Food has a huge social element. Coming together around a table with good company feeds more than just our bellies - it’s food for our soul!

Entertaining guests while serving up health, but super delicious meals, may appear daunting - but it doesn’t have to be! Today we’re chatting how to win your friends over at dinner parties, and a few fresh ideas to keep up your sleeve in the kitchen.

When hosting a dinner party, there’s a few key consideration to keep front of mind to help make everything as easy breezy as can be! Try to:

  • Prep ahead. Do groundwork in advance to relieve pressure in the lead up to hosting. Look into some meal ideas, and then put together a plan of action for preparation (i.e. the flow of the eve - what needs to be prepared first? Second? Do you need to prepare anything the day before?). Once you’re guest have arrived aim to be assembling meals, rather than being chained to the kitchen, so you can enjoy the special time with them!

  • Keep meals simple. You don’t need to whip up a super fancy dish to impress. Stick with meals your comfortable cooking and enjoy eating - your guest will love them too! Simple, quality ingredients paired well can equate to a big flavour punch. Aim not to prepare anything for the first time - use a dish you’ve tried, and enjoyed, before.

  • When hosting someone with a special diet (e.g. gluten/nut/dairy free, vegetarian, vegan…) it’s always good to chat with them if you have any concerns over what is safe to prepare for them to eat. Try cook a meal that everyone can enjoy, rather than preparing something separate - you might be surprised at all the wonderful recipes that can accommodate those with different dietary preferences.

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Menu ideas


  • Guacamole and fresh salsa with corn chips

  • A colorful platter loaded with veggie sticks, dips, crackers, fruit and cheese

  • Cucumber slices topped with a dollop of cottage cheese, smoked salmon and chopped dill

  • Homemade seeded crackers - if you’re feeling fancy!

  • Kombucha mocktails with fresh fruit slices (simply add to a jug kombucha, orange juice, orange slices, a few springs of rosemary and ice - mix, then leave to infuse!)





How to: create a killer platter


No matter whether you’re hosting a dinner party or are a guest at another residence, a killer platter loaded with colourful nibbles is always a welcomed addition at social gatherings. It’s a relaxed and sociable way to eat, and perfect for both fancier and low-key events. Here’s our tips on creating a killer platter:

STEP ONE: select your base and tools

  • Consider crowd size. If smaller use a small to large serving board. If larger use 1+ large serving boards or a table lined with parchment paper.

  • For a rustic set-up, go for wooden boards or parchment paper. For a contemporary feel, marble is great.

  • Collect small bowls, cheese knives and toothpicks for serving.

STEP TWO: load it up with nibbles

For a healthier platter aim for foods that are minimally processed, and load up on plenty of colourful produce, nuts, dips and protein-rich foods, like smoked salmon or cheese. Aim to include at least one item from each section below:

The vehicle (things to dip into dips/load other items onto):

  • Fresh veggie sticks

  • Crackers e.g. oat or rice crackers

  • Quality bread, thinly sliced


  • Hummus

  • Pate

  • Pesto

  • Olive oil with dukkah

  • Tzataki

  • Baba ganoush

Savoury Items:

  • Seafood e.g. smoked salmon, oysters...

  • Cheese e.g. blue, brie..

  • Smoked/quality deli meats

  • Nuts

  • Marinated or pickled veggies e.g. peppers, gherkin, olives, artichokes

Sweet items:

  • Fresh seasonal fruit

  • Dried fruit e.g. apricots, prunes, figs…

  • Dark chocolate

STEP THREE: build your board!

  • Place large items down first e.g. cheese, bowls of dips. Fill in the gaps with smaller  items.

  • Group like-items together e.g. chocolate and fruit, dips and crackers.

  • Keep it practical! Keep items bite-sized for guests.

  • Get artistic! Swirl your crackers, garnish your dips - have fun with it!

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Food styling

It’s true, we eat with our eyes! Here’s tips to create eye-catching dishes:

  • Go for colour. Not only is colourful food appetising, but it’s also indicative of different nutrients.

  • Add fresh green herbs to bland-coloured dishes to really make them pop!

  • Consider your serving dishes. Go all white for a simple, fresh look, wooden platters for a rustic-vibe, or mismatch brightly patterned plates and bowls for fun!

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This blog was written especially for our friends at Westpac NZ, who we’re excited to be assisting with their workplace wellbeing this year. It’s thrilling to see a company go the extra mile for their staff!