The holidays are just around the corner. It's time to spend quality family time, host guests, and have festive feasts. However, the food can be challenging, especially if you'll host guests with food allergies or have religious or personal preferences. As a host, enjoying a holiday meal with your guests can be hectic. So what do you do?
If you are the host, here are some tips that you can use to make your guest with dietary restrictions not feel left out.
It can be tricky to find everything that meets every individual's needs. Being aware of common food allergies such as peanuts, eggs, seafood, lactose, and wheat will make things a little bit easier. Here is a look into everyday diets so that you can be prepared.
- Gluten-free: the person does not eat any food with gluten. Gluten is found in rye, barley, and wheat. Check labels because items like condiments, soy sauce, or tea may also contain gluten. If you have gluten-free guests, offer them dairy, fish, eggs, meat, legumes, fruit, and vegetables.
- Dairy-free: they don't eat anything with dairy, including cheese. Go for fish, grains, pasta, fruit, and vegetables.
- Vegetarians: They do not eat anything that contains meat but can eat dairy. The best food options are dairy, legumes, vegetables, grains, nuts, and pasta.
- Vegan: The person does not eat animal or animal-derived products like honey, eggs, or dairy. Give them pasta, grains, fruit, vegetables, and nuts.
Here are a few tips to help you include all your guests in your holiday feast.
1. PLAN AHEAD
Imagine spending the whole day in the kitchen only to find that most of your guests won't eat your food. It can be devastating, but something that you can avoid.
Ask your guests about their dietary considerations and take them into account when preparing the meals. You can create a menu that will be inclusive for all your guests.
Knowing what your guests will eat is vital when planning your menu. For instance, knowing that you have two vegans, one gluten-free, and two low-carb dieters makes it much easier to plan. You can leave a note in your invitation to let your guests inform you if they have special dietary restrictions.
2. OFFER VARIETY
With assorted vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free dishes, you're guaranteed that all guests will have something to eat and feel satisfied.
With a variety of dishes, label each dish clearly to show each item. Doing so will make it easier for guests with dietary restrictions to find what they can eat.
3. DON'T CROSS-CONTAMINATE
When grilling meat and vegetable burgers, ensure you use separate tongs so that your vegetarian guests will not mistakenly eat any meat juice in their food. Don't bake a nut-free cookie on the same tray where you have roasted almonds.
Wash the strainer in the kitchen sink thoroughly when draining gluten-free and wheat spaghetti noodles. Always be mindful of any opportunities that can cause cross-contamination. Doing so will lower the risk of serving foods your guest can't eat.
4. LEAVE TOPPINGS ON THE SIDE
At times, only one or two ingredients will rule out a dish for guests with dietary restrictions. In that case, you can leave a bacon crumble on the side to allow guests who eat meat to enjoy it and vegetarians to find something to enjoy.
5. SERVE DRINKS
Have fancy mocktails so guests who do not drink alcohol can still have fun. Ensure everyone is included in the festivities by making a pitcher.
You can also create a non-alcoholic punch as the base. Have spirits on the side so all your gets will enjoy a beverage with alcohol or without alcohol. Have a bucket filled with fruit-flavored seltzers, fun sodas, and fancy artisan mixers.
6. HAVE AN APPETIZER PARTY
You can ensure all your guests have a wonderful holiday regardless of their dietary restrictions by hosting a potluck-style party, allowing your guest to bring their own dish. It allows you to switch things up, enjoy new recipes and ensure everyone participates in the holiday feasting.
7. DON'T FORGET TO COOK FOR YOURSELF
When hosting guests with dietary restrictions, it is easy to be consumed by everything. It can take up a lot of your time. Make sure you cook for yourself. Listen to what your body wants. Fuel your body with nutrients that meet your specific needs. It will be worse to fall sick during the holidays.
Balance is important in everything in life. You should follow the cues your body gives you. The holidays are an excellent time to indulge in sugary treats but ensure you eat healthily.
8. EMBRACE YOUR CREATIVE SIDE IN THE KITCHEN
If you ever find yourself in a recipe rut, get creative and experiment with new recipes. You can find inspiration from Instagram or Pinterest to test out some recipes. You'll never know; you can find something that will become an all-time favorite food for every season. Not only that, but you can modify the recipe to meet your guest's dietary restrictions. What you have to do is substitute the ingredients to fit into the restrictions.
You can also make simple swaps. Instead of using butter to toss your veggies, use olive oil. That way, guests with dairy allergies and vegans can still enjoy the dish. Instead of using chicken or beef stock, use vegetable stock to allow more people to enjoy it.
The holiday season is a time you spend with your loved ones and enjoy good food. When hosting guests, ensure you know their dietary restrictions, and don't forget to fuel your body.
As a host, use the dietary restrictions as a fun challenge to find new recipes for all your guests to enjoy. The dishes may become a favorite for all seasons, and you are guaranteed that everyone will be included.
You don't have to accommodate all the guests in every dish you make. It can be tricky to host guests with dietary restrictions. All you have to do is be flexible and understanding. Having a well-planned dinner will keep all your guests happy and well-fed. Once all is done, don't forget to clean up those dishes on your copper kitchen sink. Contact Fossil Blu for more ideas.