How to Handle Food Allergies for Thanksgiving Dinner

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Coordinating the perfect Thanksgiving dinner certainly comes with its share of planning. But add the fact that some guests might have certain food allergies or restrictions, and things can get even more overwhelming.

A viewer named Janet from Howell, New Jersey, asked how she can accommodate all of her guests’ special diets.

Q: I’m hosting and with so many allergies and food restrictions these days, what am I supposed to do? Do I have to be sensitive to everyone? — Janet, viewer

Rach called on etiquette expert (he edited the anthology Modern Manners: The Thinking Person's Guide to Social Graces) Thomas Farley to offer up his advice.

Thomas says hosts should always try to accommodate guests with food allergies and prepare a few dishes that will satisfy everyone.

RELATED: 13 Delicious Thanksgiving Desserts

“I would say, generally, a salad is going to work across most diets,” Thomas says (like Jacques Pepin's Green Salad with Mustard Dressing).

“A nice vegetable soup is also going to work across most diets.” (Try Rach's Peas and Carrots Soup or this Pressure Cooker Butternut Squash Soup with Coriander + Lemon).

However, as a person who follows a gluten-free and meat-free diet, Thomas said he doesn’t put the burden on his host. Guests with food restrictions might want to eat a bit before arriving or bring a dish to share with others.

RELATED: 23 Gluten-Free, Nut-Free and Dairy-Free Recipes for All of Your Thanksgiving Guests

“With a meal as big and broad as Thanksgiving, I never expect a host to work around my dietary standards. I would show up not ravenously hungry,” Thomas says. “I’d have something to eat so I’m not famished.”

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