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GFAnnie

First Big Barbeque/potluck Since Diagnosis.

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This weekend we are attending our first big party since my whole family was diagnosed.  It is a barbeque/potluck wedding reception.  I plan on bringing a gluten free dish of course. But what I'm wondering is, is there anything you'll eat, other than what you bring?  Because I'm going to have my kids with me, I'm sure they're going to see chips and fruit, etc., and I wonder if it's okay to let them have foods that should be okay. Fruit saiad seems like an obvious one, raw veggies, and what about something like potato chips?  Has anyone ever been glutened by potato chips? Are they a risk?  Any other foods you feel safe to have at parties?  Otherwise, I'll pack some strawberries and chips for the kids!

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The risk is the other people at a buffet. They will drop a roll  on the fruit and take it off. You will never know. They will use the spoon from the couscous ( wheat) to scoop out your nice gluten-free cheesy corn dish. I would say, bring all kinds of junk for yourself and the kids. Bring their favorite chips, fruit, carrot sticks, etc.

I went to a party where they did tacos, so there was very little gluten. The watermelon was on a separate table from the other food. I ate watermelon. Probably could have asked about the taco seasoning - some has flour in it, but most people wouldn't have paid any attention to it. I ate before I went so watermelon was a nice treat.

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Hi GFAnnie,

As far as potato chips go, they are usually ok, but grab the bag and look at the ingredients before eating them. My first gluten free newbie mistake was with a can of Pringles. I was on the go and grabbed a can at the gas station assuming they would be just potato, oil and salt. I ate about five of them, then looked at the ingredients and was horrified to see wheat starch on the ingredient list. Luckily I didn't get sick from it, but I learned a good lesson to always read the ingredients. Most potato chips are just potato, oil and salt - but Pringles are a no go for us.

Have fun at your BBQ!

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I second the concern about cc from otherwise-safe foods at a potluck. In addition to the risk of dropped crumbs and shared serving spoons, you also never know how fruits and veggies were washed or cut by whoever brought them - whether the celery sticks were sliced on a contaminated wooden cutting board, whether berries or grapes were rinsed in a pasta strainer, etc. I've never rinsed fruit in a pasta strainer myself, even before celiac concerns, but I've been surprised to discover how many people do!

We bring our own food and even keep aside a separate portion of whatever dish we bring, before putting it on the table. My daughter is only 5 and I want to reduce the left-out feeling as much as possible, so I try to bring things that are more of a treat for her - a dessert she doesn't have often, Snyder's gluten-free honey mustard pretzel sticks, etc. Since she doesn't get these "treats" very often, she's generally thrilled to eat her own food at the potluck even if she sees other kids having different treats.

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I don't eat at buffets or potlucks. It doesn't matter what "seems" safe. I think about things like the fruit, because honestly I only own one colander so everything goes in it. Pasta, fruit, whatever needs to go in it goes in. That's how it's been done my whole life, that's how I still do it. So no, I don't even trust things like raspberries or strawberries. I don't trust things like watermelon because God knows what the state of the cutting board it got cut on was. How do I know if it was some wooden thing that gets used for bread all the time? I don't know if that bag or bowl of chips is safe, no matter the ingredients, because unless I'm the first person in it I don't know if someone just got a roll, had crumbs on their hand and glutened up all of them. And when I bring things I bring two dishes. One to share and one for me. Because as soon as the one to share is out, I consider it unsafe because who knows what will happen to it. I offer leftovers (if there are any) to anyone who wants to take them home, because I'll just throw them out. I also always make sure that what I bring for me is enough to make me happy and enough to keep me from feeling hungry. I usually bring too much, but as long as I have a little cooler or lunch bag with me I can just bring it home safely and not worry about wasting food.

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