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Throwing a Dinner Party for Guests with Allergies
(OCTOBER 2013) Planning and hosting a successful dinner party can sometimes be more complicated than anticipated. When you throw allergy sufferers and picky eaters in the mix, the situation gets even stickier. Instead of disinviting your buddies, here are plenty of simple steps that can be taken in order to accommodate all of your guests’ needs.
Plan ahead and send a tentative menu.
After thoughtful planning with a friend or spouse, come up with a short, tentative menu that you may consider offering at your dinner party. When deciding on the list, check out these two websites that provide allergy friend cuisine: Eating with Food Allergies and Cybele Pascal’s blog. Send the list out via email to save time and money and ask your friend’s opinions about the choices. Allergy sufferers will be able to identify if they are allergic to any menu items and can get back to you efficiently. Ask your guests, especially the picky eaters, for suggestions to include on the menu that would satisfy a large variety of people. By starting early and making sure the menu options are suitable for all guests, you are already starting out the party on the right foot.
Offer alternatives specifically for allergy sufferers.
Some of the most common allergy foods are pretty tasty and included in a lot of recipes, so if there's a dish that you just can't seem to exclude because it’s your absolute favorite, leave the ingredient out if possible. If this is not possible, make sure to accommodate your guest by preparing an alternative menu item that would serve as a substitute. The last thing you want to do is to make a guest feel uncomfortable in your home. They may not want to come back for future social engagements because do not feel as though they fit in. Suffering from food allergies are bad enough, and by making the situation a little more comfortable for a guest can go a long way.
Do not cross-contaminate serving dishes or utensils.
Many people who suffer from food allergies can have a reaction even after indirectly coming in contact with a particular ingredient. Make sure to have separate spoons and dishes for each menu item, and do not allow self-serving. This makes the likelihood of a cross-contamination increase tremendously because most guests are unaware.
Give party favors.
Although you have already planned a beautiful dinner party for your guests, giving them a little party favor afterwards doesn't hurt. Thank them and tell them that you appreciate that they came. For friends with serious food allergies, one of our medical ID bracelets will certainly do the trick.