Diet for Celiac Disease
If you are attending a party at someone's home and are unsure of the menu, prepare and bring a dish to share that you know you could eat. If the party is at a restaurant or hotel, call the chef or food service manager for information about the menu. Ask if there is a gluten-free menu or whether you can request a special meal. You'll have more success if you call several days to a week in advance. The best time to reach a restaurant or caterer is about 2 p.m. -- between the lunch and dinner rush. Once you arrive at the party, confirm that your special meal is being prepared and let the kitchen staff know where you are seated.
Even small traces of gluten -- such as the amount found in bread crumbs that accidentally come in contact with gluten-free food prepared on the same surface or with the same utensils -- will cause cross contamination. Be sure to tell the server or chef that it's important to use extra care in preparing and serving your food. If you don't trust the chef, restaurant, or party host or hostess to deliver a safe, gluten-free meal, eat something at home beforehand and order a beverage, fruit plate, or another safe alternative.
If you're bringing food to a dinner or party, try experimenting with gluten-free alternatives to your favorite foods. Try cornbread instead of wheat bread stuffing, or cookies, breads, and rolls made with a combination of gluten-free flours such as bean, corn, nut, potato, rice, sorghum, or soy flour. If you're pressed for time, try gluten-free bread and cookie mixes. These and other gluten-free foods are becoming available at more grocery stores and food outlets as awareness of celiac disease grows and retailers respond to consumer demand for better products.
Fortunately, gluten-free foods are getting better and better so everyone can eat them without feeling deprived. You can also check the baking aisle of your local health food store for gluten-free baking products and check the Internet or gluten-free cookbooks for new recipes.