Be Our Gluten-Free Guest

3. Working With the Host

If you’ve found a family member or friend interested in making a gluten-free dish or two, offer to provide suggestions, not only on recipes but also ways to prevent cross-contamination. If you are comfortable, offer to help your host prepare some of the meal. Stick to naturally gluten-free foods whenever possible; it may feel less daunting to your host than making a specialty dish. Most ham and turkey are gluten free, but request that some be left plain without broth, gravy or glaze added. Keep the stuffing out of the bird—it’s not only a gluten problem, but it’s also a food safety issue! Mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes are almost always safe choices, but ask the host to leave out any added flour. A fruit or veggie platter adds color and provides a break from all the high-calorie, high-fat items that often end up on the table.

Keep in mind that mistakes happen, even with the best of intentions. Be prepared with some of your own food, so you don’t go hungry or, worse yet, eat something that’s not safe. While you may have been on the gluten-free diet for a while, this is likely all new to your host, so try and be as understanding as possible. A gluten-free host or hostess gift can also become part of the meal—a basket of gluten-free cookies, fruit or a bottle of wine are all good choices.

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