How to Accommodate Your Dinner Guests with Special Dietary Needs This Holiday Season

By Jenna Gorham, RD, LN

There’s nothing that brings people together more than food. But for those with food allergies and special dietary needs, food and dinner parties can often be more challenging than fun. 

32 million Americans have food allergies or sensitivities while another 45 million follow special diets. While your holiday gatherings will likely be a bit smaller and more intimate this year, chances are someone at your gathering will have special dietary requirements.

To help everyone enjoy the holiday season, plan to accommodate your guests with a few allergen or diet-friendly dishes.

Ask Ahead

When you invite your guests, be sure to ask if anyone has any food allergies or dietary restrictions. It can be important to differentiate between a true allergy or a dietary preference. Allergic reactions can be life-threatening while preferences are not. Many people with food allergies can be sensitive to cross-contamination during the cooking and preparation process so you may need to be extra cautious when preparing your meal.

Find Allergen-Friendly Alternatives

Because there are so many trendy diets and unique food restrictions, focus on those that your guests requested. You can easily find healthy ingredient swaps or diet and allergy friendly recipes. Take a look at these egglife recipes for some ideas. 

A few of the most common restrictions to be prepared for include: plant based, gluten free, dairy free, nut free, low sugar, low carb, keto, paleo, and low sodium. 

Make it a Potluck

Encourage your guests to bring a side dish to make them comfortable bringing something they know they can eat.

Keep it Simple

Focus on simple ingredients by preparing homemade dishes or reading ingredient labels on packaged foods. Look for simple ingredients you recognize on the back of the package for the most nutritious options. 

Be cautious because some ingredients may be disguised under other names. For example, for gluten allergies or intolerances, gluten may not be specifically listed on the package. Instead, you will need to look for gluten-containing ingredients like wheat, barley, rye, soy sauce, brewer’s yeast, and malt. 

For low sugar, low carb, keto, or diabetic diets, read the label for total grams of carbohydrates and total grams of added sugar. Sugar can disguise on labels as agave, cane juice, sucrose, dextrose, rice syrup, beet sugar, maltose, maltodextrin, honey, fructose, and more. 

For dairy allergies, avoid products that list anything with milk, cream, butter, lactose, whey, or casein. 

To be sure, you can look for certification labels on the product or ask your guest who has the allergy if they can eat it.

Egglife Foods is happy to be a resource for those with special dietary requirements. 

Egglife wraps are:

  • Gluten-free
  • Grain-free
  • Soy-free
  • Dairy-free
  • Nut-free
  • Keto
  • Paleo
  • Low carb
  • Sugar-free
  • No artificial sweeteners
  • Vegetarian (not vegan)

Plus, they use just simple, wholesome ingredients so anyone following a healthy diet will love them! Egglife wraps work well in appetizers, desserts, side dishes, and even main courses.