Dinner Party Etiquette: How to Be a Good Host

Nutrition Diva joins Modern Manners Guy in a very special episode to discuss how to be a good host when throwing a dinner party (especially if some guests come with dietary restrictions).

Richie Frieman
5-minute read
Episode #275

Dinner Party Etiquette (Part 5): What are healthy options to serve at a dinner party?

This week I have a very special guest with me - my fellow Quick and Dirty Tips expert, Monica Reinagel, aka Nutrition Diva!;

I’ve asked Monica to help me get to the bottom of how to approach the dicey subject of balancing manners and dietary concerns. Monica is the perfect person for this, since besides being an amazing dinner party hostess, she’s also a board-certified, licensed nutritionist and professionally trained chef.  Her sane and scientific approach is regularly featured on the TODAY show, Dr. Oz, CBS News, NPR, and in the nation’s leading newspapers, magazines, and websites.

She is also the author of 6 books, including Nutrition Diva’s Secrets for a Healthy Diet, The Inflammation-Free Diet Plan, and How to Win at Losing.

At this time of year, holiday party invitations are probably filling up your inbox. You might even be planning a dinner party of your own. And that’s where things can get a bit dodgy. As a host, how do you cater to a variety of guests’ tastes and dietary restrictions? If you’re a guest, what to do if your host doesn't offer anything you can eat? Is there a polite way to tell someone about individual dietary concerns, without coming off as rude? Let's chat with Monica and find out.

Modern Manners Guy: When it comes to preparing a meal for a dinner party, what should a host do if they’ve never prepared healthy dishes before? And by healthy, I mean something more than just vegetables and fruit.

Nutrition Diva: Well, there’s certainly nothing wrong with “just vegetables and fruit”!  But, your question worries me, Richie. If someone has never prepared a healthy dish before, what are they feeding themselves and their families between parties? Seriously, everyone should have a few great-tasting healthy recipes in their repertoire.

For example, learn to make fish in parchment. It’s about as healthy as it gets—it’s also easy, delicious, and impressive. I have a quick video that shows you how. You also want to learn how to make a couple of vegetables dishes that you really enjoy. (It’s easier to eat your vegetables when they taste good!) At this time of year, my favorite trick is to toss bite sized pieces of cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, or butternut squash in oil, spread them on a cookie sheet and roast them in the oven for about 40 minutes or until they’re nice and browned.

MMG: What do you think is a proper balance of healthy and – yes, I’ll say it – fatty foods at a party?