Tips For Accepting Gluten Free Food Made By Somebody Who Is Not Gluten Free

So you're gluten-free. Your family knows, your friends know, and most likely your work colleagues know too. One day you decide to go to a get-together of some sort. To your surprise, a friend decides to make you feel included by baking you gluten-free banana bread. How nice of them! You feel happy that you're included, happy that someone thought of you so you wouldn't feel left out. How great is this! Although, there's just one thing. You have that one thought lingering in your mind asking yourself, "Did they make this on a shared surface? Is this really gluten-free or did they cross contaminate?" Of course you don't want to turn down such a nice gesture and be impolite. Now this puts you in a tough situation because you don't want to get sick too! So what do you do?

Tips For Accepting Gluten Free Food Made By Somebody Who is Not Gluten Free:

Be kind and thankful for this gesture
The first thing that you want to do is let them know how much you appreciate them making you something that is gluten-free. They took the time to make you feel included in a scenario you would otherwise dread. It's thoughtful anytime someone makes something for you. So when someone goes out of their way to make you something that is gluten-free, it means even more.

Do NOT turn it down or be rude
The worst thing that you can do is jump to conclusions and assume that they did not make it gluten-free. Yes, it's possible that they may have cross contaminated. They are most likely not as educated as you are on the topic. But be honest, how educated were you on cross contamination before you went gluten-free. The fact of the matter is, you want to make them feel appreciated for such a nice gesture. The last thing you want to do is offend them when they try to do something nice for you.

Accept the item from them and ask questions
The best thing to do for both sides is to accept the item that they made or bought. Ask questions and use this as a time to converse about being gluten-free in general. What flour did they use? Where did they find the recipe? Did they make it at home? It's good to even ask what pans they used if you'd like to get a better idea on cross contamination. You want them to feel thanked and a part of the conversation rather than interrogated for what they made.

Don't eat the item right away if you do not feel it is safe
Based on what they said about the item that they made, determine whether you will eat it or not. If you don't feel that it's safe, say that you will take it home to "eat it later." I usually say this to people I am not too close to. A work colleague is a good example. Again, you don't want to make them feel offended when they went out of their way to make you something gluten-free. But you need to put your health first. That's why I say I will eat it later to avoid an awkward scenario.

If you are close enough to this person, use it as a time to educate them
If a close family member or a friend goes out of their way to make you something that's gluten-free, try and educate them a little more on cross contamination. You definitely want to make sure that people understand how serious being gluten-free is. Absolutely make sure to thank them for the kind gesture but also share how sensitive you are to gluten. If you can't eat the item, say you will give it to someone else in your family so it will not go to waste. Believe me, it's hard to be gluten-free and make everyone happy. Use this time to educate them so that they know to take the right precautions to take in the future. You have to put yourself first but it's also good to make others feel appreciated for being kind to you too.

Have you ran into this situation before? What did you do? Comment below!
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  1. Yes, this has happened a few times before. It depends how well I know the person. At work someone was giving out assorted cookies to everyone and then gave me "gluten free" cookies (buckeyes essentially). After they were talking about their huge baking fest on Saturday I knew they were made in conjunction with everything else, i.e. most likely contaminated so I just say thank you and ill eat them as a treat with lunch later. In which I will usually end up giving them to a family member or friend who is not gluten free. Which has happened on several occasions. For close friends who know me well enough to know how sensitive I am they either 1 don't attempt to make me anything for fear of "glutening me" or 2 are SO overboard careful. Great post though, I feel like this happens a lot.

    1. If you are getting glutened often, time to make more changes. The power of saying NO is extraordinarily impactful to yourself and others.

  2. Thank you for addressing this issue. It's difficult, because people mean well. I've done what you suggested in asking questions and saying I will take it home to eat it later. Even if the food is made by another person that's gluten free, they may not have the secondary sensitivities that I do. Therefore questions are still in order.

  3. I had a hostess so proud of the gluten free chicken she had made me. bragging about looking it all up as she took the tongs from the regular chicken to put my gluten free chicken on my plate. Before she could do the same to the second piece of chicken I said stop! scared her and everyone. after explaining what she had done. she felt really bad. I felt terrible reacting as I did. its a very tuff situation to deal with.

  4. I was at a birthday luncheon potluck and one of my coworkers proudly presented chicken baked in corn flakes. "They are corn flakes, I know it's safe for you to eat!" yes, except for the malt flavoring. I ate some to make her happy, tossed it when she wasn't looking, and suffered for it. It's not easy. The other response I get at work is, "well you won't DIE from it, right?" sheesh.

  5. Before I went gluten free myself, I made similar mistakes. For example, I made gluten-free brownies, but used baking spray that had wheat in it.

    Good post. Keep up the good work.