Here Are The Questions You Should Ask When You Have Restricted Eaters Over To Your House
Mar 17, 2016 04:29 AM EDT | By Yves Matthew Amodia
When it comes to serving food to people visiting your house, it should help to be aware of your guests' eating restrictions.
For Johanna Bond, a licensed mental health counselor and a writer, there are three kinds of people, the eaters, choice-restricted eaters and health-restricted eaters.
Having been both a hostess and guest in this situation, Ms. Bond offers some advice to those who are considering welcoming a restricted eater to their dinners or their food-related events. Here are some questions to consider as written by Ms. Bond in Huffington Post:
1. What are the restrictions of your guest?
First, before you do anything else, find out what your guest's restrictions are and what they require in the kitchen. All restrictions deserve respect, whether for choice or for health.
And to clarify, dietary restriction is different from food preference as The Kitchn defines the latter as "anything that is not a medical, religious, or deeply philosophical reason (vegetarianism, veganism) for avoiding a given food."
2. What are the preferences of your guest?
Your guest may prefer not to eat, or may prefer to bring his or her own dish. If you can collaborate with your guest, you can make the situation less stressful.
3. Can you accommodate the food restrictions?
Just as you want to know your guest's restrictions, you want to be honest about how well you can accommodate them. If you're not sure you can provide the requirements they have, say so! It doesn't make you a bad person if you're unable to feed someone with a complicated food restriction. If you really want to try to accommodate, let your guest know that, too.
4. What are alternative solutions?
We all have our own preferences in the kitchen, and our own ways of hosting. That being said, if you are hosting a guest with a food restriction, you don't have to reinvent the wheel.
5. How can you collaborate?
If you can collaborate with your guest, you offer so much more than a meal to him or her. Collaboration shows that you care and you may both walk away from the meal with something more than a full belly.
6. What do you need to do in the kitchen?
Knowing the steps that enable a safe meal can put everyone's mind at ease and turn the focus back to where it should be: a barbeque on the Fourth of July, or a dinner party in the backyard with fireflies lighting up the evening.
7. What do you do if you mess up while cooking?
Tell your guest! If it is a choice-restricted eater, he or she may decide whether the "oops" is acceptable. If it is a health-restricted eater, he or she can let you know whether or not it's safe to eat.
8. How can you make your guest feel comfortable?
Chances are, if you've been going through the questions above, your guest will already be comfortable. But it doesn't hurt to ask them directly.
9. What can your guest do for you?
First, by doing all of these things, your guest can attend and participate in the meal. But many people with a choice- and health-restricted diets are aware that their requirements are more difficult to cook for than regular eaters.
10. What do you do to celebrate your success?
Enjoy that meal you cooked and the presence of friends or family around you! Take in the appreciation of your guest and walk away from the experience with pride and a full stomach.
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