How to WIN! at Catering for all Dietary Requirements | Bird on A Wire
In this article, we’ll tell you the ins and outs of some big dietary requirements, and give you some yummy suggestions to add to your catering order that everyone can enjoy.
Gluten is a protein that is found in flour, rye and barley, so people who are gluten-free cannot eat many dough-based foods. This means no bread, pasta, cakes or biscuits, among other things.
If someone in your lunch group requires gluten-free options, this could be a personal choice, or it could be due to a condition known as coeliac disease. People with coeliac disease cannot process gluten and it can be incredibly dangerous for them to eat it. Even if it is not a life-threatening allergy, being gluten-free can be a choice made for any number of health reasons. Either way, it sucks not being able to eat burger buns or cakes, so it’s important that the rest of us are respectful and make every effort to provide an alternative for our gluten free friends.
Getting creative to think of gluten-free options your lunch group will love can be exciting. Sandwich lunches are the worst for gluten-free people for obvious reasons – but there are tons of alternatives to glutenous bread. Stuffing your sandwich ingredients into a cos lettuce leaf instead of bread is really trending right now, as it is a healthy option that looks Instagram-worthy and tastes delicious. There are also plenty of gluten-free breads available that are made with seeds and nuts instead of flour.
Plant-based diets are on the rise, and New Zealand even ranks third in the world for highest number of vegans. A plant-based diet is one that excludes all animal products – meat, dairy, eggs, even honey. People can also choose to be vegetarian and not eat meat and fish, but still opt into all the rest. Pescatarians will eat fish but no other meats.
There are plenty of different reasons one may decide to live a plant-based lifestyle. People choose to give up meat for both environmental and health reasons. Some do it because they love animals, for others, it may be necessary if they are at risk of heart disease or diabetes.
Make sure you know your plant based lingo, because the difference between a vego and a vegan could make all the difference between putting mayo or hummus in their burger!
There are tons of alternatives out there for plant-based people. These days, there are some faux meats you can even get in the supermarket that taste just like the real thing. Of course, plant-based people also have nothing against veggies, and surprising them with a delicious quinoa salad could just make their day. A classic plant-based option is to swap out the meat portion of your meal with a slab of tofu cooked in the same sauce. Rotisserie tofu, anyone?
The Paleo diet is an incredibly popular diet fad sweeping the world right now. It’s often called the ‘caveman diet’ because it is centered on the diet that cave people would have eaten back in the Palaeolithic era. Paleo’s think that modern farming is the cause of a lot of obesity issues, simply because we are not adapted to eat the foods that farming has given us access to, such as dairy, grains and legumes.
The paleo diet is popular among people trying to lose weight because you don’t eat any carbohydrates or sugars. It encourages people to eat a lot of lean meat, fish, fruits and vegetables, as well as plenty of nuts and seeds. Those attempting the diet are supposed to avoid wheat and other grains, refined sugar, dairy, salt, and any highly processed foods.
Paleos are usually pretty low maintenance when it comes to finding alternatives for them to eat, as long as you’re choosing healthy options. A trick for catering to paleos is not to underestimate how much protein you have to order! They’ll most likely eat double the meat to make up for the lack of carbs, and you don’t want the rest of your guests running out! A good salad filled with dense greens goes a long way for paleos as well.
People can have allergies to just about any kind of food, and they can be deadly. Make sure you know if any of your pals have an allergy before you order the catering! Yikes, we don’t want to think of what could happen if you don’t. At most food establishments, you can just let helpful staff know about any allergies and they’ll make sure they don’t end up in your meal! Depending on the severity of the allergy, it’s probably a good idea to cancel that ingredient from your entire order, in case things get mixed up!
Most Importantly, Don’t Stress!
We get that being in charge of organising catering – especially corporate catering for your colleagues, can be daunting. We hope this guide has been helpful and maybe even inspired you to try something new! Have fun with it, there are lots of healthy takeaway options in Auckland to choose from!
Let Bird On A Wire hook you up with a catering option everyone can enjoy, talk to us today about catering options big or small!