No the title does not mean a guest who happens to be food intolerant and is very entertaining to watch, listen to and admire. Although Kristy from Southern In-Law would definitely fit into that category. I have a wonderful guest post for you today from someone who knows much more than me about food intolerances (considering I know nothing would mean this isn’t hard). This girl lives and breathes intolerances and allergies- so if you’ve got it, she’ll know how to help you out.
Entertaining during the Holiday/Christmas season, well any season for that matter, can be a down right nightmare. Throw a nut allergy nephew and a gluten free cousin into the mixture and then you’ve got all kinds of stress. It’s hard enough cooking for people who eat anything! Lucky this girl has a few practical and life-learnt tips up her sleeve.
Hi there Crave readers! I’m Kristy and I blog over at Southern In-Law. I’ve been interested in healthy eating for what feels like forever. I was the weird kid who turned her nose up at McDonald’s and who was known to eat whole tomatoes with just a sprinkle of salt and pepper as a snack.
My love of healthy food and healthy eating (and my family’s not so healthy ways) meant that I was always asking my mum to help me in the kitchen to make delicious healthy meals and snacks. This love of cooking developed to where I no longer needed Mum and I was making my own recipes off the top of my head.
But then things changed. After almost 2 years of suffering from daily stomach pains, nausea, weight loss, appetite loss and other nasty symptoms – I was diagnosed with coeliac disease. I had to start learning how to cook all over again – forget breads, pastas and wholemeal flours, the game had changed.
But this diagnosis opened me up to a whole new world – and my family too. Often times people without coeliac disease or food intolerances don’t realise how serious it is. My family and friends will invite me over and tell me that “one slice of cake won’t kill you” – but little did they know that if I were to eat that slice of cake, within 6 or so hours, I’d have the stomach of a full-term pregnant woman, extreme nausea, headaches, stomach cramps, dizziness, fatigue and a whole bunch of other symptoms that just aren’t pretty.
With the holiday seasons, the hardest thing for me as someone with multiple food intolerances and coeliac disease is eating when outside of home – generally speaking, I don’t do it because I’ve gotten sick so many times – so Bec has asked me to share my tips on Entertaining (Food) Intolerant Guests.
1. Know the Problem
When it comes to coeliac disease and other food allergies, the biggest issue is cross contamination. You may have prepared a delicious gluten free or nut free salad – but when you’ve used the same serving dishes for each salad, they’re no longer free of those allergens.
2. Don’t Be a Food Pusher or Make the Person Feel Bad
Harsh, but I don’t know one person with a food allergy who hasn’t had this problem. When I first discovered my food allergies and intolerances, I was an emotional wreck – it sounds stupid, but when you realise that for the rest of your life you will always have to be careful with food, read labels, ask questions etc. it’s a hard pill to swallow. With my weakened emotional state, it only took one “Ugh Kristy, stop being so fussy” or “Just eat regular food like a normal person” to have me in a puddle of tears. People with food allergies and intolerances can’t help their problem – so don’t make them feel any worse.
As for food pushers – don’t use the old “but one piece won’t kill you” line – you end up making someone feel guilty for something they know they can’t do.
3. Ask if There is Anything You Can Buy/Make
Ask your (food) intolerant friend or family member if there is anything you can prepare for them that everyone else can eat too – it may be as simple as having a gluten free dip with gluten free rice crackers or a fruit platter for dessert. Just be careful to avoid cross contamination. All of the recipes at my blog are adaptable for different food intolerances or needs – try simple healthy recipes like Low Fat Gingerbread Cookies, Healthy Double Chocolate Brownies and Gingerbread Muffins or a savoury dish such as Creamy Pesto Pasta.
4. Don’t Feel Offended When They Ask to Bring Their Own Food
When you have allergies – the safest route is to do it yourself. If your guest offers to bring their own dish – don’t be offended! If they offer to bring a main dish and dessert you could also have a gluten free salad or side dish available and make a fresh fruit platter to accompany dessert.
I think that just about covers the basics – but of course each person has different needs. The main thing is – don’t be afraid to invite your friends over who may have food intolerances or allergies – they already feel alien enough! Take a look at how they host their own dinner parties or events and pick up some tips that you can use next time they come over.
Of course if you have any other questions – just pop on over to Southern In-Law and ask away!
So tell me – do you have any tips for entertaining friends/family with food intolerances/allergies?
A big thank you to the wonderful Kristy. Make sure you check this girl’s blog out because not only is she an amazing writer, as you can probably already tell, but is a whiz at photography. Plus she offers fantastic giveaways, product reviews, recipes and the daily insights into her life never fail to make me smile!