To prevent the spread, you practiced social distancing by working from home and attending Zoom parties with friends and family.
But as the Coronavirus pandemic starts to settle, virtual events and video chatting are starting to disconnect. People are physically connecting again and, naturally, want to celebrate birthday parties, retirements, whathaveyou in the same space.
Whereas these events may look a little different, the feelings of joy and happiness can still touch the same. Use these post-COVID party ideas to make your event safe, healthy, and extra special for invited guests!
Healthy and Safe Party Tips Post-COVID
To host a healthy and safe post-COVID party, there are precautions one can take. These include complying with local and national guidelines for the utmost safety.
One can also implement hygiene practices that can start before guests arrive and once they do. Such techniques involve personal hygiene and food handling methods.
When in doubt, sit it out.
First and foremost, kindly encourage anyone not feeling well to stay home. This likewise serves true as the host. If not feeling well, postpone to a later date when feeling your best.
At the end of the day, putting yourself and others at risk is not worth it.
Place hand sanitizer and soap in plain sight.
Having sanitizer and soap visible is a subtle prompt for guests to use and keep hands clean.
Common places to sit out include the kitchen and bathroom and at the serving table.
Use individual towels if possible.
The communal cotton hand towel in the bathroom can collect germs quickly.
As a sanitary solution, offer disposable, individual hand towels in the bathroom and kitchen.
Host outdoors or a large area.
Hosting a dinner party in an open area, though, allows guests to distance themselves comfortably. So if indoors is a little snug, consider moving the party outdoors if weather permits.
Also, use the large space to play a game or activity. A friendly game of kickball or scavenger hunt, anyone?
Practice food safety.
Practicing food safety is beneficial for not only stopping germ spread but lowering the risk of foodborne illness.
Practice food safety by washing hands before prep, along with cutting boards, countertops, and dishware before preparing another item. This especially serves true with meat and poultry, which should likewise be cooked and held at an appropriate food temperature.
All-in-all, try to keep surfaces and hands clean as best as possible.
Post-COVID Dinner Ideas Dos and Don'ts
Hosting a post-COVID party may seem overwhelming, though there are general guidelines to ease your mind when hosting. Implement these dinner "do's" and "don'ts" to uphold the safety of your guests.
• Share food or drinks
• Serve chips, candies, nuts or any food in open bowls
• Set out "build-your-own" bars i.e. taco bar, soup bar, sandwich bar
• Offer finger foods
• Touch a shared utensil then eat foods with hands
• Designated a cup per guest, identifying with a marker, etc.
• Place appropriate utensils to spoon foods
• Only eat after food makes it to a serving plate
• Consider individual snack bags
• Precut foods before serving
• Serve foods with toothpicks or skewers
• Keep foods as covered as possible
What to Serve at a Party Post-COVID
Really, you can be as extravagant or simple as desired. But we prefer the latter so you can alleviate stress and be in the now with loved ones.
Ideas to spark inspiration include delicious crockpot use and baking recipes all guests are sure to love!
Individual Snack Bags
Chips, pretzels, and other snacks tend to be fixtures at parties and get-togethers. However, having people reach into large bowls and bags can spread germs quickly.
Instead, purchase individual snack bags or make your own. Simply ration out servings into disposable bags or cups for guests to quickly grab.
As a bonus, individual snack bags naturally helps with portion control!
Foods on Toothpicks or Skewers
Assembling and serving foods on toothpicks or skewers helps alleviate the risk of many hands coming directly into contact with food.
• Chicken and feta meatballs
• Herb beef sirloin skewers
• Caprese skewers with cherry tomatoes, cubed cheese, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar
• Hamburger sliders pre-assembled with toppings
The use of a slower cooker eases on meal prep while simultaneously keeping foods covered when served. They also tend to use pantry staples you likely already have on hand to lessen a large grocery trip haul.
Some quick and satisfying crockpot ideas include:
• Turkey chili
• Homemade chicken noodle soup
• Broccoli cheddar soup
If desiring toppings, try offering single bag portions. These may include a small bag of tortilla chips for chili or individual packets of oyster crackers to the top soup.
Toppings like cheese should have a designated spoon to avoid people reaching in the bag.
What is a dinner party without dessert? But instead of serving that sheet pan birthday cake or a large carton of ice cream, consider these single-serving options:
• Cupcakes, especially when wishing one a "Happy birthday!"
• Greek yogurt parfaits layered with refreshing fruit
• Strawberry shortcake kabobs. Simply cut and alternate fresh strawberries and small pound cake cubes on a skewer. Drizzle the kabobs with a low-fat whipped cream as desired.
All-in-all, try to implement best hygiene practices and serve foods requiring little to no direct contact. And, most importantly, live in the moment and enjoy these real-time connections with loved ones!