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Eating gluten free with friends and family

Tips For Maintaining Your Gluten Free Diet and Relationships With Friends and Family

A day in the life of a Celiac trying to maintain a gluten free diet… We’ve all been there… The mother-in-law has worked many hours over a hot oven to make her speciality dish and you’re too *proud/shy/scared to make a fuss (delete as appropriate!) about the ingredients and their gluten content. So, you eat it and suffer the consequences. Well, it doesn’t have to be like that.

Make it easier on yourself and your friends and family by reading on…

Your family and friends will generally be less aware of the intricacies of your diet. Hopefully they do not want to intentionally poison you(!), so some help from you before-hand is usually appreciated. Most of our family and friends enjoy stepping up to the “challenge” and we have had some fantastic meals as a result.

Consider having a chat about what they are going to make and offer to provide the more specialist ingredients e.g. gluten free pasta, tamari (gluten free soy sauce) or stock cubes so they don’t have to make an extra purchase.

Give a copy of the Friends and Family Gluten Free Factsheet to your friends and family as a reminder, particularly of what you CAN eat.

Friends and Family Gluten Free Factsheet

Offer to bring a course with you. Friends often appreciate the reduced responsibility for getting the ingredients right. One very conscientious friend used his mobile phone whilst shopping in the supermarket to double check an ingredient.

Your health is more important than being “polite”. If you do not think an ingredient is gluten free, double check it yourself and make your decision. Dealt with diplomatically, this will avoid accidental damage to your health and your relationship with the person.

At BBQ’s take your own fish, meat or vegetables wrapped in foil. This way you avoid contamination from the grill or being accidentally seasoned into ill-health by an enthusiastic chef.

Have loads of parties at your house! Being Celiac generally raises your awareness of food and your friends will come to love your “special needs” gluten free food. Be creative and have wine appreciation evenings, or fondues or meals themed on a country.

Find out more about foods of the world…

Thank them for their efforts, because what is everyday for you is out of the ordinary for them! In the long run, it brings your friends closer as they come to understand what you have to put up with!

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