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GraceW

Do you ask friends and family to be careful what food they bring?

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How do I deal with the issue of what kind of food other people bring into our house? My kitchen is not completely gluten-free because my husband still eats store-bought bread, but he's very careful about it. Twice in the last couple of months, though, at some regular gatherings, people have brought extremely crumbly cookies to our house. The get-togethers aren't really food-centered, just tv-watching parties, so I hadn't thought to mention anything about food, so I didn't know what to say, just went along with it and cleaned up afterwards. Both times, however, I've ended up feeling extremely itchy a few days later and my daughter and I have had pretty bad tummy trouble. Now I'm thinking we're both too sensitive to handle the cross-contamination from a table full of cookie crumbs. How have others dealt with this? I thought about making up a list of foods they could safely bring if they wanted to contribute. But what if people bring food to a one-time event? Should I just be up-front and ask them to leave it in their car. I hate to be so rude, but I also hate the week of itchy skin and stomach pains I seem to get from it!

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I was wondering the same thing today, but now that I think about it. It isn’t rude to want to be healthy. 😊

You can try a list with code friends or tell them to just bring themselves as you are looking forward to spending time.   Or you can say please do not bring snacks as many of them affect your health, but tell them to bring wine or juice.

I am struggling with ways to diplomatically tell people things without feeling badly or embarrassed. I think being direct eventually has to come with the territory of having this disease. I am looking forward to getting my self confidence back and being able to communicate a bit better when faced with these situations. 

All my best 

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My house is gluten free.  I do not allow any gluten inside — ever.    I do allow it when we are having a party outside and I set up an extra table to hold those foods to prevent cross contamination.      When that type of party occurs, I toss or send home ALL the food with non-celiacs.  

When I invite people over and they ask what they can bring, I usually suggest gluten-free packaged items like chips or ice cream.  My family or friends will offer to bring veggies and fruit that we can wash, cut and serve from my kitchen.  Everyone is really nice about it.  

Sometimes, a new friend shows up with a pie.  I usually thank them and set it aside.  I give the pie away later to neighbors or friends.  I try to avoid making my new, uniformed guest feel uncomfortable.

I need a place where I can feel safe and let down my guard.  

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Thanks so much for your feedback. I think I was hoping others felt the same so I would feel better doing what I know I need to do! I thought about it more today and I think I'll tell them I'll provide all the "crumbly" snacks like cookies and crackers and they can bring drinks and candy, things that are easier to check for gluten and keep contained. If they want, they can bring packaged, certified gluten-free things. It's so hard to turn people down when they're trying to be thoughtful, but I know most of the people I know will feel better knowing their thoughtfulness is also not harmful to my daughter and I:)

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Food prepared in other people's gluten kitchens is NOT SAFE if you have Celiac's.  Salads or veggies, any of that, can all be contaminated from their counter, their utensils, wooden spoons, non-stick cooking pans, their hands, any ingredients they used in make gluten containing food.  If they taste what they have made and use the spoon again...I know...but people do that, their gluten contaminated mouth would contaminate the food.  If they do not have Celiac's they are not even close to being aware of the care that would need to be taken to make that food safe for you.  You seriously have to just tell them not to bring anything unless it's raw whole food and you will cut it up in your safe kitchen.

 

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25 minutes ago, Beverage said:

Food prepared in other people's gluten kitchens is NOT SAFE if you have Celiac's.  Salads or veggies, any of that, can all be contaminated from their counter, their utensils, wooden spoons, non-stick cooking pans, their hands, any ingredients they used in make gluten containing food.  If they taste what they have made and use the spoon again...I know...but people do that, their gluten contaminated mouth would contaminate the food.  If they do not have Celiac's they are not even close to being aware of the care that would need to be taken to make that food safe for you.  You seriously have to just tell them not to bring anything unless it's raw whole food and you will cut it up in your safe kitchen.

 

amen to this - show of hands of who found this out the HARD WAY...🙄

this past thanksgiving, i did everything gluten-free - finally perfected my mom's stuffing, brined my bird, found gluten-free fried onions for that green bean casserole that i don't even like (lolz - everybody:  suffer! hahahahaaa) and outlawed those crescent rolls.  nobody died!  everybody said how delicious everything was.  even for snacks, they make gluten-free pretzel crisps i used for crackers, and those milton crackers are the bomb dot com.

