Over Christmas, I was lucky to have family visiting from overseas. It made my Christmas more special but also much busier. When you have family or friends visiting from interstate or overseas it can be difficult. You are the host and expected to show your guests your little piece of paradise.
I was a bit nervous, stressed and excited about their visit. Excited as I hadn't seen them in a long time so there was plenty of catching up to do. Nervous about more GLUTEN individuals being with us so more chances of accidentally GLUTENING. Additionally, they did not understand the complexity of eating GLUTEN FREE. Lastly, I was stressed about what activities and restaurants to take our guests to whilst they were here. This made it more difficult to be my best GLUTEN FREE self.
I am happy to say I wasn't GLUTENED whilst they were here. I was diligent, careful and prepared. I had to say no to some activities and restaurants. But this all kept me safe.
Here are my tips for being gluten free and preparing to have visitors:
- Rather than focusing the trip around eating out at restaurants and catching up, we focused the trip on activities we could do together whilst catching up. Some of the experiences included attending the Hopman cup, Fremantle prison, and Christmas carols. This allowed me to enjoy the day rather than be stressed over whether I was going to be GLUTENED.
- If your guests want to try out a restaurant you know is unsafe either attend and eat before or afterwards (you can always have a drink!!), attend and eat your own food that you have prepared at the restaurant (if you have permission by the restaurant) or don't attend the restaurant but meet up with before or afterwards to do activities with your guests.
- Bring your own food EVERYWHERE. You never know when you may be hungry, what restaurants are around, if restaurants have changed chefs, owners or closed. Be prepared.
- Avoid going out during meal times, otherwise eat at home or a restaurant you are comfortable in (will do a blog post on my top tips for choosing restaurants soon).
- Cook with your guests. Cooking together is a great way to bond and educate your guests on GLUTEN FREE cooking. It's also a great way to catch up and try new foods/meals.
- Have pre-made meals in the freezer for the unexpected (sickness, being spontaneous etc.) as it is difficult to get GLUTEN FREE takeaway. This way whenever you get home, you won't have to focus on cooking something. It's also a great way to ensure you go for nutritious food to fuel your body and not quick, unhealthy foods.
- Label EVERYTHING!!! Be clear about what is GLUTEN FREE and what is not. Be clear about your kitchen rules (i.e., GLUTEN FREE items top shelf, GLUTEN items bottom shelves). If your guests do not comprehend some of the rules, take your time to explain and demonstrate further. If there is still confusion (such as for young children) place GLUTEN FREE utensils (i.e., toaster, wooden spoons, chopping boards) in a box away from reach for you to use when needed. Additionally, wipe down all surfaces before cooking, have someone in the kitchen that knows how to cook for you OR prepare your GLUTEN FREE meals separately.
I hope these tips help you enjoy yourselves when you have guests in your little corner of paradise.
What tips do you have for family or friends visiting when you are gluten free?
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