The most important rules and principles to planning a Mormon-friendly menu. Follow Mormon food etiquette to prepare a menu that your guests will enjoy. Avoid embarrassment and be an ideal host.
What Mormon food etiquette is
Mormon food etiquette is the set of rules to plan a menu that is appropriate for guests who follow the Mormon dietary restrictions. Such rules include:
- The allowed foods and ingredients.
- How to ask about dietary restrictions.
- How to deal with your guests’ diets.
If you are hosting, respect Mormon food etiquette to properly plan a menu that your guests will enjoy and to avoid any embarrassments.
If you are a guest, follow Mormon food etiquette to politely deal with your hosts and the other guests.
Mormon food etiquette rules
1) Respect Mormon dietary restrictions in your menu
The Mormon religion does not set dietary laws. The only strict rule forbids the consumption of food that contains stimulants.
Meat is allowed in the Mormon diet
Mormons can eat any type of meat. However, the consumption of meat is often limited. According to some accounts, Mormons tend to avoid meat with large quantities of blood.
Fish and seafood are allowed foods in the Mormon diet
Mormons normally can eat fish, seafood, or shellfish.
Milk, dairy products, and cheese are allowed
Milk, dairy products, and cheese are normally included in the Mormon diet.
Eggs and honey are ok
Eggs and honey are widely accepted.
Vegetables and fruit are always ok
The Mormon diet allows all vegetables and fruit.
Grains are ok
Mormons can eat any type of grain. Rice. Pasta. Couscous. Quinoa. Amaranth. The same applies to bakery products and bread. Mormons can eat pizza too.
Condiments are almost always ok
Mormons can normally consume oil, salt, and spices. The Mormon diet does not allow vinegar made from wine.
Sweets and desserts are generally ok
The Mormon diet can include most types of sweets or desserts. Some think that sugar is a stimulant. Thus, it must be limited or avoided altogether. However, such a view is not widely adopted.
Drinks without stimulants are ok
Mormons cannot consume coffee, tea, or alcohol. Any food or drink that contains stimulants must be avoided.
Mormons do not consume soft drinks that contain caffeine or a similar stimulant. Thus, Coke or Red Bull might not be allowed.
2) Etiquette for asking guests about their Mormon diet
It is perfect etiquette to ask your guests about their Mormon dietary restrictions.
In written formal invitations, it is sufficient to ask guests to please inform the hosts about any dietary requirements.
In informal invitations, a simple “do you follow any diet or have any dietary restriction?” works. Another option is to ask if guests avoid any food.
It is against etiquette to ask further questions. Such as why someone follows the Mormon dietary rules. Or why someone excludes or includes a certain food.
If you have a genuine curiosity, you may ask such questions. However, it is polite to justify your curiosity. In other words, state why you are curious about it. Be apologetic. Never judge or question the answers you get.
3) Mormon food menu planning etiquette
Follow these key principles to deal with guests’ Mormon dietary restrictions.
Serve each food on its dedicated plate
Do not serve multiple foods on the same plate. Instead, separate them. Assign a plate and serving utensils to each food or ingredient. Serve condiments and sauces separated from food.
This way you allow guests to pick the foods that they can eat. Or to avoid the foods that they cannot eat.
Mormons are especially concerned about stimulants. Thus, it may be appropriate to reassure them about the absence of alcohol, coffee, or tea as ingredients.
Include safe options
Some foods are allowed in almost every diet. Such as vegetables and fruit. Plan some safe dishes that almost any guest will be able to eat. As an example, only a few people say no to baked potatoes or salad.
Avoid risky foods
Many foods are not allowed in several diets. Pork meat. Alcohol. Beef. Crustaceans.
If you are unsure about your guests’ diet, play safe. Avoid cooking these foods altogether. Or, at least, plan one or two dishes without them.
4) Mormon food guest etiquette
Guests following Mormon dietary rules should respect etiquette too. Otherwise, they risk disrespecting their host or the other guests.
Do not expect the host to guess your diet
If you do not eat some foods, clearly state it with your host.
It is bad etiquette to expect a change in the menu based on your needs. Instead, you may ask if there may be some options suited for a Mormon diet. Be apologetic in your requests. It is rude to do otherwise. As a guest, you do not want to sound entitled.
Be accommodating. Do not expect the host to accommodate your requests. However, any considerate host will feel compelled to provide guests with Hindu diet options.
Politely refuse food that you do not eat
If the host serves food that you do not eat, simply avoid it. If the host or another guest explicitly offers such food to you, politely refuse it. It is enough to say “no, thank you”.
Provide additional detail only if someone asks you. It is good etiquette to be brief. Otherwise, do not discuss your dietary restrictions in length.
Do not impose your diet on the other guests
Never expect others to adjust to your diet. Do not expect your hosts to change their menu to accommodate your needs. Similarly, at a restaurant, do not expect the other guests to change their food order.
Mormon food etiquette: the worst mistakes
The Rude Index identifies and ranks negative behaviors.
A high score (8-10) means that the behavior has the potential to trigger a conflict with others. A medium score (4-7) means that the behavior risks making you look inelegant and unsophisticated. More about the Rude Index and its methodology here.
Avoid the worst Mormon food etiquette mistakes.
- 9/10. Not accommodating Mormon dietary restrictions.
- 8/10. Using food with stimulants as an ingredient.
- 7/10. Imposing your diet on others.
- 5/10. Sharing unsolicited details about your diet.
- 5/10. Asking personal dietary questions.
- The Sanctity of Food: A Latter-day Saint Perspective: rsc.byu.edu