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AnnieInItaly

Dinner Party Etiquette?

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I've recently gone gluten free, and so far have managed to mostly avoid eating at the houses of others. However, our (husband and I) social life mostly involves eating with others and we are invited to a dinner party in a couple of days. I really don't want to offend our hosts by going and not eating anything but I don't want them to feel like they need to make something special for me. I'm also a lifelong vegetarian, and my husband doesn't eat cheese, so we were already difficult enough! I'm fine with eating something at home before, but that might be a little strange or offensive.

Any advice as to how to navigate these waters without making a big deal about it? I don't know if I'm celiac or not yet, I'm waiting for the test results, I just know that I feel better not eating gluten, but don't know how sensitive I am yet. I don't want to get glutened, but I also don't want to make it 'all about me' and/or offend anyone. Ideas?

Thanks!

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I have found that honesty is the best policy. I tell people about my dietary restrictions and then bring my own food, on a plate with utensils on the side. If it is something that can be eaten cold, all the better. If not, I borrow their microwave and heat it. Then I can eat with everyone else so I don't stick out like a sore thumb, I get to enjoy their company, and after answering a few questions (which I don't mind doing), just get on with the party.

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I bring my own meal - usually a beautiful salad with as many colors as possible so that when others at the table look at my plate there is no pity, only complements...if it is a a casual party I eat out of the container I bring it in...if it is more formal I ask the hostess for a plate to transfer my food so that my meal doesn't stand out as much. I felt strange at first, but now my family and friends think nothing of it.

Since this is new to your friends, you should call your host/hostess explain that you have had some health improvements from removing gluten from your diet so it will be much safer for you to bring your own food. The host may offer to make you something special to which I usually reply, Thank you, but my health is improving since I've removed gluten and I'd really like to bring my own food so I don't have a setback -- or something along those lines. I often offer to bring desert to share - a sinfully chocolate gluten-free cake or gluten-free cheesecake - if you need something simple, use a gluten free brownie mix with a cup of chocolate chips mixed in and sprinkle the top with powdered sugar.

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AND, make sure you serve yourself that dessert first, before gluteny fingers or utensils touch it. :)

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