Kids Birthday Party Kosher Lunch Ideas

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  • This topic has 13 replies, 8 voices, and was last updated 1 week ago by SACT5.
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  • #2272410
    SACT5
    Participant

    Hello All,

    Taking a break from all the political conversations for something more lighthearted…..

    I’m looking to brainstorm some ideas for serving a kosher lunch for parents & children at a child’s birthday party at an event venue. It’s too close to Pesach to have it catered. We do not have a lot of options for kosher food where I live. Those attending are on the laxer side of koshrut observance.

    What can I buy at a regular grocery store with a hechsher (any will do) to serve for lunch, and what would be the considerations for fruit?

    My thought was to get name brand bagels and cream cheese.
    Individual bags of chips.
    Maybe some clementines and blueberries?

    (Am I correct that as long as fruit is not cut or prepared it is okay to serve?
    Can I wash it in advance? What about in a non-kosher kitchen sink? Do I kasher the sink first? How do I even do that? Maybe I’ll skip the blueberries and stick with clementines???)

    Any other suggestions?
    Thank you in advance!

    #2272542
    Happy new year
    Participant

    Is anybody interested in a “lighthearted” convo?

    #2272738
    yeshivaguy45
    Participant

    If nobody is makpid on chalav yisroel or pas yisroel, bagels and cream cheese would be fine. Peanut butter also usually has a hechsher. Blueberries have an issue with bugs so check the websites of different kashrus agencies (crc, star-k, etc) on how to check them.
    Regarding cut fruit, you should ask your local Rabbi as there are different opinions about it.

    #2272765
    commonsaychel
    Participant

    @op for someone who claims to be not frum, you spend a awful lot of time with kashrus questions

    #2272827
    SACT5
    Participant

    @yeshivaguy45 – TY!


    @commonsaychel
    ,
    I think that’s why I have so many questions otherwise shouldn’t I know (or have a better resource for) most of the answers? 🤔

    #2272861
    Red Adair
    Participant

    Ideally, you would have an orthodox rabbi you’d be comfortable asking this question to, not only because he’d be better able to answer your questions, but also a spoken conversation is more conducive to the back-and-forth questions that can arise in this type of discussion.
    I’m not a rabbi (far from it), but I can tell you what I look for when participating in or helping to organize an event where not all attendees reliably keep kosher:
    1) Plates, bowls, cups, and cutlery: Disposable items only. Nothing that could have been used previously should be anywhere near the food.
    2) Uncut fruits and veggies only. Also, no fruits or veggies that require careful checking for bugs.
    3) All prepared foods must be in sealed packages and have a reliable hechsher. You shouldn’t use an unreliable hechsher any more than someone with a deadly allergy should risk an unreliable assurance that the food doesn’t contain an allergen. Don’t worry about having enough of a variety of foods – there’s plenty of bread, chips, dips, cakes, cookies, chocolate, spreads, soft drinks, and loads of other foods with an OU, Kof-K, Star-K and other reliable hashgachos so nobody need go hungry.
    4) In the U.S. milk and bottled water are OK without a hechsher. Plain (unflavored) coffee from Dunkin Donuts is kosher. Plain coffee from other establishments without kosher certification may be problematic.
    5) If any attendees eat only cholov yisroel dairy products they will be a lot more stringent, for example they won’t eat products from Hershey, Entenmanns, and any other non-CY items. You may want to ensure that there are non-dairy choices for those people (or, better yet, cholov yisroel items, if available).
    6) Many orthodox people in New York City will not drink tap water unless it’s been filtered. If you’re serving ice water, lemonade or any other drink that’s made with NYC tap water, you may want to include bottled water as a choice, too.
    7) This is not a comprehensive list and (once again) I am not a rabbi, just someone trying to be helpful. Good luck & happy birthday.

