When you’re hosting a party it’s natural to want to please your guests. You want everyone to have a good time, to enjoy, and maybe (deep down) you want them to think you’re awesome. Inviting people into your space is an opportunity to share your life(style) with them.
Be the Host You’d Want to Have
It’s easy to get stuck in the mentality of pleasing people with what you think they’ll want to see at a party. That’s how old standbys (like chips and pop) end up being staples at get-togethers.
As the host, it’s up to you to set the tone for the gathering. Want everyone to feel light and healthy? It’s your choice with the food and drinks you offer. Here are some tips for being a healthy host:
- Make the main meal a healthy one—it’s frustrating to go to an event where your only meal option is an unhealthy one. Save your guests the strife by preparing a healthy, well-rounded meal. Let them choose whether they want to indulge in dessert, or snacks. In general, everyone has more fun when they eat good quality, healthy food. There’s no “food coma” feeling. Guests feel energized and happy after eating. Isn’t that what you want at a party? Nutritious food contributes to your body helping to balance the effect of, say, wine or dessert.
- Have one “fun food” option— since your main meal is taken care of in a healthy way, throw in a “better for you” option for an appetizer. At my weekend gathering I made potato skins appetizer. It was a crowd pleaser and my guests felt good about indulging in it because they knew they were also eating well.
- Offer a Mocktail— one of the things I hear most often from people trying to live a healthy is that drinks are hard to stay away from. Let’s ditch the idea that you can’t or won’t have fun without a drink. Offer guests a delicious non-alcoholic drink option. Put it in a fancy glass. You may be surprised how many people would partake in your non-alcoholic drink. Plus, guests can always spike their mocktail if that’s more their style. At least the option is there.
- Plan an Activity—if the main event at a get together is food and drinks, people are more likely to overindulge. When you shift the focus to a game or activity you show guests a good time without it being about what or how much they’re consuming. Foodless fun is refreshing. Try a board/card game, an activity like Frisbee, croquet, or bocce, or prepare a list of questions as conversation starters and let everyone pick from a hat.
- Ask guests about food allergies—sensitivities and allergies are extremely common. Let’s get used to the idea of asking guests about their restrictions. When this is part of the conversation it allows guests to feel relaxed, safe and cared for, even if they have to bring their own gluten-free bun to your BBQ.
A note on Pop and chips – if they’re there, people will eat them. If they’re not, no one will miss them.
If you have a variety of finger foods that satisfy different tastes, no one will be looking for chips. As for pop, offer different options for mixing drinks and include fresh fruit for garnish. Depending on your crowd, the absence of the sugary soda will fly under the radar.
Sometimes what you think guests want, they really won’t miss. Share your healthy eats and offer a few delicious indulgences to guests. Your party will be a hit no matter what if you offer variety and address your guests needs.