As the holidays approach and many of us are invited to go out to eat or to join others in the festivities, one starts to wonder, what are the socially acceptable behaviors during these events if you have Celiac, gluten sensitivity, or gluten intolerant.
If you are invited to a regular party (not a dinner or lunch party) ask the
host what type of food will be served during the party. If you find that
there is nothing you can eat, ask if you can bring your own food. Most
people will have no issue with this, or they will offer to get you something
that you can eat. If the host refuses to let you bring something for
yourself it is perfectly all right to go and only stay for a short time.
At a dinner or lunch party, make sure the host is aware of your issues. If the host/ess, is aware and not able or
unwilling to accommodate your needs, ask if you can bring yourself something to
eat. If the host says no, then you should probably decline the
invitation. There is no point in going to a meal where you will be unable
to eat. I have had experienced this before and it leaves one feeling left
out at the least. Having attended parties like this, where I could not
eat anything, I end up feeling rather angry, depressed, and sorry for myself at
the same time. This is not how one should feel when leaving a party of
Work or business parties: This one is tricky, since there will most likely
be nothing you can eat, and you really can't talk to the host about your
needs. In this case, try sticking to salad or something small and then go
out to eat afterwards. That is what I will be doing tonight. I know
I will be unable to eat the food and yet for my husband I will be going
anyways. I am going to snack before the party and then my husband is
going to take me to a gluten free place of my choice afterwards.
Restaurants that have two stars or below: Before you go to a
restaurant, the first thing you should probably do is look online for their gluten
free options, if any. There should be something on the menu that is
gluten free. If the restaurant offers an extensive gluten free menu, then
you should order off of that. If the restaurant offers gluten free
options, but does not have a gluten free menu, then they should allow you to
bring in your own bread or buns (if needed).
For example when going to a place like Red Robin, I don't need to worry
about bringing my own buns since they provide one. When going to Denny's
I bring my own bread, and am very careful about what I order. You will have to assemble your food outside
of the kitchen if you bring your own gluten-free bread, because health
regulations do not allow outside food in their kitchen.
Restaurants that have two stars and above: Call ahead to these places,
and let them know that you have a gluten allergy. Since many of these
places don't have a set menu, or at least an online menu, you should be able to
get gluten free recommendations over the phone. If you can get the menu
online do so first. Also, a lot of these places don't allow you to bring
in your own food. However, I don't think you will need to bring in your
For those that have extreme Celiac, it is best in all cases to bring your
own food, and to only eat at places with a gluten free menu and a separate
gluten free kitchen. Know where you are
going to eat first, or decline the offers if you cannot bring your own
food. This may seem rude, but your health comes first and no one likes to
be sick after a party.