The title is broad enough to encompass everything from BBQ’s at your friends house to bridal showers such as the one I attended this past weekend. They all require you to eat out and in a social setting. I’m sure many people have encountered such environments, and if attended unprepared you can either be left hungry or accidentally being glutened. Don’t let your gluten-free diet prevent you from partaking in social events.
There are a few ways you can overcome the awkwardness of not eating with the group. You can plan ahead by talking to the host/hostess to see if you can bring a dish or you can eat ahead. I personally feel it is more fun to make something that can be shared with all the attending guests. If it is a BBQ bring a hearty side, such as potato or pasta salad, and desserts are always a crowd pleaser. Brownies and cookies are simple to make thanks to manufacturers such as Betty Crocker, and they are tasty to boot. For my friends bridal shower we honored the ‘Cinco de Mayo’ theme and we had a taco bar. Corn tortillas, cheese, salsa, guacamole, beans, and lettuce made for a filling and flavorful lunch. If eating ahead, have a light meal, and dine on some finger foods if preferred. Stick with easy-to-identify dishes such as fruits, veggies, non-marinaded meats, cheeses etc. I would also recommend reading any and all labels that are present to be certain you avoid all wheat and gluten items. For instance, not all chips are corn chips these days. Some are labeled ‘multigrain’ and include wheat. Some creamy dips like ranch or vegetable can also contain gluten. Stick with the bottled dressings to be sure you know what you are getting.
These social gatherings are meant to be a time of fun. Todays take-away allows you to just that; offer to bring your own dish or eat ahead. Either way you want to focus on socializing with the people you care about and enjoying yourself without worrying about being hungry and finding something ‘safe’ to eat.