How to Host a Back to School Feast

Every year before school begins, I host a back to school feast for our little family. It is such a fun time to sit around the table and visit together about the upcoming year and our hopes and goals for this new phase. Making it a special feast shows the kids how important this milestone is for our family, and gets everyone headed into the school year on a positive note. The food is a big part of the feast, as the children look forward to it and enjoy the meal, which isn’t always the case! I try to make extra of the sides they particularly enjoy, so it really feels like a feast!

To plan your own back to school feast, ask your kids what they would like to eat and go with that! Try to guide them towards a meal that feels fairly easy for you to prepare, as you will be busy with decorations and activities as well. Last year, my oldest requested manicotti, and I served it with garlic bread, broccoli, layered rainbow jello and a carbonated “fancy” drink! The food should be fit for a feast, but the real trick to making the evening special is the table setting!

Every year, each person gets a decorated crown to wear and special name tag/place setting. For our last feast I covered the table in butcher paper and decorated with crayons and some letter banners I found in the Target dollar section. As part of the feast, I always introduce a theme to rally the family around and present that in a semi-permanent way. One year I did a watercolor of our theme “Kindness Begins with Me.” and for this year I did a song lyric that is special to our family.

The girls so look forward to this evening and honestly, so do I! It turns what could be an average or even stressful meal the night before school starts into a fun celebration and kickoff for our year. I have done this for years, beginning even as my kids are entering preschool. Typically I plan and execute the feast, but this year my oldest has taken a real interest, and she wants to help make the magic happen! We have been working together for a month on the preparations for a back to school tea party and can’t wait for the big event later this month!

Let me know if you do something similar, and we can compare notes!


    Stefanie Hathaway
    Monthly Newsletter Contributor since 2016
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