Plating and 6:30 Dinner

Whenever my parents are cooking for a group, they will often plate everybody's meal and serve it like a restaurant does. Everyone gets a serving of each part of the meal, beautifully arranged on their plate. This does not mean you have to eat it, but it makes it easier on the server and it is a lovely presentation. 

An important part of the success of our 6:30 family dinner is plating all the plates at the same time. This is not a new invention, but new to me.

I used to prepare the children's plates, let them start eating, and then I would fix my plate. By the time I sat down, they were done and asking for more food or wanting to get up.

Last night we had our typical 6:30 dinner - minus my husband who was working later. We set the table, and then I plated the food (including my plate). I snapped a picture realizing how vital plating is to getting everyone to sit down at the same time, especially when my husband is not present. I really enjoy the formality of it and it enables me to sit with everyone while we eat.

I can see how eating family style or buffet style might work when the kids are a bit older. And maybe we'll tackle dress code one day, too. Laurie could not resist wearing her bathing suit to dinner last night. Whatever!


I'm also thinking I need to do lunch this way in the summer when we are all home.

Do you plate everyone's food?

Family style? Buffet style? 

I've never given much thought to this, but it can really make a big difference for the cook and server in the enjoyment of meals.


P.S. I loved every comment on Streamlining. Y'all gave me so many more ideas to think about. Thank you for reading and taking the time to share your wisdom!


  1. I plate our dinners too, and go as far as to make sure my two girls can't reach their plated food until I've sat down because otherwise they're finished before I've started. Plating lunch is a good idea! Breakfast and lunch are much more haphazard in our house and I'm not nearly as methodical. So hard to stay ahead of the curve especially first thing in the morning!

  2. I guess I do it all different ways - usually plate breakfast and lunch, but supper is always family-style unless the pot of soup stays on the stove and we just dish out the soup from the stove with everything else on the table. But I am super-firm about no one starting to eat at supper until we've held hands and prayed together. Even the yelling toddler, who has quickly learned this pause (I usually plate her dinner before the prayer so she's ready to go RIGHT AWAY after that!).

  3. This method is so much more easier. Less hassle for everyone involved and you can keep an eye on your kids' plates to see if they are eating their vegetables or not!

  4. SB, I've thoroughly enjoyed going back through many of your older posts. I haven't been on your blog in ages, but I have always loved reading your posts. This post on plating helped me even tonight as I have the same issue with even my older kids. I served everything up tonight and we were all able to begin at the same time. Such a simple concept, but I don't often think of it! Thanks again! Jessica (Collie)


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