How To Plan A Delicious Dinner Menu On Diet

November 7, 2022Katie
how to plan a delicious dinner menu on a diet

There are many things to consider when planning a dinner party: venue, theme, supplies, and food. Then, you have to consider people’s dietary needs when curating the menu, and it seems like everyone is on some sort of diet these days.

The CDC reports that 17% of Americans claimed to be on diets during the 2017-2018 survey period, mostly for health reasons. Also, about half of American adults have chronic medical conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, which are usually managed with special diets.

So how can you plan a menu with people’s restrictions? Do you just make all the food salt-free, sugar-free, fat-free, and all-restrictions-free?

It turns out there is a way to eat what you want, even on a diet or when trying to lose weight. WeightWatchers shares that weight loss programs need not be restrictive. Watching your weight and following a diet doesn’t need to be sad or bland. Instead, with a balanced and tailored approach, you can enjoy meals without compromising your satisfaction or wellness. So, you can still plan a delicious dinner party that everyone can go to.

If you or your guests have specific diets to follow, you can make your dinner dazzling and delicious with these tips:

Incorporate produce-filled dishes

As you can see in ‘10 Delicious Healthy Meal Ideas’, mixing a lot of produce in meals can give dishes a healthy twist or brightness. Adding potatoes or butternut squash can make a dish heartier, grilled vegetables can give a smoky finish, and arugula or kale can give a fresh bite.

Dishes with different fresh produce can be colorful additions to make your table look extra special. Plus, these foods give added nutrient boost. And if you have a garden, what better way to make them feel extra special than serving them food you personally grew? 

Serve a variety of inclusive dishes

With different people on various diets, setting out a few options for them would be thoughtful and really make them feel more welcome. Since some of the diets can be new or confusing, so you can use guides like this ‘Harvard Food Restrictions and Allergies’ list.

Have some gluten-free options for gluten-sensitive or plant-based dishes for vegetarians. Ask in advance for food allergies and omit or adjust your ingredients. Your guests will appreciate it, plus it’s a great way to try new recipes!

Invest in your table presentation

Even the simplest of dishes can look superb with some extra presentation. You can scroll through Pinterest and get ideas for some creative arrangements.

Unique plating can be a simple way to give your dishes more glamour and nutrients. You can place your food in healthy edible containers like inside a pumpkin or sprinkle fruit around your main entrée. You can put different items in portions or artistic designs to make each ingredient stand out. Place food-related table décor to set the mood and handwritten ingredient cards for sensitivities.

Try including your guests in the preparation

In some family-style dinners, it can be a BYO dish. But even at a regular dinner party, you can have your guests participate too. You can do a grill bar where they can pick the ingredients for their own skewers. Or have a taco party and let them make their own tacos.

It can even be as simple as giving them a variety of toppings or dressings they can choose from and pour on their own. This way, they can choose the things they can and want to eat while making it an interactive experience as well.

With these tips, your next dinner party should be easier to plan even with different diets to consider. Check out more tips and recipes from Eat well!

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