Hosting a meal for a group of people can sometimes feel like an overwhelming task, however, with a little communication and preparation ahead, we may be able to alleviate a little bit of stress that comes from hosting a meal for others, and also support our guests.
Below you will find some holiday hosting tips, to help support you and your guests have a happy and healthy holiday dining experience.
8 Holiday Hosting Tips
1) Ask if there is anything that you should be aware of or know about: food allergies, dietary requirements, medical concerns, etc.
For guests with special medical or dietary concerns, discuss, talk about and develop a plan for food and eating the day of the event.
This may mean making accommodations to the menu, how food is prepared, labeling of specific ingredients in dishes, adjustments to seating arrangements, or how food is served.
It may also mean, guests may choose to bring their own food, if that is what they feel most safe with, or they may offer to bring a dish or two to share or pass.
Before the day:
2) Share the structure of the day, or eating times, as well as the menu:
This just helps people to better plan their own eating schedule/regime and also their kids.
3) Share any expectations/boundaries you have for the day of the event:
This could be related to topics of conversation, certain behavior, arrival and departure times, etc.
To help facilitate a positive eating experience, we may encourage guests to be mindful of how we talk about food, eating and bodies.
Trying to avoid labeling foods as good or bad, commenting on what/how they themselves or others are eating, how much exercise they may have done, have to do, or did to compensate for eating, or making any comments on their own, or others, body weight, shape or size.
On the day:
4) Provide opportunity for regular meals/snacks to be eaten
Eating every three to four hours allows us to be more attuned to our hunger fullness cues and helps to keep our blood sugar levels stable.
5) At the table, allow each person to choose what and how much to eat, without judgment.
This helps to encourage a positive eating experience.
6) Clear the meal within 2 hours of the meal being served.
This not only helps promote food safety, it can also help people if they are feeling a little uncomfortable or overwhelmed, around lots of food.
7) Allow guests the opportunity to take home something they may have wanted to try, but were not able to get to during the event.
This helps to take the pressure off that now or never feeling, or the feeling like we have to try everything all at once.
8) Focus on connection.
Remember that this day is not just about the food, it is about spending time with one another.
Think about conversations and activities like games, or taking a walk, that would support time together, and place emphasis on the focus of the day: togetherness, not just on the food.
Are there any holiday hosting tips that I may have missed? What helps you and your guests have a positive holiday get-together experience?