I can’t believe that in just four short days we will be into the month of December. With all the hustle and bustle that that month brings. No matter whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or something else, there are parties to either host or attend. And those parties will include food. So, how can we as celiacs, be certain that we won’t accidentally get glutened?

If You Are the Hostess

The first thing you need to decide if you are hosting the party, will all the food be gluten-free or will there be glutenous foods there as well? If there will be a combination of gluten filled food and gluten-free food, make sure you prepare your gluten-free food first to avoid cross-contamination. You may want to make little signs to place in front of your gluten-free offerings to keep them gluten-free. Just remember, that is still no guarantee that the food will remain gluten-free. If you have the room, think about all gluten-free food on one table and all glutenous foods on another table. Still if you’re concerned that people will drip glutenous crumbs into your gluten-free food, just do what I do. Prepare yourself a plate or two of food and keep it in the kitchen away from every thing else and there will be no worries about spending the whole party in the bathroom.

If the Party is Elsewhere

What if you’re attending a party hosted by someone else? How can you be sure that the food there will be safe for you to eat? Here are a few tips to help you attend with a little less apprehension.

  1. Remember that you are the guest. You want to have fun, but you won’t have fun if you’re spending the whole time in the bathroom
  2. Call the hostess. If you’re not going to a close friend or relative’s house who knows your condition, call and talk to the hostess. Offer to bring a dish. If the affair is going to be catered, ask the hostess if she would mind you calling the caterer. If the caterer can’t give your a list or label the dishes, arrive a few minutes early to speak with the caterer about the ingredients in the dishes.
  3. Keep in mind, the possibility of hidden glutenous ingredients. Just because something looks safe, doesn’t mean it is. If you’re not sure of ingredients, ask. Better safe than sorry.
  4. My husband is my biggest ally when we are out, but if you don’t have a spouse or significant other, maybe ask a trusted friend to help you keep informed of potentially hazardous foods. Extra eyes, and ears will help to keep you gluten free.
  5. Although, it’s not as much fun, eat before the party, that way you can definitely be certain that you won’t get sick. Also, if you arrive full instead of hungry, you won’t be tempted to eat something you might not eat, if you weren’t hungry.
  6. BYO Food. Bring your own dish to share. Let the hostess know that you would like to bring a dish. Make sure it tastes so good they won’t guess it’s gluten free and will add goodness to the buffet.
  7. Try to be first in line. If food is being served buffet style, be first to get your plate, to avoid cross contamination. If that’s not an option, ask the hostess if you can prepare a plate ahead of time. Then eat your plate with everyone else does.
  8. Stick to foods you know. Eat foods that you know to be safe. Avoid no no’s like bread, and pasta, and be aware of marinades, dips, sauces, casseroles, and desserts, unless you have made them yourself.
  9. Be Gracious. Thank your hostess for being accommodating.
  10. Have fun! Remember it’s a party. Keep the above tips in mind an enjoy yourself!

Want more holiday tips and recipes to keep you healthy? Join my Naturally Essential Healthy Holidays group. Read more here: Healthy Holidays