i used to make a 'gluten corner' and then freak out trying to keep everything safe.  which, i have had success with if i lay out the rules:  i keep the main part of the meal which is gluten-free on one side of the kitchen, the gluten can be in the dining room or the other side of the kitchen with PHYSICAL DISTANCE between them.  i use paper plates or bowls, and people must get a new plate or bowl if they want seconds, say, if they're eating gluten crackers with their chili, if they want that second bowl, i don't need the ladle hitting a contaminated bowl then ending up back in the chili.

also, yes, what the other poster said:  you have to be firm.  it's not mean.  it's reality. 

we were out to dinner and the server went to box up my leftover appetizer.  she says 'i can put extra bread in there with it if you want'  i thought she was kidding until she waited for my answer.  i grabbed the dish back and said:  NO.  YOU BRING BOX.  I PUT IN BOX.  i still tipped her well.  people just don't know and if they don't have to, they don't remember.

Edited by notme!
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I just don’t eat food that either my husband or I have prepared. People think I’m crazy but I’m the one who pays the price. Nothing is worth getting glutened....nothing. I travel with my own cooking equipment down to a sponge. I don’t eat out unless the restaurant has a separate prep kitchen. I’m 10 yrs into this and every time I get  glutened my reaction is astronomically worse. Actually not sure I will survive the next. 

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Wow, so relevant - particularly during this season.  

I've been telling family to just not attempt to make me anything.  Not to bring anything 'gluten free' that they made to family dinners; just not to try at all.  I've been clear about the near laboratory standards you need to be sure (as much as possible) of not having any contamination.  I STILL had to shoot down one family member who very sweetly told me about some research she had done and what and how she wanted to do for the next family get together.  As polite and appreciative as I was, I got a response that sounded wounded as they 'only wanted to do something nice' for me.  I didn't tell them that not making me anything is the nicest thing you can do.

On ‎12‎/‎13‎/‎2018 at 3:05 PM, healthysquirrel said:

I was wondering the same thing today, but now that I think about it. It isn’t rude to want to be healthy. 😊

I may print this.  I think I'll need to remind myself of this many times in the future.  The rudity is not on my - our - part/s.

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Like many others, gluten is not even allowed in my house, I do not accept premade food from others in the house either. Prepackaged SEALED certified Gluten Free products are sometimes allowed and fresh raw sealed and uncut veggies and fruit.
I prepare everything for the holidays in my kitchen.

If someone wants to help, they can go shopping with me, give me a gift card for food, or even do simple jobs with prep WHILE wearing food service gloves and supervised. This even applies to mom. But everything is done and supervised by me. Getting glutened during the holidays ruins it...and you can have symptoms lasting months after.

If you need some ideas, I often post recipe ideas in a food blog here.

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All of these answers are so incredibly helpful. I actually skipped Thanksgiving this year because I was just getting over a reaction from a big batch of crumbly cookies someone had unexpectedly brought to an event earlier that week. I cooked my part of the meal, sent it off with my husband, and then sat down to just enjoy quiet and a plate of my own food I knew was safe. My other relatives make such an incredible effort to make the food "safe" but I've felt for awhile that they basically can't make it safe enough. I'm starting to see that I do need to be honest with the people in my life who want to try to help and let them know exactly what will be helpful. All of the tips above are very, very helpful and I think are a good head-start for anyone trying to reign in the gluten exposure in their lives:)

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15 hours ago, Patty harrigan said:

I just don’t eat food that either my husband or I have prepared. People think I’m crazy but I’m the one who pays the price. Nothing is worth getting glutened....nothing. I travel with my own cooking equipment down to a sponge. I don’t eat out unless the restaurant has a separate prep kitchen. I’m 10 yrs into this and every time I get  glutened my reaction is astronomically worse. Actually not sure I will survive the next. 

People (even family sometimes) have the hardest time grasping the concept of "Gluten Free."  I'm 10years into my diagnosis (Celiac) too and hate to have to travel... and hope where I can eat is clean... And I'm not talking about cleaning, clean I mean clean of all gluten.

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Traveling....we stay at hotels that have microwave and freezer so I can bring prepared foods. We are retired and went as far as to buy an Airstream travel trailer so I never have to eat out of my own kitchen. I bring a sandwich that doesn't need refrigeration (ie. peanut butter and banana) when we are out and about for the day. I also urge my poor foodie husband to eat to his hearts content when we travel. I sit with a class of wine and try not to drool over his smoked BBQ. Im just not willing to trust restaurants unless they have dedicated space or everyone is really well trained in cross contamination although my last major gluteneing was in a restaurant whose manager is a celiac. That event crushed me. Bottom line....eating anything out of my own kitchen causes me extreme anxiety and I count the  hours waiting for the symptoms to start. I'd just rather not.

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