It's party time!
So I thought I'd help you navigate the holiday festivities in this post. Whether you're hosting the party (and have guests with dietary restrictions) or attending a soiree as a guest — my tips can help you make the most of any get together.
Keep in mind these lists are simply suggestions and aren't going to suit every situation. But by making a little extra effort we can all have a great time at the party. Cheers!
As the host of the party...
- When doling out the invites, ask if anyone has food sensitivities and make note of any.
- Consider what your food sensitive guests will be able to eat and if it would make for an enjoyable experience. Be empathetic. Would you be happy spending six hours at a party where the only thing you can eat is the green salad?
- Reach out to your guests for feedback if you can. Ask whether certain recipes are okay for them to eat or if they have any suggestions how to make the menu allergy-friendly.
- Use safe ingredients when preparing allergy-friendly recipes. When possible, save the labels from ingredients (or snap a photo on your phone) so that your guests can refer to them if necessary.
- If serving buffet style, let your guests with dietary restrictions serve themselves first. That way the most options are available to them (before a safe dish disappears!) and cross-contamination isn't an issue.
- Be sure each dish has it's own serving utensil and try to place 'safe' foods strategically to avoid cross-contamination.
- When in doubt — pick a few 8SAFE recipes to prepare. Every 8SAFE recipe is free of gluten, wheat, egg, soy, milk (dairy), peanut, tree nuts, fish and shellfish. So just one 8SAFE recipe will cater to over 40,000 different combinations of food sensitivities.
As a guest with food sensitivities...
- Respond to the invitation as soon as possible. That way you have first dibs on what to bring and it'll be easier to accommodate your food sensitivities.
- Remember — it's your job to keep yourself safe — not the host. So while it's okay to mention that you have dietary restrictions, don't make your host responsible for them.
- Be thoughtful. Ask your host about the menu and what you can bring to contribute. Bring something that compliments the theme and formality of the occasion.
- Bring a dish that tastes amazing. Do your part to debunk the myth that allergy-friendly food tastes like cardboard.
- Bring back-up snacks. High-protein snacks will help take the edge off should you find yourself with little options. Stash them somewhere (like your bag or pocket) where you have easy access and can step away to discreetly eat them.
- Practice gratitude. If someone goes out of their way to make a safe dish for you — eat it! And be sure to thank them.
What would you add to the lists? What do you wish the host or guest of a party would understand? Any tips or tricks you could share? Let me know in the comments!