    #2272965
    SACT5
    Participant

    @Red Adair – wonderful advice! Thank you so much!!!
    I’d forgotten about Entenmanns!
    We are certainly safe from NYC tap water, but well water is another story…..Either way bottled it is.

    #2272974
    Gedol Hador
    Participant

    Why are cut fruit and vegetables a problem?

    #2273079
    Red Adair
    Participant

    SACT5, you’re very welcome.
    Gedol Hador, in many (most) cases cut fruit and veggies are fine, in some cases they’re problematic. If you google ‘cut fruit and vegetables kosher’ you will find more information from reliable kashrus sites such as CRC and OU. My advice for omitting cut fruits and items that require careful bug checking is for practical reasons – this way there are no worries or concerns about the source or the level of checking.

    #2273078
    SACT5
    Participant

    @Gedol Hador

    I was told (by a family member not a rabbi) that the issue was if you buy say a prepared fruit and veggie platter at a non-kosher grocery store you don’t know what else the knife they used to cut up the fruit was used for.

    Apparently this topic had it’s own discussion thread back in 2011!

    Are you allowed to buy cut up fruits in a non jewish store?

    From CRC website:
    “Q. Can I buy cut up fruit from a supermarket without a hechsher?
    A. Yes, assuming it is pure fruit, and the fruits are the types that do not require special checking or washing to remove insects.”

    From OU website:
    “I am preparing a picnic. Can I buy sliced watermelon from the supermarket?
    The Shach (YD 96:3) cites a concern that a knife often contains a fatty residue even after it has been washed or wiped with a rag. Therefore, if a non-kosher knife was used to cut kosher food, some of the residue on the knife would transfer to the food. Rama (96:1, 4) writes that with regards to fruit, we can assume that the manufacturer or processor has dedicated utensils. Even if the knife is not dedicated to cutting fruit, however, if large quantities of fruit are being cut or sliced, we can assume that whatever non-kosher residue was on the knife was removed when cutting the first few fruit, which are batel (nullified) in the majority of other fruit.
    One may, therefore, purchase cut watermelon in a supermarket or in a fruit store. The market would likely have dedicated utensils and in any event it is preparing large quantities of fruit. In a non-kosher restaurant or catered event, however, the fruit would not be permitted because the knives very likely are not dedicated and food preparation switches from one product to the next.”

    I’m curious if anyone has heard a LOR or koshrut authority say it’s not okay since most formal opinions point to it being okay, but there seems to be a lot of skepticism as to trusting the ruling.

    #2273164
    Gedol Hador
    Participant

    @Red Adair and SACT5, thank you.

    #2273325
    Sam Klein
    Participant

    Why don’t you make a quick trip to the pizza shop and order pies of Pizza with Fries etc… ready to go for the party and put out some soda and other drinks and your good to go very easy to put together.

    #2274050
    follick2
    Participant

    Peelable fruits are easiest (i.e. oranges, bananas).
    Candy, chips, etc. with a hechsher are easy.
    Most canned tuna fish has a hechsher and mayo with a hechsher is easy to find. Tuna salad can easily be made with only disposable utensils.
    If you are looking at bagels and cream cheese you may want to get lox which is readily available with a hechsher in many non-Kosher supermarkets.
    Hummus (such as Sabra brand), guacamole, peanut butter and jelly are also widely available with a hechsher.

    Many bottled drinks have a hechsher: water, orange juice, apple juice, soda, etc.

    If you can get (and toivel) a new electric pot that can boil water, then foods like hard boiled eggs, egg salad or macaroni and cheese become possible.

    #2276157
    SACT5
    Participant

    @Sam Klein,
    We tried but there’s only 1 place in our county that sells kosher pizza and they don’t open early enough that day. I’m not even sure I’ve ever eaten a kosher french fry that didn’t come from the freezer section of the grocery store? Are there places that sell fresh kosher french fries? We can however locally buy nonkosher challah (there is so much butter in it!)


    @follick2
    – Thank you!

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