A Low FODMAP Dinner: 6 Steps to Hosting a Great American Tradition
The Super Bowl is coming up and the Oscars not long after that. These are just two of the events during the year when we get together with friends and family.
Whether you are assembling to watch Presidential debates, holiday parades or the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, the common denominator is a theme - and of course food and drink. This article is about how to plan a Low FODMAP Dinner for your next Great American Tradition.
The theme will be dictated by the event. With this theme, you can work to assemble a special Low FODMAP menu that caters to your guests' stomachs. And as we always recommend, if you are the FODMAPer, all the better that you are hosting because you can control the food choices.
In only a couple of weeks, over 110 million people will be in living rooms around the country watching the Super Bowl. Here are our tips to host a successful Super Bowl event:
- To FODMAP or Not to FODMAP?: Of course this question will come up. Should your entire menu be Low FODMAP? Should it be a full Low FODMAP dinner? Should it be exclusively Low FODMAP snacks? That is up to you. We think you should be able to party with your guests, with no worry about symptoms, so our recommendation is to make sure that you have plenty to eat. That said, perhaps your family has a traditional recipe that makes annual appearances at the event. And perhaps it is garlicky kielbasa with beans, or something similar - packed with FODMAPs. We say serve it. Why? Because the point of embracing this Low FODMAP diet is that you are making a lifestyle choice and change that CAN be integrated into your everyday life. You will be making sure that you have plenty to eat (aside from the kielbasa), your guests will get the expected and beloved dish and then the only thing to worry about is whether you bet on the winning team.
- Make it Portable: No one wants to be sitting at a dining room table or stuck in a long, formal buffet line. Think of Low FODMAP dinner ideas that consist of foods that are easy to load up on your plate, take back to the couch, and eat from your lap. For instance, you don’t want anything that would require a china plate and fork and knife, like a hunk of steak. Ask yourself, can this be eaten with fingers and just a napkin, or at the very most a fork or spoon? And even then, some items are not optimum, like soup. It’s going to end up on someone’s lap or your sofa. Choose wisely!
- Make it Last: The game (or whatever event) is going to last a while and you want your food and drink to be available for the duration. Think about a low FODMAP dinner that works well at room temperature, or even better, foods like our Spicy Baked Chicken Wings with Blue Cheese Ranch that can start hot, and then be just as good as they cool off.
- Stagger It: Along the same lines, to keep the food coming, consider setting it out in “courses”. Let’s say you have a 5 o’clock start time. As folks arrive, have drinks ready and maybe some room temperature munchies, like Fody Low FODMAP BBQ Chips set out, or corn chips and salsa. Crudité and dip is good too, and our Low FODMAP Salad Dressings make great quick dips. Items that can be set out in slow-cookers are good bets to have out for the duration. How about some shredded pork or a big pot of queso cheese dip? All Low FODMAP of course. It can be done! Then, as the hours march on, have hot food come out, like the wings or maybe a big platter of nachos. Maybe plan on your main Low FODMAP dinner ideas at half-time, at which time you can also set out desserts. Brownies, bars, cookies and cupcakes are all good choices. Check out our Blondies Recipe. Gluten-free and Low FODMAP for your enjoyment!
- Beverages, Spirited and... Alcohol is often expected, be it beer in bottles, a keg or maybe your crowd is more about wine in real stemware. Any which way, have plenty available - and enough ice. For those who do not drink alcohol, we suggest having more than just water and sparkling water. There are plenty of interesting Low FODMAP “mocktails” that you could make, or at the very least, have some cranberry and orange juices available and slices of citrus to garnish so that everyone can be festive together. And both juices are Low FODMAP, in small quantities as well.
Stress is Real: There is probably a name for it, like Hosting-a-Party-Stress. Let’s name it right now - HPS! If this is you, the first step is admitting that you have HPS when you throw a shindig. Recognize ways that you can alleviate the stress so that it doesn’t trigger any IBS symptoms. Those crudités? Those would be the perfect starter to ask someone to bring, when they offer to help. You can make sure to have the Low FODMAP salad dressings on hand, so they don’t have to worry about that part. The last-minute dash to the store for ice? Ditto. Ask someone to pick it up on his or her way over. Everyone should have fun, you included - whether your team wins or not.