The holiday season is coming up which means lots of parties and get-togethers to attend. It's fun, but can also be stressful - especially if you're vegan/vegetarian. Dear non-vegans, here's what you should do as party hosts to make your vegetarian/vegan guests more comfortable!
· Be open to changing up your menu a little bit.
If you're realized at a late stage that one of your guests is vegan/vegetarian, it makes the guest feel a little awkward to hear 'Well, I didn't know! Can you make an exception just this once? The turkey is really good!' Um, no. To prevent last-minute awkwardness, please call your guests ahead of time to find out if they have any special diet considerations so that you can accommodate them.
· A special diet should be treated as an allergy.
Please treat guests with a vegan/vegetarian diet with the same seriousness as if they had an allergy to a food you're serving. To you, their lifestyle might not seem like a big deal, but to them it's really important. Respect it.
· If your guests want to bring a dish to your feast, be cool with that.
You might be quite possessive of your kitchen and what you serve during the festive season, but if a vegan/vegetarian guest wants to bring a dish to your party, let them. This is actually a great idea that will benefit you and them. You don't have to worry too much about what they'll eat and they get to enjoy something they really like during the holidays.
· Don't ask them why they're vegan/how they manage without dairy/ where they get their protein.
At the dinner table, it's really awkward to have to deal with questions about vegan lifestyles. It's fine to ask your guests questions if you're genuinely interested, but if they're put on the spot that's a sure way to give them indigestion. Also, throwing the full-fat, meaty dishes in their faces as being so delicious or that they're missing out by not eating them is plain offensive.
· Let them know what dishes you're serving ahead of time.
It also helps if you're open about your menu when inviting guests, at least a little bit so that vegans/vegetarians who are invited to your home can prepare for it. It's just like checking out a restaurant menu online before going to eat dinner there. It helps vegans/vegetarians to plan ahead so they can see exactly how to accommodate their diets, and prevents last-minute awkwardness for you and them.