Thanksgiving brings together all kinds – your grandmother, your next door neighbor, your in-laws and your daughter’s new college boyfriend. And with this eclectic contingent comes a plethora of dietary restrictions, preferences and consequently, complexities as you begin preparing your holiday feast. THANKFULLY, we’ve put together a list of a few of the possible obstacles you may have to overcome and useful tips for making even the pickiest eaters satiated this year.
Gluten-Free. If you have guests on a gluten-free diet, there are tons of specialty products available at stores like Whole Foods and Central Market. But, if you want to take this opportunity to get outside your comfort zone, try using alternative ingredients and taking new twists on the traditional fixin’s. Almond breadinstead of wheat is fabulous, and even gluten-free gravy is possible (and easy!).
Vegetarian/Vegan. Of course, you’ll have to skip the turkey (unless you opt for tofurkey), but that doesn’t mean everything else has to go – and it doesn’t mean the meal has to be any less savory and filling. Try making a hearty squash dish or a vegetable pot pie, and of course we can’t forget the pumpkin pie! Be conscious of your use of animal products in other dishes – remember, bacon, lard, eggs and cheese may be literally off the table.
Low Sodium. Thanksgiving dinner is notorious for its sodium content, so if you have guests with high blood pressure, consider changing your menu to suit their needs. Low salt stuffing, specially prepared turkey and using unsalted butter and fresh vegetables (instead of canned ones) will make the meal more appropriate for everyone – and hey, you might even feel less bloated too!
Diabetic. There are many ways you can accommodate eaters who need to moderate their sugar intake. For instance, using artificial sweeteners like Splenda or sugar alternatives like Xylitol and Stevia in your baking instead of sugar is a good start, and avoiding syrupy canned fruits makes a difference too. Focus on fresher foods with minimal preparation (like steamed vegetables instead of sautéed) and whole grains, too.
Picky. Every family has one – the person who just doesn’t like Thanksgiving dinner. Encourage that person to make a dish that they like or speak with them ahead of time so you can prepare a little something special. In fact, no matter what the dietary restriction, having a potluck Thanksgiving where everyone gets to participate is tons of fun and takes the pressure off of the chef.
And when all else fails, these are our GHRA recommendations.
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