Monday, November 24, 2014

Dealing With Dietary Restrictions

Some holiday advice from Southern Living:
In the South, good manners are passed down like a treasured family recipe for pecan pie. However, unlike the formula for a favorite after-dinner treat, guidelines to being well-mannered are changing with the times. With the abundance of social gatherings the holidays bring, many of our etiquette conundrums surface, and we are left feeling confused about how to be a gracious host or guest. Each week during the holiday season, Erika Preval of Charm Etiquette school in Atlanta, will answer a question that helps us navigate the grey area of modern etiquette.


Over the years, food choices have been guided by various lifestyles or beliefs. For some, that allows freedom to enjoy a wide variety of fares. For others, it means sticking to a very specific and restricted diet. While dietary choices can be a matter of personal preference, there are times when they are the result of a doctor’s recommendation. We certainly have to consider your optimal health as you navigate holiday gatherings with your new diagnosis.

Please know that a host’s first priority is the happiness of their guests. Don’t hesitate to make your host aware of your restrictions, upon RSVP, and offer to bring a dish that fits those parameters. Doing so will allow the host ample time to ensure that your addition fits into the overall planning of the meal. Yours should be sharable and ready to go straight to table: requiring minimal re-heating and in a clear glass dish that will match any tablescape.

A note for hosts: The comfort of your guests is always top of mind when entertaining. While you should take into consideration your guests’ dietary preferences, the expectation is not to craft an entire meal around said restrictions. A simple solution would be to offer a vegetable-only salad. This is something that falls within the parameters of most diets including vegan, gluten-free, low-calorie, and the like. You’ll find it easy to prepare and most appreciated by your guests. (Read more.)

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