No-Stress Hosting Plan
6 ways to serve flexible fare to accommodate dietary restrictions
When hosting for the holidays, it can be a challenge to accommodate all of your guests’ dietary preferences, food allergies and restrictions. Building out a balanced menu, like other parts of hosting, starts with devising a thought-out plan.
To help accomplish this task without cooking up personal dishes for each guest, consider these tips:
1 Plan ahead. Request that guests specify allergies and restrictions on RSVPs. Even if you think you know the special diets each of your guests have been on, someone’s restrictions may have just changed.
2 Think back to past festivities. Try to remember which dishes were hits at last year’s party, and which ones were hardly touched. Maybe the appetizers that disappeared in a flash would be good to repeat this year.
3 Create flexible snacks. Serve food that addresses a multitude of dietary restrictions, such as trays with fresh fruit and veggies. If someone is allergic to strawberries, they can bypass those and select other fruit, such as slices of pear, kiwi, nectarines and apples.
4 Allow guests to build their entrees. For example, set up a taco bar. Your guests can choose among a variety of fixings, which can include cooked hamburger or grilled chicken, guacamole, black beans, shredded cheeses (dairy and non-dairy), grilled onions, freshly cut up lettuce and tomatoes and sliced jalapeños and other hot peppers. For desserts, offer guests a traditionally made pie and sugar-free brownies.
5 Provide meatless versions. This is helpful not only for vegetarians, but for people who are cutting back on their meat consumption. Make one chili with hamburger, and another one with beans or ground soy crumbles. Or, if some people are avoiding red meat specifically, serve a chili made with ground pork or turkey.
6 Add labels. Sometimes it can be nearly impossible to cover everyone’s restrictions, especially if you have a large crowd. If one of your food choices contains a common allergen, such as peanuts, tape a card on the bowl, tray or pan that informs guests of the ingredients included. If you know that someone is allergic to that dish, also mention it to them.
About the AuthorFamilyFeatures.com
More great eats