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Hosting guests for an extended stay isn’t an easy task. Do you have the right food for someone who’s gluten-free? Did you remember to leave out instructions for how to operate your state-of-the-art coffeemaker? Do you have both milk and creamer? No more second-guessing yourself. Below, nine tips on how to stock an accessible (and healthy) kitchen for your guests.

banana bread muffins
Twenty20

1. Ask about allergies and dietary restrictions. Before your guests arrive for their stay, it’s really important to make note of any and all foods that can cause problems. You don’t want to spend the day making banana-walnut muffins only to find out your guest has a nut allergy, right? Trust us, this will benefit everyone in the long run.

2. Provide plenty of breakfast options. As we’re all well aware, breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day. To ensure your guests have a proper meal, give them a variety of items to choose from. Think yogurt and granola, fresh jam and toast or even a little baggie with the measured-out ingredients to make pancakes.

Sponsored bai blueberry drink

3. Swap sugary items with better-for-you options. Instead of soda, opt for a beverage that’s loaded with antioxidants. Bai drinks come in an array of tropical flavors, like Brasilia Blueberry and Molokai Coconut, and have just five calories and one gram of sugar. What’s more, they don’t contain any artificial sweeteners, so no one will be left with a sugar hangover.

4. Clean out and organize the fridge. Get rid of that half-empty milk carton (it’s probably expired anyway) and those bruised apples. Once you’ve tossed everything that needed to go, sort through and organize. This step might take some time, but it will spare you the embarrassment of, say, your sister-in-law consuming spoiled milk.

charcuterie board
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5. Put together a platter of cold foods. For quick and easy snacking in between your adventures, prepare a platter of cheeses, meats, olives and small fruits. Keep it on a shelf in thefridge so that when anyone is hungry, they can easily help themselves rather than rummaging through the cabinets or pantry.

6. Leave a basket of grab-and-go snacks. Much like the delicious cold platter you just put together, do the same with pantry items. Fill a little basket with foods like crackers, trail mix, granola bars, pretzels and bottles of Bai drinks so people can grab things on their way out the door.

coffee and tea station
Twenty20

7. Designate a coffee and tea station. This one is rather important, especially if your guests tend to wake up earlier than you do. Make it a point to explain how your machine works so they feel comfortable enough to use it.

8. On that note, set out a tray of serving ware. You can’t expect people to know where everything in your kitchen is located, so eliminate the guesswork. Leave a tray on the counter with all the essentials (mugs, forks, etc.) for easy accessibility.

guest menu
Twenty20

9. Post a menu of expected meals. When guests are in town, it’s easy to assume that the majority of meals will be eaten out. However, this costs time and a lot of money. Set expectations by preparing a general outline of the meals for the duration of their stay. For instance, if you’re providing breakfast and offering to make a homemade dinner each night, lightly suggest they’re on their own for lunch. Just be sure to leave a list of local restaurant recommendations so they don’t feel left in the dark.

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