The Times West Virginian

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December 24, 2012

Holiday food tips for picky eaters

(Continued)

4. Eat before the event. Rather than fret your day away over whether there will be anything to eat at an upcoming party, plan to grab a bite beforehand to sustain yourself. Eating post-party is also an option, but a plummeting blood-sugar level could add to your stress and prevent you from enjoying yourself.

Tips for the hosts

1. Opt for potluck. No question, this is a win-win-win. First, the pressure is off you to provide all the food. Second, no worrying whether picky eaters on your guest list will have something to eat. Bonus: fewer dirty dishes!

2. Serve family-style. This allows your guests to take as much or as little food as they want. It's also less of a hassle for you to plate individual servings.

3. Silence is golden. Don't call attention to or ask why any particular guest is not eating something: I mean, do you really want to know the answer?

4. Be understanding. It's painful for many picky eaters to admit their dislikes. Not only are they embarrassed and ashamed by something that's not their choice, but they also don't want to be a burden to their friends and family, which is why they often play the "too busy to see you" card.

The holidays are filled with many things that grate on our frayed nerves, but opting not to let some of those things — like a picky eater coming to dinner — get under your skin can help keep your stress levels in check. Tolerance and understanding during the season of peace and goodwill can go a long way for everyone.

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