky ones, won't touch an unfamiliar

food or a familiar food prepared other than the usual way.



(who hopes that some mean-spirited child NEVER tells her daughter that venison is Bambi's mother-- I didn't eat it for 4 years after that!)



Date: Wed, 05 Aug 1998 17:34:42 -0400

From: Nick Sasso <Njs at mccalla.com>

Subject: Small Children & recognizable food (was  Re: SC - Kids and feasts)



I am actually pretty stunned at reading the stories of other people's

childrens feasts.  I really don't think it would even occur to anyone in

Lochac to serve the sorts of food people are listing; hotdogs,

hamburgers, macaroni cheese, chicken strips.<<<<<<SNIP>>>>>>

I think that childrens feasts here would maybe contain simpler more

recognisable foods, such as roast and cold meats, cheeses, boiled

eggs, meatballs, salads, bread, vegetables, fresh fruit, jam tarts, but

nothing really out of period.


*****jam tarts are somewhat out of period from previous discussion on

our list....jam is a 17th (?) century phenomenon, at least post sugar





I find it especially interesting in light of other conversations on this

list regarding ingredient listing for feasts and taking into account

allergies; frankfurts/hotdogs have heaps of red food colouring in them

for example, which can be horrific for some kids systems.  And how

would you list all their ingredients for the feast?


I am sorry if I sound really horrified, condemning or snooty, but I am

honestly just stunned more than anything else.





I had similar thoughts of children needing to eat the same food.....untiI

had close friends with small children.  The they do tend to be fussy

eaters and become unhappy and underfed when faced with 'odd'



We play this game and have set it up for OUR entertainment.  To present

a feast of foods for the children's tastes takes little effort and just a

small amount of putting our intensity toward authenticity in our pockets.

I don't think I know ANY parents (for what value anecdotal evidence

can carry) who would demand children eat only what the parents

decide they should eat and when they should eat it.  If the child can be

enticed into our world throught their own familiarities....we have won

the war (amen brother Tsun Tsu.....contested ground and all).


I fed children recognizable foods at our feast with only small incursions

into modernist foods.

*meatballs (could be miniature hamburgers)

*fried chicken fingers


*smoked sausages made up to look like mice using cloves and

pepperonis for eyes, tails and ears  RAT ON A STICK



*fried breaded vegetables


*pasta w/ cheese sauce  (macaroni would be a small concession here)

*cookies that the children helped cutout and bake earlier in the day


I really believe that We need to make efforts to accomodate our children

however we can as they need to know that learning can be fun....

THEIR kind of fun..... until they grow older to appreciate the more mature

values of our semi-culture.  At then same time.....challenge them (based

on their developmental abilities) to experience more of what we do.



Date: Thu, 6 Aug 1998 10:09:15 +1000

From: "Glenda Robinson" <glendar at compassnet.com.au>

Subject: Re: SC - Kids and Feasts


My dear children are quite fussy eaters.


However, I've never seen them going hungry at any reenactment event.


Why shouldn't the children be served real food at a separate meal (if that's

what's happening)? My kids are most impressed with the Breads, Cheeses,

Dried Fruits, Soups, Meats, Carrots (usually the only vegies Owen the

Destroyer (5.5) will touch), and will even have some turnip or parsnip

chips, especially if they're cut into standard chip sizes. Andre the Giant

(8.5) is slightly more vegetable aware (thankfully) and will also eat a few



Most desserts served at reenactment events are child-friendly too. What kid

wouldn't eat stewed/baked fruit and/or custard, or some of those lovely

pleyn delit puddings?


I'm of the opinion that serving non-food (hot-dogs and chips, etc) isn't

healthy for the kids, and thus should not be promoted, especially when

there's no need for this stuff.


Many people go to as much trouble with their children's reenactment clothing

as their own (me included - though I won't make them any authentic shoes

until their feet slow down - they can do with their School Blundstones for

now (Leather Elastic sided boots for non-Aussies). I would be most offended

if the children, who help design their clothing now, and will shortly be

shown how to use the machine (inside hems only!), when I can cope with the

idea, were fed modern junk food after all their efforts.


Glenda Robinson



Date: Thu, 06 Aug 1998 15:35:23 +0100

From: Robyn Probert <robyn.probert at lawpoint.com.au>

Subject: SC - Re: Kids and Feasts


Looks like Lochac just does things differently! To concur with my

countrymates, I have never seen a feast in Lochac which catered separately

for kids, except perhaps having some of the feast food available in advance

if the feast is likely to start late (or is running late).


The kids here eat with their parents, from the dishes on the table. Some

parents bring supplementary food, but most seem happy to eat bread, meat,

fruit and so on (ie the same food groups wise cooks provide for the small

won't-eat-anything-weird contingent).


I've not heard anyone complain about this. I don't know if that means it is

just not a problem here; it is a problem for some parents but no-one has

said anything; or people have complained, but not to me!


I suspect a lot of it - as with so many of our mundane and SCA cultural

perspectives - is that the group norms help shape people's expectations and

that defines what is 'normal' and 'acceptable'. So kids eating feast food is

normal here.




<the end>

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Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org