Navigating holiday meals and gatherings as a vegan can be a challenge. To help you, we’ve gathered five insightful tips from professionals, including a publisher and a CFO. From planning ahead and communicating to respecting the dietary preferences as a host, these tips will guide you through the festive season with ease.
- Plan Ahead and Communicate
- Bring Your Own Vegan Dish
- Contribute a Variety of Vegan Dishes
- Maintain a Positive Attitude
- Respect Dietary Preferences as a Host
Plan Ahead and Communicate
Politely ask the host (ideally in advance) if there are any vegan options, and if not, plan to bring your own snacks so you can enjoy the holiday drinks without having them hit too hard because you’re imbibing on an empty stomach.
While you should never assume that the host will create a different course of food just for your lifestyle, if it is a catered event or a fixed-menu at a restaurant, then it is very likely that the caterer has options that they can easily substitute if your request is made well in advance.
Bring Your Own Vegan Dish
One tip for approaching holiday meals and gatherings as a vegan is to bring your own vegan food item. The most common example of this would be to bring a homemade vegan pumpkin pie instead of traditional apple or pecan pies for dessert.
This way, you are less likely to get “vegan-shamed” for not eating the same dishes as everyone else, yet you can still enjoy something similar that meets your dietary needs. Furthermore, it’s an opportunity to show other guests how delicious and easy it is to make vegan versions of classic holiday dishes.
Contribute a Variety of Vegan Dishes
One effective strategy for navigating holiday meals and gatherings as a vegan involves contributing a selection of vibrant salads, oil-free dips, and spreads, or a wholesome vegan dessert to the feast.
This approach allows you to seamlessly integrate your dietary choices into the celebration without drawing undue attention. This choice expands the menu’s diversity, accommodating various dietary needs. Crafting these dishes without oils enhances their healthiness, which resonates with a wide range of preferences. Presenting oil-free dips and spreads and a nutritious vegan dessert furnishes a comprehensive assortment that appeals to diverse palates.
Maintain a Positive Attitude
My best tip, as someone who has been vegan for some time now, is to come to holiday meals and gatherings with an attitude of joy and enthusiasm! People respond well to positivity, and having a cheerful outlook will help to make sure everyone feels included and respected.
I always bring something vegan that I know will be sure to please and look forward to learning more about how my hosts prepare food for the occasion. That way, I feel like I’m part of something much bigger than just myself and my dietary preferences.
Respect Dietary Preferences as a Host
With vegans in my family, I’ve been taught well how to prepare an all-inclusive meal. 1) Don’t make it into a big deal; 2) be willing to try the vegan dishes yourself; and 3) respect a proper distance between your meats and their dishes. Doing these things is critical to making your vegan friends and family members feel welcome at holiday meals.
Christopher Olson, CFO, Surfside Services