5 Tips + 5 Recipes for Holiday Hosting if Your Guests Have Dietary Restrictions (2024)

Posted in Desserts, Entertainment, Health and Nutrition, Recipes




5 Tips + 5 Recipes for Holiday Hosting if Your Guest Have Dietary Restrictions

Hosting a holiday shindig can be one of the highlights of the season. And, it can also be stressful–coming up with games, making sure your house is clean…and food, don’t forget the food! One stress can be finding out a guest has food allergies or a dietary restriction, when you’re not used to cooking for those type of diets.. We’ve gathered 5 tried-and-true allergy-friendly recipes and 5 tips to help you–the hostess with the mostess–pull of the best party, as well as help your guests feel safe and included.

5 Tips + 5 Recipes for Holiday Hosting if Your Guests Have Dietary Restrictions (1)

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If there is one thing I understand–it’s the stress of what to feed someone with a different diet. My name is Megan and I blog at AllergyAwesomeness.com. At just one years old, my son was diagnosed with over 30 food allergies and a rare allergic disease called EOE (eosinophilic esophagitis). I literally had to throw out every recipe I had ever enjoyed and start acting like a mad scientist in the kitchen. Since finding I don’t have to eat just rice the rest of my life, I’ve made a dedicated site with over 200 recipes that are allergy-friendly to save others from that awful feeling of “what in the world do I feed them?” I can’t wait to share some tips and recipes to help you navigate this as well! Because as I’ve found out since sharing my journey–almost everyone has a neighbor, cousin, friend or nephew that has food restrictions, and we all love to come together to eat.

There are a whole host of reasons people eat differently than mainstream. It may be for religious reasons. It may be for intolerances. It may be for ethical reasons. It may be for diagnosed medical conditions like Celiac Disease or food allergies–which can have serious complications. For example, if you use a knife to cut regular bread and then use that same knife for their gluten-free bread it can cause a reaction (also known as cross contact or cross contamination).

So, how do you keep it all straight?

Here are my five tips to pull off the ingeniously inclusive holiday soiree:

  1. Ask the guests before they arrive! Nothing is worse than finding out someone can’t eat what you’ve made AT the party. When getting RSVPs, ask if there are any dietary restrictions you need to be aware of, so that they’re not sprung on you, and the person being invited feels that there is an easy way to broach this topic. When planning with your guest–ask if what their comfort level is. No matter how much you might be willing to take on, some people who have the chance of serious side affects just may not feel comfortable eating public food–especially from someone who is not used to reading labels for a particular diet. For example–did you know that just milk alone can have over 20 different names on a label? The biggest take away here is that they are doing it to keep themselves safe, and not to cause hurt feelings. Be sure to not take it personal if this is the case.
  2. Ask if there is something store bought you can buy. Perhaps buying a certain brand of crackers, or a certain type of cookie from the store will give your guest peace of mind knowing that there was no cross contamination and that it’s a brand they trust. When doing so–always keep the packaging or box it came in, so they can read the label when they get there just in case the recipe has changed since they last bought it and they confirm it’s still truly safe.
  3. Drinks are often allergy-friendly. Did you know you can buy Soy Eggnog, Flax Milk Eggnog, Coconut Eggnog, Rice Milk Eggnog, or Almond Eggnog? Or, that most sodas are gluten and dairy free? Or, that apple cider can be very diet friendly? In fact, here’s a homemade version! Often times if the food can’t be safe, it still feels nice to have something in your hand to sip on, so you don’t feel like the only one not participating in the eating and drinking.
  4. Remember–as much as you might feel nervous to cook in a new way, your guest may feel nervous too. Most people don’t like feeling like a bother, or asking for special accommodations. Empathy can go a long way!
  5. If you’re not sure–ask! Asking just upfront may still leave you wondering. Once you get to the store, you may realize you’re not sure what type of flour, or if a certain oil will work–with the ease of social media and being able to get a hold of anyone instantaneously in ten different ways thanks to smart phones–don’t be embarrassed to ask follow up questions. This actually instills confidence in the person you’re cooking for and shows how much you care to get it right.

Now, what if you’ve gone through those steps and you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and try baking in a whole new way? First off–good for you! Think of it as if you’re on a Food Network competition and they’ve just taken ingredients away. It will be an adventure!

All of the recipes below are free of the typical no-no’s you’ll hear from people. These recipes are all free of: gluten, dairy, egg, peanuts and tree nuts. And remember, since I myself have zero food allergies–I remember what good food tastes like–so I make sure it’s not just enjoyable for my food allergic child–but things I actually enjoy too!

For my top 5 holiday recipes I’ve included one of all the typical things you might want: a cookie, a no-bake treat, a food craft, a drink, and a baked good.

