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Five Ways to Host Guests with Allergies 

June 29, 2024

At this point we all know someone who has an allergy or a dietary need. When it comes to having a party, it can be hard to know where to start to make sure your friend is accommodated. 

Here are five ways to host your guest with allergies in a safe and welcoming way:

  1. Ask what substitutes they might like: You’d be surprised what a gluten-free bun or dairy free cream cheese can do to make your guest feel welcome.   Having one or two allergy friendly substitutes can really make a difference. Looking to make an ingredient swap? Chances are your friend with the allergy has already vetted the best and safest options on the market. Lean on them to help you pull off your allergy friendly accommodation.
  2. Consider your condiments: It just takes one double dip into the condiments to put your guest at risk. Consider grabbing some fresh ketchup and mustard in squeeze packaging to reduce any risk of cross contamination. Serving up fresh lettuce and tomato for your BBQ? Put some aside for your friend to ease their mind. 
  3. Let them serve themselves ahead of time: Hosting a large gathering with a semi-allergy safe spread? Let your guest with allergies serve themselves first so that they know their food hasn’t been cross contaminated by the guest before them. Also consider putting items aside that could be easily mixed up or contaminated. I always put my allergy friendly items at the beginning of the buffet line to ensure save serving.
  4. Don’t assume your cooking utensils are safe – some things aren’t and that’s ok: Some allergies require a strict protocol you just cannot handle in your kitchen. So don’t assume your graters, strainers, or butter in the fridge are safe to use for a guest with allergies. Communicate with your guest ahead of time if you plan on putting something together on your own that’s allergy friendly, and don’t be offended if they tell you they’d rather not risk it.
  5. Allow them to contribute – it will help them relax: Guests with allergies just want to be included and feel welcome. If they want to contribute an allergy friendly dish from their own kitchen, or bring their own substitutions, let them! At the end of the day, your friend is just excited to come over and be part of the social gathering, and they appreciate all that you do to make them feel safe. 

What other ways do you accommodate your friends with allergies? Shoot them in the comments below!

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