While much of the holiday season involves attending parties, sometimes you find yourself on the other side of the door… hosting a dinner party! While we certainly don’t advertise our dinner parties as anything other than just a time to enjoy delicious food with awesome people, we do try to integrate some hosting techniques that we hope make our guests feel really good. In other words, we aren’t going to be advertising everything as “healthy this” or “good for you that”, but we want our guests to have options. Here are some of our favorite ways to be a healthy host while keeping your guests happy.
1. Set up a flavored water station.
This is, hands down, one of our favorite things to do when we have people over and it always gets rave reviews. Put out a few bottles of sparkling water (plain and lemon or lime flavored) and a few pitchers of still water, sliced veggies like cucumber or fennel, and assorted sliced fruit. You can also put out some cinnamon sticks, peppercorns, and fresh herbs. Guests can add their own combination of fruit, veggies, and spices to a glass of water for flavorful hydration.
2. Have crudités and hummus ready.
This is especially important if you’re hosting a dinner after work, since the chances are people will be arriving pretty hungry. We always serve a really simple tray of sliced up assorted veggies and some type of hummus. It’s simple, it helps quell guests’ hunger before the meal, and it also boosts veggie intake during a time of year when it might be dwindling. We recommend spicing up your hummus by mixing in Bumble Bee® Prime Fillet® Albacore Tuna with Jalapeños & Olive Oil for a nice savory kick.
3. Time it right.
Sitting down to eat when you’re beyond hungry is a recipe for eating too quickly, not listening to your body’s fullness cues, and reaching for options you don’t necessarily love. Along with offering up some sort of snack before the main meal, like crudités and hummus, time dinner to start no later than an hour after guests arrive. This way they can have a drink, a snack, and then sit down to dinner feeling hungry but not famished.
4. Serve at least one veggie side dish.
During a time of year when we’re inundated with candy and baked goods, it’s nice to have veggie options! So, when you’re planning your dinner, don’t forget to include at least one veggie side dish to go along with the protein and carbohydrate based dishes. A major bonus is that the veggies in season now, like kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli are all amazing roasted and make perfect side dishes!
5. Pour the wine and then take it to the kitchen.
If there’s one holiday party issue we hear from clients over and over again, it’s that they feel pressure to drink more than they really want to. And that extra alcohol can really add up to not feeling so great if they’re going to multiple parties each week. Instead of refilling guests’ glasses without asking, or even keeping wine on the table, let everyone pour the amount they desire to start the meal with and then take the bottles to the kitchen. Let guests know they should help themselves — we’re not wine police! — but this puts the number of glasses, and amount in each pour, into each guest’s hands. That way they can be responsible for how much and how often they refill!