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How far do you go to accommodate special dietary needs?

Last week was my stepdaughters birthday so in keeping with 'tradition' we invited the family (grandparents, aunts/uncles, etc) over for dinner to celebrate. Usually, we ask the birthday girl/boy what they would like to eat beforehand since it is their special day. This time my MIL was there when I asked my SD what she wanted and she said steak, mac 'n cheese, green beans and chocolate cake. My MIL then interrupted and said "well that's very nice, but we have to consider what other people can and can't eat." As it stands, my BIL is on a gluten free diet, SIL can't eat any dairy (which includes eggs, milk, cheese, etc), FIL can't have caffeine or sugar, and my other FIL can't eat spicy foods. Obviously this is way too complicated for a 9 year old to consider, but I ask you, how far are you expected to go to accommodate special dietary needs when inviting people over for birthdays, holidays, etc?


Asked by not-the-momma at 1:31 PM on Nov. 17, 2010 in Diet & Fitness

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This question is closed.
Answers (6)
  • I can answer this from the other side of the spectrum- my DD is allergic to dairy, eggs, soy and nuts so it's really hard to find things she can eat that I don't make. Asking others to cook to her needs is very inconvenient for them so I always bring something for her. I do not expect to be catered to in this regard. I will ask my MIL to put a bowl of mixed nuts out of reach for safety, when asked to bring a dish I try to find something appealing to most people but that is safe for my DD to eat so she will be able to enjoy something with everyone else. And when it's no trouble I'll ask someone to set something aside- like MIL will set aside some potatoes to mash before she adds the milk and butter so I can fix them for my DD. Sounds like everyone could eat the steak and green beans, you could offer a salad or ask BIL to bring something gluten free to share, have sorbet as dessert for the others- if you want to be accomodating.

    Answer by MaryMW at 2:55 PM on Nov. 17, 2010

  • I always consider other peoples need when having them over and make sure there is something there for everyone to enjoy.

    Answer by older at 1:33 PM on Nov. 17, 2010

  • In that case, I would do your stepdaughter's favorites on her actual birthday night when its just your immediate family. For the big party, I'd make sure there was something for everyone.

    Answer by gramsmom at 1:51 PM on Nov. 17, 2010

  • Honestly, I'd just make what stepdaughter wants....and ask my family with special dietary needs to bring something to share a la potluck...

    Answer by Anna92464 at 2:41 PM on Nov. 17, 2010

  • With those kinds of special diets, I'd probably just take everyone out to Ryan's or somewhere where they can eat what they want. Either that, or I wouldn't do a dinner, just cake. That's too much for you to have to worry about.

    Answer by m-avi at 2:55 PM on Nov. 17, 2010

  • i would serve what your daughter wants, and also a great salad for the others. no caffeine guy can easily drink water, no dairy and no gluten and no spicy people can enjoy salad.
    just have a family style serve yourself kind of thing. those are all adults that can choose to eat or not eat what they want.
    you can have slices steak for the salad, and maybe don't season one piece for the fil?

    Answer by happy2bmom25 at 4:26 PM on Nov. 17, 2010