Wedding Etiquette Forum

Children's Meals and RSVPs

I have a question about having RSVPs for children, toddlers and infants, especially when using an online RSVP tool...

Our venue provides child meals for ages 4-12 for half price. This leaves ages 0-4 to share with their parents, I suppose.

We are doing online RSVPs- our invitations will have a card that says "We have reserved __ seats in your honor. Please RSVP through our wedding website..." Then, on the website we will have directions at the top of the RSVP page like "Please indicate which members of your party will be attending and their meal choice (or a child's meal for children ages 4-12)." There will be a drop down of three adult meals, or "child meal". I am nervous even giving the option, and might preselect a child meal for each kid 4-12 so that it is understood when parents go to the site.

So, assuming parents of children older than 4 will choose a child's meal for their kid and not Chicken Piccata, etc., what should I do for the infants and toddlers? Do I make it so that no meal option is provided for that handful of guests 4 and under? I would like to know that they are coming so we can arrange for high chairs and booster seats. Do parents of this age expect a meal for their child?

I may be over thinking this. Any advice is appreciated! 

Re: Children's Meals and RSVPs

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    I know 10 year olds who want an adult meal.  I know 3 year olds who can eat a child's meal.   I would let them choose on their own what kind of food they want the kid to eat.   

     I would be surprised if any one with a 18-month old or younger would order a meal (although people are suprising?  So I'm sure somewhere there is one).  I really would not worry about those parents.    Its the 2-4 years olds parents who may  need/want an actual meal for their kids. 

    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
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    It seems weird to me that the kids meal is only for ages 4-12. I would let parents of children under 4 have the option of getting a kids meal as well for their child if they want. When I did RSVP cards I just listed the kids meal as a choice along with the other entrees and everyone RSVPed for what they wanted. So I had some 2 and 3 year olds who got the kids meal, some babies whose parents didn't select anything for them, and a few 10-12 year olds who opted for the adult meal instead. Our buget could accomidate the price difference for the adult meal for a few of the kids so it wasn't that big of a deal. I then followed up with parents of kids around 5 and under who had RSVPed yes and told them our venue offered booster chairs or high chairs and asked if they would like one for their child.
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    My 12 year old self would have been deeply offended by a children's meal. It should be an option, not a command.
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    We did family style so we didn't have meal choices on our RSVP, even still we had a few RSVP with "X will eat off our plates" just to let us know that the 3yo didn't need her own meal.  The others I called / FB messaged to ask if the kids would prefer chicken fingers or beef and mostacholi.  definitely don't assume anyone under 12 will want a kids meal; at least half our children guests opted for the adults meal.

    I would make your choices:
    Entree A,
    Entree B,
    Entree C,
    Kids meal (12 and under)  ---- I would also say what this is.  Is it chicken fingers?  a burger?  that will affect some answers
    Child - no meal (for the infants or those who will share with their kids)
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    I agree with above posters that you shouldn't dictate that those 4-12 must have the kids meal and that those under 4 don't receive a meal at all.  There may be some people who want to order the kids' meal for their 3-year-old and they should be able to.  Similarly, there might be some kids that are 11 or 12 that would prefer an adult meal, and that should be an option, too.  So I wouldn't put anything on the options about kids meals only being for 4-12 year olds. 

    We had kids under 4 get meals at our wedding.  My uncle even ordered adult meals for his kids (steak for my 3-year-old cousin and chicken for my 5-year-old cousin).  This struck me as a bit odd, but I wasn't going to tell him that he HAD to order chicken strips for his kids.  We also had some kids in the 10-12 range that ordered an adult meal.  I just communicated with those bringing small children to make sure we had high chairs and booster seats as needed.  I would do something like this to list options and not include any age ranges:

    ____ Chicken
    ____ Beef
    ____ Vegetarian
    ____ Chicken Strips

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    In Response to <a href=" BoardsForum:9Discussion:4a6c27d1-5fb3-4c82-b73a-bb4ba1fa7711Post:98714f51-586f-42ce-bdd9-6230e42a4a77">Re: Children's Meals and RSVPs</a>:
    [QUOTE] I would do something like this to list options and <strong>not include any age ranges</strong>: Posted by libby2483[/QUOTE]

    Just wanted to add that I think it's okay to put the "under 12" limit because that's a restriction the venue put on it.  I know some 15 yos (heck, I know some 25 yos) who would go for chicken fingrs but the venue might get mad about delivering a half price meal to an adult.  The lower limit, though I think is odd and I'd leave it off so a parent of a 3yo doesn't feel pressured to share with a kid who might have quite an appetite
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    Not sure if this is the same for your case but my venue provides half price meals to children and those under 5 are free but are able to get the children's meal if they choose (still free).  I think it's very weird that they would be forced to share with a parent.  I would inquire with your venue just to clarify.
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    Okay, I just learned that this is how it goes with our venue... Children under 4 are free and receive a kid's meal. Children 4-12 receive a smaller portion of whatever adult meal they order. That's a relief! NYCBride- your post jogged my memory and I'm happy that the venue confirmed that that's how it goes. Thanks everyone for the help :)
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    Glad to hear that :)
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    I still think 11 and 12 is too old for the smaller portions.  My son was already 6 ft tall at 12.  You don't ever see 11 and 12 yo's go into a restaurant and order childs portions.  Most restaurant menus limit kids menus to 10 and under.

    It may be fine for some kids, but I think the majority of 11 and 12 yo kids eat adult meals.
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    In Response to <a href="">Re: Children's Meals and RSVPs</a>:
    [QUOTE]I still think 11 and 12 is too old for the smaller portions.  My son was already 6 ft tall at 12.  You don't ever see 11 and 12 yo's go into a restaurant and order childs portions.  Most restaurant menus limit kids menus to 10 and under. It may be fine for some kids, but I think the majority of 11 and 12 yo kids eat adult meals.
    Posted by kmmssg[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>This.  I also think that many younger kids would do much better at a wedding with a kids meal if they choose.  I imagine most 5 years olds would rather have chicken fingers and french fries over chicken picatta and mixed vegetables.  :D  You should see if there is the option for a kids meal under the age of 12.

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