5 Ways BYO (Bring Your Own) Can Boost Healthier Eating and More Enjoyment at Social Gatherings

We all have our likes and dislikes and our own ways of doing things.

But when it comes to trying to make healthy food choices and especially at social gatherings, healthy eaters may feel like they’re swimming against the stream.

Whether it’s a birthday or holiday celebration, a barbecue or just a friend or family get-together, calorie-rich dishes and salty or sweet treats seem to line most buffet tables.

One strategy to help take control and nudge healthier eating is to bring your own dish to the celebration.

Just as an individual with a food allergy makes sure to bring a safe dish to a party, I also encourage my patients to do the same.

Here are 5 positive benefits that can come from this BYO strategy:

1 – Boost Confidence

Having a dependable dish that you know you will enjoy can help keep you on track, giving you a confidence boost and reminder that you’re in control.

2 – Be Creative and Have Fun

Have fun trying a new recipe or dressing up an old one. Presentation counts so dishes with colorful roasted vegetables or fresh fruit kabobs are usually crowd pleasers.

3 – Be True to Your Values

Bringing a healthy dish is one way to show others that you value your health and healthy eating. You may even start a new trend by nudging friends and family toward better health. A healthy lifestyle can be contagious!

4 – Expand Your Social Network of Like-minded People

Bringing our own healthy dish allows you to meet and even help others who may share your same values. You may swap recipes, discuss healthy eating blogs you enjoy or exchange healthy cooking tips.

5 – Leave Room to Try New things

Healthy eating is all about balancing the dependable foods you enjoy with trying new foods. You want to always stay flexible and be able to taste and savor all foods in sensible portions.

I hope these tips will encourage you to try this BYO strategy at your next celebration.

Enjoy your health!


Robert Kushner, MD


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