Hosting guests making an effort for ALL guests' dietary needs?

The question actually is “should hosting others should hosts an an effort for all guests’ dietary needs even if they don’t know the one guest w/ dietary needs will be there?”

There are only three things to know about this question based on an actually experience.
1)Mom’s “cast parties” after her one woman plays (which consist of this family plus extending family on Mom’s side and 2 of Dad’s friends. 2) I have a step-cousin who is vegetarian and 3)one of Dad’s friends has Celiac disease

Main Plot:
In 2019-my step-cousin said she didn’t know if she would be able to make it to the “cast party” When my full cousins (step-coz’s half-sisters)-and the cousins’ parents and others were helping to clean the church up we asked Aunt 1 (cozs’ mom) if (Coz 1) was coming and and the aunt said “yes” but by this point Dad had went to order and get Chinese food. So we couldn’t tell him that he needed to get some vegetarian dishes.

By the time Dad got back-coz 1 was there with her daughter. When Dad and Mom were unloading the stuff in the church kitchen-I asked Dad if he had gotten any vegetarian dishes beside the stuff which came with the meal (it was I think 2 meals for 6 or eight people)- and he said “that Coz would just need to make do with what we have.” (It seem to be implied since we didn’t know when we left if coz was going to show up or not he didn’t bother to buy anything for her). But yet he makes an effort if his Friend shows up to make sure stuff there’s is gluten-free. I mean I know there’s a big difference between getting sick from gluten-but I don’t know how long coz has been a vegetarian but I do recall she was one as early as 2012. So she could get sick from eating a little meat.

But if you make an effort for person 1-Shouldn’t you make an effort for ALL guests that might have dietary needs?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Maybe

0 voters

You should cater for all planned guests, whether or not you think they’ll arrive.

When cooking for a buffet at home, even when the table is full of carnivores, I will always have at least one veggie main dish on the table. Plus veggie dishes are cheaper than meat and usually not too different. It’s not like everyone gets a steak but the vegetarian gets a solitary carrot.

If a celiac is there, I would aim to cook completely gluten free.


Well, in my family there are vegetarians, meat lovers and milk protein intolerance.
We usually have one meat and one veggie dish, all without milk products.

I would NOT prepare food for someone with celiac disease, if I didn’t know how severe it is. It can cause major autoimmun related issues, and some can’t even have food that was prepared with the same utensils, even if it all has been cleaned*

It’s better to ask that guest what to do.

*asking for gluten free food in a restaurant can cause a huge inconvenience in the kitchen, because EVERYTHING has to be specially cleaned. Don’t do that unless you have an issue with gluten. You’re ruining it for those with an actual problem.


Thank you for that-but we weren’t making the food-a Chinese restaurant was. But the actually question was if we’re going to make an effort for someone with CD shouldn’t we also make an effort for a VEGERTIAN guest and not have them “make-do” with what we DID get?

Well, it doesn’t really matter if you cook or buy, to me the same rules apply to what I wrote above :slightly_smiling_face:

Even if there weren’t any vegetarians there, there should be a veggie option IMO

Celiac is a disease, not a choice. Vegetarianism is a choice, as is veganism.

I must respectfully disagree that there should always be a vegetarian choice. No one ever insists that vegetarians/vegans offer a meat choice.

I suppose that’s just a personal preference of mine. I wouldn’t insist on it, but I’d think it’s weird not to have one. I’m a “meat eater” but quite often choose a vegetarian option because it’s delicious. It’s not always about not having meat, or about vegetarianism, sometimes meat just feels to “heavy”


We’re HOSTING these people. Because we are HOSTING-one should make an effort for ALL guests and not for one person and not the other. It’s not really fair for the coz in question to “make do” with what Dad did get when he didn’t know about coz was coming.

My response was to Sillsallad, not you.

sorry didn’t realize. Sorry I was grumpy… I’m just dealing with a lot in the house

False dichotomy, and also wrong.

Vegetarians are seeking to have food available which is not noxious to them. That is not the same as demanding their preferred foods.

But even so, I remember mumblety-years ago in college my co-op mostly cooked vegetarian, but would usually have a “meat version” of whatever, or at least cooked ground beef for the carnivores to mix in.

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When I prepare a vegetarian main dish, I usually prefer to make something that will compliment my meat dish (think substantial side) but will also be suitable for a main dish. I grew up with my vegetarian mother so learned that not everything has to contain meat to be delicious. I usually cook for family and, now I am a parent to a toddler myself, I don’t want her to snub vegetarian food purely because it doesn’t contain any meat.

I stand by what I posted.

Your experiences with vegetarians are not the same as mine.

