Surviving Social Situations while Living Gluten-Free
You don’t need to stay at home by yourself or hang out exclusively at gluten-free markets to have a safe social experience while living gluten-free. Here are some simple ideas for surviving parties and other social gatherings during college:
When eating at a restaurant, ask questions every time, especially if you’re gluten-free for health reasons and must avoid all gluten. Try to get the waitperson’s attention before the order begins or call the restaurant ahead of time and talk with a manager about the establishment’s gluten-free options. The bonus of making your needs known is that you increase awareness of gluten intolerance, which could result in more food choices for everyone in the future.
If you plan to attend a catered event, ask the hosts who the caterer is and whether they mind if you call to arrange for a gluten-free preparation.
Eat before you go. At the event, you can look for veggies and other safe choices to munch on, but you won’t be starving if you can’t find them. Keep your expectations low if you aren’t bringing any food of your own.
Take a simple dish to share at parties. Think chips and salsa, cookies or brownies made from an easy gluten-free mix, popcorn, or veggies.
Take two dishes to potlucks so you have more choices — a main dish and a side dish or dessert that you can enjoy but that others will like as well. Simple choices are burgers (bring your own gluten-free bun), grilled chicken, grocery store rotisserie chicken, mashed potatoes, rice, and veggies.
By thinking ahead, you can have a great gluten-free experience at any social gathering.