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Planning A Party Menu and Dealing with Allergies

Q: I struggle knowing how much food to serve at a party, what to serve, and how to deal with allergies.

A: Here are two simple rules you can use when calculating food amount. You can apply the 1-pound rule: have one pound of food (not including dessert and drinks) for every guest. Or you can apply the 3x rule. Take the number of guests and multiply by 3 to determine how many servings you will need for appetizers. If you are hosting a dinner, I suggest an appetizer (salad, soup), an entre (a protein and 2 sides), and a dessert.

For example, if this is your adult son’s birthday dinner, I would design my menu around his favorite foods. If you are entertaining people you do not know, I keep it simple. This ensures that most people will enjoy your food. If you go too crazy, it might not be appealing. There is no shame in serving a roast, potatoes, and green beans. Most people like simple comfort food. Regarding allergies, I ask guests if they have issues with any food. You do not need to create the entire menu around them, but this way you can have something they will enjoy.


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