Keep Dietary Restrictions in Mind When Cooking for Holiday Guests

Holidays usually center around friends, family and food. Whether cooking a holiday meal or sending treats as presents, food always plays a big role and needs special consideration.

If holiday plans call for hosting guests with diabetes or other special diet considerations, preparing food can be a challenge. Jennifer Anderson, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension human nutrition specialist, said that nutritional recommendations for guests with special diets generally are similar to recommendations for anyone interested in a healthful eating lifestyle, but that people with diabetes or special diets have additional needs.

Following are tips for feeding guests who may have special dietary considerations.

  • Before setting a time for dinner, ask guests what time they must eat.
  • Ask guests about diet restrictions and have them suggest recipes that they, and others, can enjoy as part of the holiday meal.
  • If hosting a person who has diabetes, meals must be spaced regularly so the guest can maintain his or her blood sugar levels.
  • If a meal will be served late, provide appropriate snacks.
  • Provide choices for those on special diets. For example, if pecan pie is a family tradition, also offer an additional choice that is appropriate to those who are diet conscious. Pies baked with sugar substitutes can be purchased at restaurants and bakeries.

For more information about special diets or baking for people with limited diets, contact the local Colorado State Cooperative Extension office, usually listed in the county government section of the local phone book.