How to Respond to Food Offers on a Gluten-Free Diet
By Lana Bandoim
If you have celiac disease and follow the gluten-free diet, it is important to avoid eating gluten. However, many people will continue to offer you food that is not safe. In most cases, they are simply confused about the gluten-free diet or do not understand celiac disease. It is crucial to learn how to respond to them and stay safe at the same time.
Before accepting any offer of food, ask questions about the ingredients and preparation methods. Even vegetables and fruit, which are naturally free from gluten, can be unsafe because of potential contamination with wheat or other grains. For example, vegetables that are cut with the same knife that was used to slice wheat bread are not safe for people with celiac disease. Small crumbs from the bread can be transferred to the knife and the vegetables. Some people can react to a single crumb of wheat bread.
Learn to Say No
Learning to say no is often difficult for both adults and kids who have been taught to politely accept food their entire lives. Most people do not want to hurt others, and it is hard to say no to delicious cookies, cakes or muffins. However, people with celiac disease must learn to say no and must refuse food with gluten. Taking a small bite and spitting it out can still be a problem for those who are sensitive to gluten.
Opinions vary about how much of an explanation is necessary after refusing to eat someone’s food. Some people with celiac disease enjoy educating others about the condition and explaining the details of a gluten-free diet. Others do not want to draw attention to the problem. They prefer to politely say no without an explanation. Often, the situation dictates the amount of details that can be shared.
If a small child offers a cookie that you cannot eat, then it is probably better to skip the long discussion about autoimmune diseases and celiac problems. However, adults who are curious about your health may be interested to learn more about celiac disease. Try to stay flexible and remember that many people simply do not know the requirements of a gluten-free diet.
When you have celiac disease, the gluten-free diet becomes essential. Learn to refuse food offers that are not safe or have gluten. Your health is more important than pleasing a relative who made cookies with white flour or muffins with gluten-contaminated oats.
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Snellville, Ga.