Whether at a restaurant, a friend’s house for dinner or a special event like a wedding, you don’t want to be caught hungry because you're worried about the food containing gluten. Planning ahead can prevent a potentially stressful situation or a blood sugar crash! Here are some helpful tips to make your occasion great!
- Call the restaurant ahead of time to find out their gluten-free options.
- If you have some input, don’t be shy about choosing a restaurant you know is safe.
- Look at the menu online, if available, so you have an idea of what might work for you.
- Have some ideas about substitutions to help your waitstaff out.
- Develop a restaurant guide to help you remember places that are gluten-free friendly. It can be a simple spreadsheet of restaurant names jotted down in a notebook. Your local gluten-free society or club should be able to help you get started.
- Talk to the host about your restrictions ahead of time.
- Offering to bring a dish to share (at least there will be one thing you can eat!).
- Get there early to help prep (that way you can see the ingredients!).
- Ask for an ingredient list (or the recipe) before eating.
- Consider eating before you go.
- Make sure you eat before you go.
- As soon as possible, talk to one of the caterers and see if there are any gluten-free options available - even if it’s simply a salad.
- Consider bringing a little food with you - a bar, trail mix or something else small and discreet that you can carry with you or leave in your car for a quick bite.
Don’t underestimate how stressful it can be to eat outside of your own home. We all manifest stress in our own way. Most of us have some sort of emotional response like getting more sensitive, irritable or distant. That is a normal and natural response. Wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to deal with those emotions during your night out? If you have taken the time to set yourself up for gastronomic success, you will be better able to enjoy the occasion.