Maintaining a nutritious diet is important, but it’s not always easy to eat healthy when you’re a dinner guest. A nutritious conscious dinner is possible even when you’re eating at someone else’s home and without being rude.
While sometimes you don’t mind breaking away from your diet, other times your desire to avoid certain foods may be very important to you. Maybe you’re working hard on losing weight, or maybe you have a food allergy or intolerance, or you have certain religious beliefs or values.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if you have allergies, intolerances, follow certain values or religious beliefs, or if you simply don’t want to blow your daily calorie limit. The reality is that there are ways that you can have your nutritional needs met and still be a gracious dinner guest, too.
The following are 5 tips that can help you achieve this goal:
Tip 1 – Honesty is the best policy
Be open and upfront with your host(s). Inform them ahead of time of any allergies or intolerances that you may have. Likewise, if you are following a diet that is important to you for health, weight loss, religious reasons, etc., communicate and be honest.
What you’ll likely find is that your host(s) will either be happy to supply you with something else or they will understand why you are choosing to skip a certain dish. That being said, at the same time, don’t expect them to go out of their way to accommodate you.
Tip 2 – Find out what will be served ahead of time
Ask your host(s) what they plan to serve at dinner so that you can plan ahead. Politely explain why you are asking and let them know that you don’t expect them to cater to you. Knowing what is being served will give you an idea of how much of the meal you can eat and whether or not you should plan a snack for yourself before or after dinner.
Tip 3 – Bring food
If you discover that most of what is being served is not something you can eat, offer to not only bring something for yourself, but a dish that will complement the rest of the dinner and can be enjoyed by the other guests as well. By making something that others can enjoy, too, this will eliminate the awkward situation of being the only one at the table eating something different.
Tip 4 – Keep your judgments to yourself
Just as you wouldn’t want the other guests to judge and criticize you for your dietary choices and eating habits, return the favor and be respectful and considerate of the choices they make. Simply because something works for you, this doesn’t mean it is the right choice for someone else.
Equally, if another guest or your host(s) inquire about your diet, don’t be defensive. Feed their curiosities with informational responses to keep the conversation light, easy and open.
Tip 5 – Often it’s about the social experience more than the food
Remember that dinner parties are social occasions. While it’s certainly nice to have a good meal, you’re attending the event to enjoy time with those who have invited you. The more you connect with other guests, are friendly and take part in the conversations and festivities, the less anyone will care about your dietary choices.