Should hosts cater to restricted dieters?

July 3, 2012 at 1:38 PM ET

Gluten-free, vegan, low sodium -- these days, there's a long list of dietary restrictions people observe. How does a host or hostess navigate this when throwing a dinner party? 

A writer recently shared her experience in the New York Times. She brought a loaf of bread stuffed with cheese to a dinner party --and when she offered it to guests, picky eaters with an aversion to gluten and milk products was a resounding silence. Wherever you go to to eat these days, it seems there's always someone you can't please.

 “They’re vegan, they’re gluten free, they’re whatever, they don’t like dairy, they can’t eat this...” Hoda said.

Kathie Lee added to the list: “They’re on Nutrisystem, they’re on Weight Watchers...stay home and eat your pre-prepared meal!” 

Kathie Lee said the only job of the hostess is to invite, and the real job of accommodating picky eaters is the responsibility of the person with the dietary restriction. “The person on the receiving end of the invitation has the responsibility to call that host and say, ‘Listen, I just want you to know...I don’t want to be a burden.’”

Hoda said she thinks guests should attend the party, let the host or hostess serve what they’re serving, “push it around, eat what you can eat, have a conversation, drink wine.” contributor Jillian Eugenios agrees that when all is said and done, the solution has something to do with drinking wine.


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