Be Heard: Best gluten-free tips for parties & business lunches

Be Heard! Speak out for celiac awareness month

Every Monday in May, we’ll be asking readers to answer a single question and share their #myGFLstory. On Thursdays, we’ll share some of our favorite answers that we received. Here’s this week’s question:

What’s your number-one tip for handling social eating situations on the gluten-free diet, such as dinner parties, business lunches or birthday parties?

Here’s what our readers had to say:

From Facebook

Take your own in your own Tupperware. That way you know nothing is going to get in yours. I dislike sitting and watching everyone eat in front of me. Jennifer Vieira
Bring your own unless you’re confident someone is preparing a dish you can have and understands cross contamination. Liz Salomons

Suggest potluck and take a dessert or entree that you can make up in individual servings…like cupcakes, tarts, stuffed baked potatoes, etc. You will have at least one safe item to eat! Marilyn Culverson


For family parties I bring my own food or bring something I know that I can eat. (Making an individual portion for me to eat to avoid cross contamination) I usually try to find out what they are having and make a single serving for me to eat. Look for gluten-free options at a restaurant or ask for alternatives available. Kathryn Mestanza
Potluck or not I almost always bring a dish of something some what filing, just in case it is the only thing I can eat. I take more than I think I can possible eat and then offer out the rest to everyone else.

Now as far as food at the party, get in line 1st or as quickly as the host will allow and use your judgement. Fruit, veggies, chips most likely are all fine. When all else fails, keep cookies in your purse. Emily McCarty



I bring my own food. It’s easier for me and the host/hostess. If I’m going to a party at a restaurant or banquet hall I call in advance to see if they have gluten-free options. I found this works really well. If they don’t have something gluten-free on the menu, they usually offer to make something for me. Julie Hoffman


Eat before you go and make sure you go through potluck line only once and be the first one through because people will cross contaminate. Melody Nell



If is in a restaurant go with a grill protein and a bake potato or a salad and a grill meat and that’s that. Alina Woodhouse


I bring my own food…my son has celiac disease and he is 5 years old. If he is going to a birthday party I bring my own food, and I let the place know and the parents know why i am bringing my own food. If the party is at a restaurant I call them and explain the situation, and they tell me i can bring in my own. I don’t feel someone should have to accommodate my kid. Plus if they don’t understand what celiac [disease] is I wouldn’t trust them to get the right stuff. Carrie Jo Phillips Zigarelli
From Twitter
When invited to a party, offer to bring a protein-heavy dish so there will be at least one gf dish that will fill you up! #myGFLstory. @FaveGlutenFree


From Instagram


Be honest with the host/hostess. Let them know you may only be able to eat part of a dinner or appetize. Cheese and crackers? Sorry, can only have the cheese. Misshelen27


If it’s a party, you have to talk with the host/hostess about it. If they are not experienced with gluten-free food (My friends totally are by now and it’s lovely!) you can ask if you can bring something along. Maybe the host will even appreciate some help when you bring delicious food. I am used to bringing cake or cupcakes or something for the whole party and everybody loves it. Misscreative

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