Gluten Free Recipes
Tips for Attending a Cookout When You’re Gluten Free
Friends, family, love, laughter, fun, and food. They go together so well as people gather for Labor Day parties—unless you have food allergies or other dietary restrictions. In that case, such occasions can be a chore, but they don’t have to be. With some preparation and forethought, gluten-free eaters can attend cookouts, eat safely, and enjoy the day along with everyone else.
Here are some tips to help you.
1. Call the host. Be sure to talk to the person who is doing most of the food purchasing and/or cooking. First, politely explain your situation and get a feel for how accommodating they will be. Don’t expect anyone to serve an entirely gluten-free meal for you.
If they are willing to work with you, ask about the ingredients in a few things. For example, will the burgers be 100% beef or are they adding seasonings to it? Also ask about cross contamination. If the grill rack is not thoroughly cleaned, meat and vegetables can be grilled on or wrapped in foil.
2. Take food to share. Most guests take a side dish or dessert to share at a cookout. Take something that is important to you. If it’s your child who is gluten free, a dessert might be important to have.
3. Take food to fill in the gaps. If you know the meat will be gluten free, but you don’t know about the potato salad, Take a small container of some that is safe for you to eat. It won’t look much different than what everyone else is eating, and you won’t feel like you’re missing out.
4. Get your food first. Politely ask if you can get your food before others do. Once people start picking up bread and other gluten-containing foods, contamination becomes much more likely.
5. Rinse off food if necessary. If you are concerned about crumbs (yes, some people like myself are that sensitive), you can rinse foods that would otherwise be gluten free, such as fresh fruit and vegetables.
It can be a balancing act for you to ensure that food is safe to eat without being overly worried or bothersome to others, but it can be done. Remember to focus on the friends, family, love, laughter, and fun—all things that you can have.