Christmas Chocolate Peppermint Crinkle Cookies

5 Tips + 5 Recipes for Holiday Hosting if Your Guests Have Dietary Restrictions (2)Allergy-friendly No Bake Pretzel Bites

5 Tips + 5 Recipes for Holiday Hosting if Your Guests Have Dietary Restrictions (3)

Allergy-friendly Reindeer Rice Krispies

5 Tips + 5 Recipes for Holiday Hosting if Your Guests Have Dietary Restrictions (4)

Dairy-free & Vegan Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix

5 Tips + 5 Recipes for Holiday Hosting if Your Guests Have Dietary Restrictions (5)

Chocolate Peppermint Bundt Cake

5 Tips + 5 Recipes for Holiday Hosting if Your Guests Have Dietary Restrictions (6)

In closing, I’d love to hear who in your life has a special diet…I know we all know someone. Comment below with their relation to you, and what diet they have. It’s always so interesting to see how eating differently can really touch all of our lives.

5 Tips + 5 Recipes for Holiday Hosting if Your Guests Have Dietary Restrictions (7)

Wedding photography

Here’s to helping everyone enjoy the holiday a little bit more! If you have any questions–shoot them to me either on my Facebook page, my Instagram Page. Or, follow me on Pinterest to see more recipes like this! Plus!! I have a cookbook launching in April that will have 60 dinner recipes, all free of the top-8-allergens. Pre-order your copy now!

Camille Walker

Hello! I am Camille, a wife, mother of four, Disney obsessed, certified teacher, and believer in creating your best momlife the way you see fit. Motherhood comes with its ups and downs, my hope is you’ll find something here to make your life a little better/easier. Let’s be friends on social!




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5 Tips + 5 Recipes for Holiday Hosting if Your Guests Have Dietary Restrictions (2024)


How do you accommodate guests with dietary restrictions? ›

However, when treating a friend with a restricted diet, do your homework! Look up menus online to make sure your “usual” offers dishes for everyone in your party. You can also do web searches such as “vegetarian (insert city here).” Or go old school and simply call your choice establishment.

How will you handle a guest with food restriction? ›

Here's how to handle your guests' food allergies and dietary restrictions.
  1. Get the info. ...
  2. Find the right caterer. ...
  3. Show them the menu. ...
  4. Labelling = your BFF. ...
  5. Let them hit the buffet first. ...
  6. Make them their own meals. ...
  7. Think about yourselves! ...
  8. Do dessert.
May 10, 2018

How do you deal with the special dietary requirements for customers? ›

They include:
  1. Do your research. Find out what restrictions and special requests you get most often at your restaurant. ...
  2. Revamp your menu. ...
  3. Dedicate space and tools. ...
  4. Partner with locals. ...
  5. Use icons to label specialty diet items. ...
  6. Have a list of ingredients readily available. ...
  7. Send out the chef.

How do I inform my host of dietary restrictions? ›

Be upfront about your needs. If your host doesn't know you have dietary restrictions, it's not nice to blindside them upon arrival at their home. Let them know ahead of time if there are things you absolutely cannot have so they have time to plan, but keep it as simple as possible.

How do you handle guests or customers with food restrictions and allergies discuss briefly? ›

How to serve guests with food allergies and intolerances in your restaurant
  1. Be transparent about the ingredients you use. ...
  2. Clearly display allergen information on menus. ...
  3. Equip staff with the right information. ...
  4. Train employees on the importance of allergen safety. ...
  5. Avoid contamination in the kitchen.

How do you handle special requests or dietary restrictions from guests on a yacht? ›

The first step is to communicate effectively. Learn about your guests' dietary restrictions in advance, as soon as the booking is confirmed. This is essential to prepare suitable meals for them, including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and allergy-specific meals.

What are some food restrictions? ›

What Are the Most Common Dietary Restrictions?
  • Vegetarian and Vegan. Being vegan and vegetarian are usually mentioned in the same category of dietary restrictions, but one is significantly more restrictive than the other. ...
  • Lactose Intolerance. ...
  • Gluten Intolerance. ...
  • Peanut Allergies. ...
  • Religious Food Restrictions.

How do you address dietary restrictions? ›

Offer a wide variety of foods so that there are safe options for guests with food allergies and dietary restrictions. Offer bruschetta with AND without parmesan cheese, so vegan guests can enjoy the staple appetizer. Offer abundant nut-free dessert options, so people with allergies can also visit the sweets table.

How do you cater for different dietary requirements? ›

How to cater for various dietary requirements
  1. Make sure you ask the right questions. When it comes to family, many people assume that you already know about their dietary needs. ...
  2. Research the diet's restrictions. ...
  3. Plan your meal. ...
  4. Don't be afraid to ask for help. ...
  5. Label the food. ...
  6. Vegetarian. ...
  7. Gluten Free. ...
  8. Lactose Free.

What is the first step in taking special care when seating a guest with a food allergy? ›

1 Identify common allergens. The first step to accommodate food allergies at a banquet is to identify the most common allergens that may affect your guests. You can do this by asking your guests to inform you of any food allergies or intolerances they have when they RSVP, or by sending them a survey or questionnaire.

How can you better accommodate guests with special needs? ›

5 Ways to Better Accommodate Guests with Special Needs
  1. Make them Feel Welcome. ...
  2. Rethink Your Seating. ...
  3. Make Menus Inclusive. ...
  4. Take the Stress Out of Restrooms. ...
  5. Hire Managers Who Make Guests a Priority.
Feb 21, 2023

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