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Tips for hosting a food sensitivity-friendly holiday party

Medically reviewed by Morgan Spicer, Medical Communications Manager on December 14, 2022. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.

Holiday party season is officially here in full swing! If you’re the one in charge of hosting this year, chances are you have a lot to think about. Between planning table settings and curating holiday playlists, it’s important to remember to bring it back to the basics and be mindful of guests with food allergies and sensitivities in your planning.

Related: 8 vitamins and minerals to help boost your health this holiday season

Luckily, you can take steps to ensure your festive get-together is a good time for all. Here are 4 tips to help keep your holiday party food-sensitivity friendly:

1. Make a list… and check it twice

Whether your guest list is big or small, you’ll want to check ahead with the individuals you’re hosting to see if anyone has any food sensitivities, allergies, or other dietary restrictions to keep in mind. If you’re sending invites out, this can be included with the RSVP or if it’s more of a casual thing, a simple text will do! This way, you’ll know of any concerns ahead of time and can be mindful of others while planning the menu.

2. Safe preparation is key

It’s important to prepare and store any specific food sensitivity and allergy-friendly meals separately from others. If you’re cooking several dishes at the same time, use separate utensils and dishes for both making and serving safe foods and consider cooking any food sensitivity or allergy-safe foods first to avoid cross contact.[1]

3. Go potluck style

Another way to ensure everyone on your guest list has at least one food they can safely enjoy, go potluck style with your party and have everyone bring a dish! You can take it a step further by supplying guests with recipe cards, or asking for the ingredient list of their dish ahead of time to make them yourself, so recipes can be displayed next to their dish allowing for potential allergens or ingredients to be flagged. Plus, guests can take a photo of the card to leave with new recipe ideas!

4. Get creative

Sure, holiday parties are often synonymous with yummy foods — but that doesn’t mean it’s the only way to throw a festive gathering. Instead, consider thinking outside the box with a non-food focused party, such as an outing to see a holiday movie, ice skating, or another activity. This way, guests can eat beforehand and the focus can be on spending quality time with one another.

By following the tips above, you can plan an event every guest can enjoy — and your loved ones are sure to appreciate the mindfulness. Happy hosting!

Ready to learn your reactivity to foods that may be causing discomfort? Our Food Sensitivity Test measures your body’s immune response 96 foods to help guide you on what to prioritize in a two-part elimination diet.

For even more, check out our entire offering of nutritional health at-home lab tests.

References: 1. Avoiding Cross-Contact. Food Allergy Research & Education.URL. Accessed December 5, 2022.

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