Peanuts, gluten, seafood, eggs, and dairy are just a few of the many common food allergies. When serving a large group, the chances of someone having one of these allergies increases, so it’s important to plan ahead and have a menu that works for all your guests. There are several ways you can make sure you serve a menu that is inclusive and allows everyone to enjoy the event.
Ask for dietary restrictions
This may seem like a no-brainer, but one of the easiest ways to create a menu that accommodates everyone is to ask guests if they have any dietary restrictions when they RSVP. Whether they
register online or through the mail, include a way for guests to list any food allergies they may have. Even if only one guest has a specific allergy, be sure to take it into account .
Opt for dishes that fit for everyone
Once you have an idea of what kind of allergies and dietary restrictions your guests may have, start building your menu by looking for alternatives to those restricted foods. For instance, use
gluten-free and dairy-free ingredients and have salads and other veggie-based foods available for those who may be vegetarians and vegan.
Even if you ask for dietary restrictions, it’s possible to miss one or two. To cover all bases, label your food and list out the main ingredients. People with food allergies would probably look for
ingredients to make sure it’s something they can eat. Make it easy for your guests by providing a menu with ingredients listed out under each item or by placing a card with listed ingredients next to each dish.
Keep it simple
If you’re serving a large crowd, it might be more challenging to make a menu that avoids everyone’s diet restrictions. In that case, keep your menu simple, and one that accommodates most diets. For
example, grilled vegetables and rice are two ingredients that many people can eat and are also a good option for those who are gluten or dairy-free. To play it even safer, offer a buffet to allow guests to choose what they want to eat.
Follow these simple steps, and you’re well on your way to creating a menu that everyone will enjoy.As a good rule of thumb, try to provide a variety of foods to fit not only different diets but also
different tastes and likes. Leave a way for guests to give comments about what they liked or didn’t like as well as what foods they couldn’t eat to keep in mind for your next event.