Planning the menu for baby shower is a wonderful way to show not only the Mom, but other guests as well. However, sometimes that means that you need to take special dietary needs in mind. Some Mom’s or guests might require special diets for weight loss, or health reasons, while others prefer foods that align with their political or religious beliefs. Whatever the reason, there are plenty of ways to ensure that everyone has a tasty time.
Keto diets have become more popular with both men and women. Women are encouraged to go from a no-carb, to a low-carb diet during pregnancy. However, you may find a mom who wants keto food at her party to prevent her from going overboard. You may also throw a party right after birth, when the mom might be on a keto diet to help her lose baby weight. Whatever the situation, throwing a keto party doesn’t mean that you can’t serve delicious food.
Make sure that you have a lot of appetizers on hand. Thankfully, there are a plethora of cheese crackers available made from baked cheeses that are low or even no-carb. They are great for dips. For just crunchy handfuls of food, you can also replace potato chips with baked kale chips. For a buffet-style meal, offer celery stuffed with buffalo chicken next to bacon wrapped brussels sprouts. Place these around a charcutier platter filled with a variety of meats and cheeses. Looking for a comfort food? Why not add a pan of homemade macaroni and cheese. Keep it keto by replacing the macaroni with small knobs of cauliflower.
Looking for a dessert? Just because your serving keto doesn’t mean that you can’t tantalize the sweet tooth. There are a wide range of cakes available made from coconut flour and chocolate, vanilla, or other flavors. Don’t forget cheesecake. Your favorite cheesecake recipe might be more keto friendly than you think. If you worry about baking a large cheesecake without the dreaded cracks, think about baking individual cheesecakes in gourmet cupcake papers.
There are a lot of reasons why guests or even a pregnant mom might be gluten free. Celiac disease, food allergies and even thyroid issues can all be exacerbated by gluten. Gluten is the protein that holds ground grains such as wheat, rye, and barley together. So, catering a gluten-free party means that you will need to think about most of your baked goods such as cookies, crackers and cakes. But it doesn’t mean that you can’t have a lovely spread for your guests.
While you wouldn’t think that candy as affected, look at the ingredients before putting out those tasty little bowls. A wide range of candy does have gluten. To stay safe, be a chocolate purist. You can also add bowls of fun with caramel corn and candied nuts.
Fresh fruit is another safe bet. Offer fruit salad or a fruit platter. You can also play into the baby shower theme by carving a large watermelon into a baby carriage shape and adding ruffles and bows. Then fill the watermelon with fresh fruit and melon balls so that guests can serve themselves. If you are having a shower for your favorite LGBTQI+ parent, why not create rainbow fruit skewers. Simply start at the bottom with dark grapes, then move on to blueberries, honeydew, pineapple, cantaloupe and strawberries. Keep the darker fruits smaller. That way, when you are plating the skewers, they will naturally fall into an arch, creating a rainbow.
Gluten free doesn’t mean desert free. More and more bakeries offer gluten free options for cakes. If you don’t have such bakery nearby, consider baking a Pavlova. Basically, it is two or three large meringue discs sandwiching whipped icing and decorated with fruit.
While doctors encourage pregnant women to stay away from a strict vegan diet during pregnancy, you may have many vegans attending a shower. Making sure that they eat food that aligns with their beliefs can be an important part of throwing a successful baby shower. And it doesn’t mean that you’re stuck with blocks of tofu. There are many different ways to serve a plant-based cuisine.
Fruits and veggies are the fastest way to make sure that you have food available for your vegan guests. But don’t leave out nuts. You can serve either sweet or savory nuts, or both, depending on how you prepare them. Roasting cashews with a dill or ranch seasoning adds a little pizzazz to your nut bowl. You can also toss pecans or walnuts in brown sugar and cinnamon for a sweet and spicy mix.
For dippable appetizers, consider the wonderful world of hummus. While at its most basic level, hummus is simply ground chickpeas. However, in recent years, more companies offer flavored hummus in everything from buffalo chicken to chocolate. The smooth consistency makes it dippable for veggies and crackers, or even fruit. Hummus can also be a delightful filling for pinwheel and finger sandwiches.
If you are considering a buffet-style meal, look for vegan recipes, or substitute mushrooms for meat. For example, season and grill large portobello mushrooms for burgers and serve them with sweet potato fries for a vegan barbecue. Stuffed mushrooms and olive tapenade on crusty bread make the basis for a lovely Italian-themed shower.
Desserts need not be a problem with a vegan. Like gluten-free cakes, many bakeries now carry vegan options of their wares. Even if you don’t live in an area that has a vegan bakery, most cake mixes are vegan in the box. Simply substitute vegan egg replacer for the eggs in the recipe. Egg replacers have made it very easy for anyone to provide a tasty, vegan, homemade option. Frosting made with vegetable shortening and vegan flavors completes the cake. If you don’t feel up too the challenge of making a homemade, and home decorated, cake, then simply opt for a vegan cupcake tower.
Whatever your dietary challenge, know that there are ways for you to meet it. The love that you show your guests, and guest of honor will shine through.