With the hustle and bustle of Halloween costumes and decorations behind us, another joyous occasion looms on the horizon. The great American Thanksgiving feast encompasses many regional traditions, from creamy pumpkin flan in the Southwest, to Candied Sweet Potato Casserole (just as sweet as it sounds) in the Midwest and Pickled Okra in the South.
Whether your group prefers serving dinner up buffet or family-style, keeping loved ones with food allergies safe should be top of mind. Plus, it’s easier to do than you may think. Here are some tips we recommend for keeping friends and family with food allergies safe throughout the holiday season.
Start the dialogue early
Request that allergies be shared when your guests RSVP. If you have questions or concerns about how to keep a party guest safe, reach out in advance. Your guests will thank you for it!
Permission to not make everything in your kitchen
Thankfully it’s getting easier to find pre-made foods and quick recipes that are safe for your guests with food allergies. Not sure where to start? Don’t feel shy! Ask your guests what favorite brands they’d recommend.
Embrace the Potluck
Putting on a 3 course meal for guests can be exciting, fun and dun-dun-dun-dun…. time consuming. Opt for potluck style so each guest can share his or her hometown fave. This gives everyone the chance to shine. Your guests with food allergies have a special chance to showcase how yummy allergy-safe dishes can be.
To Buffet, or Not to Buffet?
To keep your guests with food allergies safe, we recommend setting up multiple food stations to ensure that utensils aren’t used for both non-safe and safe dishes. Another idea? Use different colored serving utensils for non-safe and safe stations! Ensure that guests visit the allergy safe table first and pick up a fresh plate when hitting up the buffet for round two to avoid cross contamination.
Let Them Eat First
Invite your guests with food allergies to serve up first. This can even help put your guests with food allergies at ease by inviting them to start off the holiday food procession.
Having food allergies and sensitivities can be challenging. Going the extra mile to make a guest with food allergies feel welcome and safe will go a long way, and your care and consideration will help ensure no guest is left out. Not to mention, guests may discover a new allergy-safe dish that they absolutely love.
Do you have any tips to add? Join the conversation by leaving a comment below!