This article is sponsored by Kroger's Private Selection. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.
One of the things we love most about the holiday season is all the opportunities to gather with loved ones. And while feeding a crowd can often mean a bit more work for the host, we’ve found incorporating a few tips and entertaining hacks can be the key to keeping stress low for mamas. That’s why we teamed up with the experts at Kroger’s Private Selection to share six tips for feeding a crowd without adding more stress to your already busy holiday schedule.
1. Elevate your dishes with more flavor—not more ingredients. Even simple meals can feel special when you include a few upgraded ingredients. Kroger’s Private Selection oils are a quick and easy way to punch up salads, marinate meats and add a little pizzazz to sandwiches. And because they’re already infused with flavor-rich ingredients like garlic, parmesan and white truffle, you’ll only need to add a dash or two to have a holiday-ready meal.
2. Don’t feel like you need to make everything from scratch. Because, the truth is, there are plenty of flavorful, high-quality food options available at your local Kroger store! Save your cooking time for traditional family favorites, and let your local Kroger round out the meal with side dishes, appetizers, and desserts that will have everyone reaching for more.
3. Include your family in the prep. Mothers tend to take on the lion’s share when it comes to meal prep for the holidays, but there are plenty of ways to spread the work around. Even very young children can help wash produce, shake salad dressings, set the table, and season. Older children can help fill water glasses, chop with supervision, and more. And every little bit of help means one less thing for you to worry about, mama!
4. Double batch your side dishes. If you’re roasting veggies or making mashed potatoes, cut down on your overall work by doubling the amount you prepare. Serve half with dinner, and then you’ll have a second serving for lunch or dinner the next day without any extra effort.
5. When in doubt, go for slow (cookers). Feeding a big group becomes so much easier when you can set your meal up in the slow cooker and then get back to memory making. Slow Cooker Beef and Gnocchi Stews are crowd-pleasing favorites you can prep in minutes—but they taste like you’ve been in the kitchen all day.
6. Serve everything buffet-style. Let’s be honest: Big groups rarely all sit at the dining table anyway! Encourage a relaxed atmosphere with a spread that lets everyone graze as they like—it will save you time and make it easier to satisfy everyone’s cravings.