holidays-for-those-with-dietary-restrictionIt’s time to start planning holiday meals and parties, and chances are you’ll have guests with a dietary restriction. Diabetic, Celiac, vegan or any number of food allergies can mean many of the traditional holiday recipes can be a challenge.

To complicate manners, many regular diners may wish to invite families and friends to join in the celebration. Accommodating all your guests and making sure they have food to enjoy doesn’t have to be stressful. Having a strategy in place can guarantee everyone (including you) can enjoy the holidays, food restrictions and all.

Plan ahead: As special guests are invited, it might be helpful to ask about any dietary restrictions or food allergies.

Stick with simple side dishes: Often, gluten free flours, sugar substitutes, and other alternative ingredients cannot easily be swapped out with their traditional counterparts. Simple side dishes, such as roasted vegetables or a rice or quinoa dish, are usually popular alternatives.

Offer alternatives to everyone: Rather than making different versions of the same dish, prepare a few dishes everyone can have. Many gluten free, dairy free, and sugar free desserts taste just as good as the “real thing.”

Separate and label: To avoid potential cross-contamination or confusion, have a separate serving area for guests with special diets. Clearly label each dish and inform guests of the special serving area.

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