Have you been in a steak house restaurant and seen a patron pitch a NAR-worthy fit because there is no vegetarian main menu choice? Some, but not all, of the vegetable sides are meatless, but that’s not good enough.

When was the last time you were in a cafe and heard someone at the next table make gagging noises when they hear someone order a burger?

As for your co-op, it seems to have been a reasonable place. Find me 3 vegetarian restaurant chains that make that sort of accommodation.

As for teaching kids to be willing to eat occasional vegetarian meals, that is also reasonable. I don’t know any omnivore who insists every dish must include meat. I do know vegetarians who insist that none does.

I do agree that you shouldn’t be obligated to provide a vegetarian option, but I don’t think that you should invite a vegetarian and not provide anything substantial they can eat.

With regards to the vegetarian in the steak house, there’s either an A-hole of a date or customer. To me the steak house is the opposite to the vegetarian restaurant. I would also argue that the vegetarian restaurant would just be a restaurant if it offered a meat choice.

As for the omnivore that insists on meat, that was early days SWMBO. I made us a cheese and tomato pastry tart for dinner and she was visibly scared when she found out that cheese and tomato meant just that. It turned out that she had never been given a vegetarian meal in her almost 30 years of life.

Haven’t met the all/nothing vegetarian or vegan yet. I hope that I don’t have to.

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There’s a couple of stories on the site. One store actually involves a Steak-house. But somehow the (now) ex-boyfriend thought Op was vegan when OP was actually allergic to normal dairy and took OP to a steak house to see her “have a fit”.

Then there’s the story where OP wasn’t going to go to company BQQ hosted by a co-worker because she’s vegetarian and how people make a big deal about her “shoving stuff down their throat”-and the boss says they’ll talk to the co-worker about offering a vegetarian option and when OP shows up at the BQQ party- everything including I think, the potato salad had bacon on it. When Op asks if there was anything the co-worker screamed about them “focusing their ideals down others’ throats” and OP said sorry to the boss and left.

But back to the topic:
I mean I don’t think that coz should have to dig around the meat dishes to find the vegtables that were in them-just because Dad didn’t know coz was actually coming.

Very late to the comment party here, but:

I completely agree with you that it’s not necessary to offer a vegetarian choice if you’re not trying to feed any vegetarians, but I want to note that vegetarianism is not always a choice. I have a friend who has trouble digesting meat proteins. Another friend gets ill when she eats meat from animals fed any of a long list of standard feed additives or treatments, so she has to avoid meat dishes of unknown provenance. (She was thrilled to learn that she could still eat most organically raised meat!) Also, people who’ve eaten no meat for a long time can have a lot of stomach trouble if they suddenly start eating meat again.

When feeding someone with known dietary restrictions, I would make sure there was sufficient food that they’re not avoiding – voluntarily or otherwise; I also wouldn’t, say, serve someone trying to lose weight only rich, calorie-dense, high-carb foods. But if I were craving that kind of food, I would invite the dieting friend to dinner for a different night, not that meal.

It just we kind of known since summer of 2012 that this one Cousin of mine is Vegetarian, Even though most of us had forgotten about it until 2015 and I was the first to remember when my Mom told me that this Cousin was coming to the supper part of our “cast party” but not Mom’s play part because of her over two month old baby daughter.

I don’t know how long cousin has been a Vegetarian since I only until pre-coivd, only seen her about 3 times in my life? One time, I was baby so I don’t remember that (but I know it happened since I have a family puzzle of that get together), the next time was summer of 2003, the only time my family had the reunion at our place and by that point she was engaged to her now husband, and the next time was I think 2004 when she and her hubby got married.

The main problem was that we didn’t know if the Cousin was coming and Dad left before we could tell him that Cousin was coming. So he got meat and veggie Chinese dishes. So that Cousin had to work with what we did get. and knowing those containers its abit hard to get anything out of them

I think for me, the distinction is whether it’s known that someone with a restricted diet may be there, vs. not having realized they might be. If I invite a bunch of people including at least one vegetarian/vegan over for supper, I’ll make sure to have meatless options unless all known V’s confirm they’re not coming. If I’ve no reason to believe anyone V might be there, though, I won’t feel a need to have meatless options present.

I mean in this case Dad’s friend who is CD was suppose t o be there but he called the morning of and said he was “too sick to come”. But we didn’t know for sure until after Dad went to get the Chinese food that V was coming. It just it doesn’t seem fair that Dad makes a effot to make sure that the Chinese food we get if Dad’s friend is here for the “cast party” but he can’t do something similar for a Vegetarian guest? I know its apple and oranges but he could have just in case something had changed to get a meatless option that V cousin could eat