Hosting a Gluten Free Guest
Are you hosting a friend or family member that follows a gluten-free diet? Planning your menu doesn’t have to be a challenge. Here are some tips to ease your stress and serve a safe meal for your gluten-free guest.
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. Individuals with celiac disease are unable to digest this protein properly and must follow a strict gluten-free diet to preserve the function of their small intestine. Others may avoid eating gluten-containing foods due to digestive issues that aren’t related to celiac disease or a lifestyle preference.
Common gluten-containing foods include bread, pasta, cookies, pretzels and crackers. The hidden sources of gluten that make it tricky for hosting a gluten-free guest include condiments like soy sauce, salad dressing, marinades, soups and broths, bread crumbs and some seasonings. Label reading is critical in order to identify gluten-free options in these food categories.
While there are many foods that contain gluten, there are also plenty of nutritious, naturally gluten-free foods throughout the aisles of the supermarket. Specific examples include plain rice, quinoa, fruits, vegetables, cheese, eggs, beans and plain, unseasoned/unbreaded meat, poultry and seafood. You can also find a wide variety of gluten-free alternatives like pasta, crackers, baking mixes, flour, soy sauce and more to replace foods that usually contain gluten.
When planning your menu, keep these things in mind:
- Aim to include some naturally gluten-free dishes and invite your guest to bring a favorite dish or two to share.
- Prevent cross contamination with any gluten-containing dishes by preparing all gluten-free recipes at the same time and away from any ingredients that are not gluten free.
- Use clean bowls, utensils and cutting boards and choose plastic or rubber utensils instead of wooden ones.
- When everything is ready, clearly identify which menu items contain gluten and allow gluten-free quests to serve themselves first.
Weis Markets has made it even easier to shop for gluten-free foods. Check out the dedicated gluten free aisle in the store, or look for the brightly-colored Gluten Free icon that’s located right on the price tag. You can also connect with a Weis Dietitian to help plan your gluten free menu by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.