When you cook for yourself, you don’t generally think about managing dietary requirements, either because you don’t have any, or because it’s become habitual. But when you entertain others, it can be a matter of life and death.
Alexandria Blaelock, author of Stress Free Dinner Parties: How to plan, host and enjoy your party says “Managing dietary requirements is a crucial part of ensuring your guest have an enjoyable meal they can eat safely.”
Here are Blaelock’s tips for managing dietary requirements:
- Always ask: If you don’t know, you can’t find workarounds and may leave some guests watching everyone else eat. And as they might forget to tell you things have changed, ask every guest, every time.
- Know the difference between requirements and preferences: When you ask, some guests may give you preferences like palaeolithic or veganism. You won’t kill them if you ignore their preferences, but ignoring requirements will have serious health consequences.
- It’s not just food: Remember, drinks can be made from foods people can’t eat too. If someone can’t eat nuts, you shouldn’t offer them nut based alcohols either.
- Check for dishes they’re sick of: Some people, particularly those managing mineral levels (e.g., potassium, calcium or phosphate) may end up eating the same dish everytime they leave home. Ask if they’d prefer something different.
- Consider other health issues: Other people, for example, false teeth wearers, have other issues. You may need to reconsider food with sharp edges, tough chewy food and sticky food.
With Alexandria’s tips for managing dietary requirements, you and your friends can enjoy a healthy and safe meal.
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