5 Tips for Hosting Omnivores in Your Veg Home

Blanche Baxter | Vitacost.com/Blog

by | Updated: October 13th, 2020 | Read time: 3 minutes

‘Tis the season of holiday cheer. It’s lovely to have your family and friends visit, but what do you do when you’re vegan, and your soon-to-be houseguests aren’t? This can bring up a lot of anxiety over how to manage in a way that respects your beliefs and makes your guests feel welcome.

Here are a few pointers to successfully navigate this dilemma and make their visits as stress-free as possible for both you and them.

Family Coming Over for the Holidays for Plant-Based Dinner | Vitacost.com/Blog

1. Get clear

Take some time before you do anything else to get clear on your comfort level. What do you need in your home? What aren’t you OK with? It’s different for each person. Figure out where you stand. Is cooking meat in the house an issue? Having meat in the house at all? How do you feel about eggs, milk and cheese? Once you get clear on these things, it’ll help you figure out what your needs are and you’ll be better able to communicate them to your guests.

2. Have a conversation

Now that you know what works for you, it’s time to figure out what works for your loved ones. Have a powwow and see how they feel about spending time in a vegan home. Let them know that their comfort is paramount. Then broach the topic of the fact that you keep a vegan household and what that means to you (time to fill in the blank with whatever you discovered are your important house rules). Ask them questions about what they usually eat and figure out what they can do without while they are staying with you.

3. Find substitutes

As you’re talking, you’re bound to find there are a few things that they feel they can’t live without. Maybe it’s creamer in their coffee, morning eggs, or a post-holiday barbeque.

Luckily there are veggie substitutes for just about every meat and dairy item. Time to do a little shopping. Plan ahead by choosing the yummiest meat-free alternatives for dishes on your guests’ “must-have” list.

Check out product reviews online to find the highest rated. Bring some home to taste test yourself. Trying them out ahead of time will cut down on yucky tasting surprises. You can always choose a couple varieties so that your visitors can decide for themselves the ones they like the most.

This is an exciting time in the plant food arena; innovative new products are popping up all the time to fill the niches of meaty counterparts. Everything from non-dairy milk, cheese and ice cream to faux beef, chicken, seafood and eggs can leave your guest feeling satisfied without the meat.

4. Pre-plan feast days

Big holiday meals might be of particular concern. It’s a time that people come together in friendship and food. A little early menu planning will go a long way to making you feel at ease come the big day.

You can replace the traditional turkey or ham main course with pre-made mock meat centerpieces like Field Roast holiday roasts, Gardein Savory Stuffed Turk’y or Tofurky roast. Or you can skip the pre-made products altogether and go right to the vast multitude of delicious holiday meal recipes and find things that include vegan pot pies, lentil loafs, casseroles and stuffed vegetable dishes that stand well on their own and make excellent accompaniments to all the incredible vegan side dishes that are available.

Whichever way you go, it will be worth it when the holiday is over, and you feel like you maintained good relations and your values.

5. Remember what counts

At the end of the day, things might not always work out the way you plan. If one of your holiday revelers doesn’t abide by the house rules and brings meat into your home, try not to stress. Remember, everyone has a different understanding, and they just may not recognize how important this is to you. It’s a perfect opportunity to remember what the holidays are all about: love and togetherness. Take a deep breath, or two, and try to enjoy your time with your loved ones. Time together trumps everything else.

If you’re going somewhere else to celebrate, be sure to read up on 5 Tips for Following a Plant-Based Diet During the Holidays.