A Yummy Dinner Party For Guests of All Tastes

Serving guests with special dietary needs.

Spending time with family and friends and sharing meals with them is for many life’s greatest pleasures. Whether you’re hosting for the first time or you’re a seasoned host, it’s possible that you might get caught off guard with guests who have food allergies, sensitivities or special dietary needs.

As a host, you need to be sensitive to your guests’ needs when it comes to food. Whether it’s their personal choice or due to medical reasons, you’ll want to make sure all your guests are happy, healthy and satisfied.

Guests with special dietary needs require you to prepare food that fits their eating habits or dietary conditions. Have a quick look at some of the more common special diets – what they mean and which foods must be avoided so you can move on confidently when planning your guests’ visit.

Vegetarians and Vegans

My sister and her family are all vegetarians and considering that one of my sons is allergic to red meat, we became quite curious about finding yummy and easy vegetarian recipes.

Vegetarians don’t eat meat or meat derived products. Most vegetarians have experience cooking for themselves so try to ask if they would like to bring food to share, or if you feel like making something special for them, ask them if they have a special request or a recipe they love. If this is uncomfortable for you, make sure you have plenty of vegetables, salads or pasta dishes.


Serving Guests With Special Dietary Needs
1-Hour Vegan Shepherd’s Pie by minimalistbaker.com


A vegan, on the other hand, does not eat any form of meat or meat products, as well as eggs, milk products or in most cases, honey. So to be on the safe side, stock up on vegetable, fruits, and salad dishes and make meatless pasta or rice dishes! For dessert, pay attention to not use dairy products, finding substitutes for butter and cream, for example.


Serving Guests With Special Dietary Needs - Vegan Recipes
Fennel roasted with tomato sauce by dine-dash.com


Diabetics have to watch their sugar intake so limit the sugar content as much as possible or use sugar substitutes. Devise a healthy menu based on meals that contain plenty of vegetables, are low in saturated fat and sodium. Use small quantities of olive oil and add flavor with other ingredients, such as herbs and spices.


Serving Guests With Special Dietary Needs - Healthy Recipes


Lactose Intolerant

Lactose intolerance means the body cannot easily digest lactose, a type of natural sugar found in milk and dairy products. With the lactose intolerant guest, you have to steer clear of dairy products. Nowadays there are a lot of alternatives that can make your meal planning a whole lot easier. Instead of using butter, for example, use soy or almond milk and margarine.


Serving Guests With Special Dietary Needs - Vegan Recipes
Vegan Potpies by minimalistbaker.com

Consult others who have served guests with special dietary needs. By considering the dietary special needs of your guests, you can still make entertaining them at home fun!


Serving guests with special dietary needs.

Similar Posts


  1. It is always the loving thing to try and accommodate special dietary needs. I just baked a gluten free cake for a friend’s birthday. I didn’t think it came out very well, but she greatly appreciated the fact that I tried. If you have a complicated set of needs, I think you should let your host know, but also offer to bring something that you know you can eat.

    1. That’s so thoughtful of you, Seana and a great suggestion. I’d definitely bring a dish with me. 🙂

  2. As someone who tries to eat mostly plant based, this article is much appreciated! 🙂 It can seem challenging to feed people with different food requirements, so this list is extremely helpful.

  3. My daughter-in-law only eats free range meat. It means shopping somewhere special, but at least I can serve the same meal to everyone.

    1. That sure makes life simpler for you as the host. My son is allergic to beef and we have to change a lot of our eating habits around his needs. It was sure a great way to “force” us to explore new dishes.

  4. I love all of your suggestions for accommodating the special dietary needs of guests. We do our best, but it gets tricky when you have a large crowd. So we do try to have a variety of suitable choices, but also have asked guests (as Seana mentioned) to bring things they are able to eat.

  5. Since I am the one with the most food sensitivities, I make a variety of gluten free dishes with gluten free flour or pasta. I minimize my pasta dishes because of dairy intolerance and we never have beef dishes. For dishes that call for milk, I use either soy or vegetable broth. For our vegetarian family members, I separate the Chestnut stuffing into vegetable and regular. To minimize the planning for these dishes, I tend to use similar or the same recipes year after year.

Comments are closed.