This weekend my husband and I are hosting a birthday dinner for a family member so I wanted to talk about how to entertain or host a party without breaking your Sugar Free streak. First up
Entrée or pre-dinner nibbles: when did these become a necessity for a party? If you want you could eliminate pre-dinner nibbles completely and save your appetite for the main course. But if you do want to include something extra some sugar free options are homemade soup, prawn cocktails (but be wary about the sauce), or like us you could have a self-serve antipasto platter consisting of crudities, rice crackers, dips, sun dried tomatoes and cold meats.
The main course: If you stick to meat, vegetables, herbs and spices, then there are plenty of flavoursome sugar free options for the main course. The thing to be wary about is when you start adding shop bought marinades, sauces and pre-mixed spice blends. I tend to choose meat as the base and then work around that but this may not work for everyone. So that there is variety we are serving up slow cooked roast lamb and sweet potato, bacon wrapped chicken breast fillets, and steamed greens. One of our guests is also bringing a potato bake and a salad which brings me to my next tip – to make hosting a party easier don’t be afraid to ask your guests to bring something to share. Most will offer to so don’t feel bad saying ‘yes please’, just return the favour when you are invited to their place for dinner.
Dessert: This is the tricky part so let’s make it as easy as possible. Here are a few options.
– Don’t have dessert (yea I didn’t think that would be a popular choice)
– Have a fruit or cheese platter instead: sway towards this option and usually serve a platter of seasonal fresh fruit
– If your guests expect something much sweeter and if it won’t cause you to fall off the wagon then ask one of your guests to bring a dessert, just explain to them that you won’t be having any (this may also result in them holding you accountable – win)
– If going without dessert isn’t an option and fruit or cheese won’t hit the spot then make a dessert using a healthier sugar alternative and reduce the amount you use. I’ll cover this more in my next post but some alternative sweeteners are honey, coconut sugar, rice malt syrup or stevia.
And to drink: Instead of the sugar filled soft drinks which don’t seem to be popular with our family anyway, we’ll have jugs of water on the tables, dry wines, beer and kombucha cocktails. If you aren’t a fan of plain water, make it a little bit fancy by adding some berries or slices of lemon and ice. Kombucha cocktails can be made by combining kombucha and frozen berries in a blender until slushy, then add soda water for some extra fizz.
See my Q & A post for my take on alcohol during Sugar Free September. If you aren’t already drinking multiple times during the week then I honestly doubt an extra glass of dry wine will halt your progress but I’ll let you be the judge of that.
– Explain why you are cutting out sugar, if it’s just for 30 days then tell them or if it’s for health reasons then let them know
– Tell your family and friends that their support means a lot to you
– Give guests the option to bring foods that they want to eat such as cake
– And if all else fails, it’s your house so your rules, right? Be nice about it though
And finally hosting a party (and attending one for that matter) should be fun and not stressful. Enjoy the opportunity you have to spend with your family and friends and if you fall off the wagon, just try and be more diligent the next few days to ward off that sugar dragon.
Enjoy your weekend,