Sunday is the big game day, Superbowl XLIX. Many will be gathering with friends and family to see who this year’s Superbowl champion will be. I am not a football fan, but I will most likely find myself at a party on Sunday. Since I am gluten free, I will need to be careful that I don’t eat anything that will make me sick.
Here are some suggestions on surviving the big game day gluten free. Some of the common causes of accidental gluten ingestion are cross contamination from crumbs or pieces of gluten food dropping into gluten free foods or on plates, serving utensils used with gluten foods used on gluten free foods, or not knowing ingredients in a dish.
If you are hosting a party:
1. Separate tables. If possible, have separate tables for gluten and gluten free offerings. This is the most reliable way to keep cross contamination from occurring at a party.
2. Label serving utensils and dishes that are gluten free with the same color ribbon, so guests can tell which serving utensil goes with which dish.
3. If you are doing your party pot luck style, have your guests put ingredients on a recipe card and place by the dish. Those who are gluten free will know what ingredients to stay away from and decide if the dish is safe for them.
4. Talk with your gluten free guests before the day of the party and learn what would be helpful for them. This will make them feel like some one cares about them.
5. If you are going to make every dish yourself, you could make them all gluten free. Your gluten eating guests will never know the difference. Check out the recipes below for ideas. Many chips and salsas are gluten free naturally, so it is easier than you think it would be to do it all gluten free. Read labels. You are looking for wheat, barley, malt, rye, modified food starch. If you have questions, your gluten free friends will be more than willing to help you figure out if something is gluten free.
If you are attending a party:
1. Bring your own food. This is always the safest choice. Be prepared and bring your own serving utensil and even plates and silverware if you want to be certain. If you are sharing your dish, make sure it has a labeled serving utensil and it is set away from dishes with gluten.
2. Ask those who made the dish what the ingredients are or to see the container they came in. If you start the conversation that you have a food allergy and would like to know the ingredients, you can prevent them from feeling offended. If they are not cooperative and won’t tell you, do not eat it. It is not worth getting sick.
3. Avoid anything you do not know the ingredients. Some common safe options are fruits and vegetables that have no dip or dressing on them. Many chips and salsas are too, but once again checking labels is the safest option.
4. If you see crumbs or food from other dishes or any other signs of cross contamination, avoid that food.
5. Be open and talk to other guests. Many don’t know about gluten and are very open to learn about your eating needs. Most will also be very accommodating. There are always those who are not so agreeable, but your health is more important than their ego. If you are diligent and proactive, you can enjoy the game and have an equal experience as the rest of your friends and family. Here are some tasty and healthy snacks from some of my favorite blogs. Enjoy the game and stay healthy!
Author Information: Leanne Overlander
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