by Elyse the Gluten-Free Foodee

Food is the centre of social events, like holidays, birthdays, vacations, gatherings, nights out, date nights in, BBQ’s etc… For those who are gluten-free, these situations can prove to be challenging. It can be tricky to navigate, but having understanding family members, friends, and coworkers to support you, makes it all the easier. Here are 7 tips for supporting the gluten-free person in your life.

One often overlooked issue is the anxiety that being gluten-free can create in social settings. Food, whether it is making it, sharing it, or buying it, is how many people express love. Just because you are gluten-free doesn’t mean you want to have to rebuff these kind gestures or opportunities to make memories.

By using these tips for supporting the special gluten-free person in your life, you can show them how much they mean to you by making them safe and delicious food. Not to mention using these tips can help make everyone’s life easier.

7 Tips For Supporting The Gluten-Free Person In Your Life

Tip 1: Educate yourself and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

It is not the job of the gluten-free person to educate you on all aspects of being gluten-free. Taking some initiative and reading this great gluten-free guide for beginners, 15 steps to going gluten-free is a perfect place to start; so that you can understand the basics. If you have any other questions about their specific restrictions, how they feel about their dietary restrictions, or how they are dealing with being gluten-free, don’t be afraid to ask. They will be thrilled that you are taking an interest, and that they don’t have to explain every little thing. Also, if you have a specific general gluten-free question ask.

Tip 2: Show patience

When planning an event, gathering, or outing, you may be peppered with many questions about the itinerary and menu. Why? Because part of being gluten-free means preparation and planning. So, understand that your gluten-free family/friends may have specific questions that other guests would not.

While many restaurants have something gluten-free to offer, it is not a certainty that they will. Check out if the restaurant has a website, or allergen menu, or call ahead to ensure that everyone can dine safely. This can prove to be a challenge if you are coordinating many people. No one is doing this to be deliberately obstinate or to be overbearing, they are just trying to be able to enjoy the outing with you- overall they are trying to make your outing easier. You may want to read these tips to help you plan any event. The gluten-free person will be very appreciative if there is even just one solid choice that you took the time to source out for them.

These articles might help:

Tip 3: Understand if they bring their own food or don’t eat

It is sometimes easier if you are gluten-free to either eat before an event at home or bring food with you. No one is trying to be a rude guest, they simply don’t want to have an issue. So, if you notice that they aren’t eating, or have brought their own food, don’t draw attention to it, or insist that they try foods that they cannot have.

Tip 4: Buy products labelled certified gluten-free.

Everyone has a different level of sensitivity, and it is safest if you are buying crackers, bread, pasta, cake etc… to buy products that are certified gluten-free. This means that you don’t have to guess about the safety of what you are serving. 

Tip 5: No one will ever appreciate a really good baked bread product gift more, than a gluten-free person.

If you take the time to source a great gluten-free bakery, buy bread, bagels, buns etc… and give that as a birthday gift, it is always very appreciated. Not only have you taken the time to find them something special, but these are also some of the most requested items. Trying something new, which they didn’t have to source themselves, is very appreciated. Also, here are 7 Gluten Free Gift Basket Ideas.

Tip 6: If purchasing a food gift card from a restaurant, bakery, or grocery store, make sure they have a decent gluten-free selection of goods:

Some stores are not known for their gluten-free selections and others have great ones. A quick Google search to make sure there are options that they can safely enjoy is paramount when giving a food gift card. Keep in mind that gluten-free foods can be more expensive, and a gift card can be very appreciated. If you are the type to add candy or chocolate to a gift, check out the ultimate gluten-free candy and the ultimate gluten-free chocolate lists.

Tip 7: If the office celebrates birthdays with a cake, have an allergy list.

Unless you have a designated cake team that handles office birthdays, have a list of allergies so everyone can join in the fun without having to explain their dietary issues at every birthday. 

Bonus: If there are multiple birthdays within the same month purchase frozen gluten-free cupcakes from the grocery store, and store them in the office freezer. Take out as many as needed for each birthday, so that no one feels left out.

Supporting the gluten-free person in your life means more to them than you will know. Yes, the gluten-free product market has exploded in recent years, and gluten-free products are now found in most local grocery stores, and franchise restaurants. So, while it has become more mainstream, having people around you who understand, and can help you navigate your dietary needs is very much appreciated. 

Do you have any questions about supporting the gluten-free person in your life? 

Do you have any other successful tips for supporting the gluten-free person in your life that you would add to this list?

Let us know in the comments below. We love hearing from our readers.

In sharing information we are all able to live our best gluten-free lives. And prove to be a caring and interested family member or friend, when someone we care about must navigate living a gluten-free lifestyle.

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PLEASE NOTE: If your question/comment pertains to your health, please understand we are not qualified to provide that advice. If you are feeling unwell, we recommend you seek medical assistance ASAP. If your question/comment is related to a post or living your best gluten-free life (recipe, tips, reviews, etc), we got you covered :)

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