Visiting people

Dinner place settin with red and white crockery and wine glasses which have some red flowers in them as decorationYou’ve been invited for a meal at someone’s home. What do you do? Although this can be a tricky situation, your multiple dietary restrictions can be managed with some forward planning.

The first step is to tell your hosts upfront that you are on a special diet. Just turning up and not eating anything may offend them. Or, eating food that’s not suitable for you may make you ill. Neither scenario is ideal.

So, tell well in advance what you can and what you can’t eat. Because dietary restrictions are quite common now, it’s possible your hosts are already familiar with cooking for special diets. If not, don’t worry. You can help them in a number of ways to make the meal suitable for you and sufficiently stress-free for them.

Ways to deal with eating at other people’s homes

Give specific information about your diet.
Discuss the options with your hosts and make helpful suggestions. Instead of just telling what you can’t eat, give ideas for what kinds of foods would work instead. People without dietary restrictions are generally not familiar with different alternatives whereas you probably use them frequently.

Offer to bring specific foods.
Since you know what foods are suitable for you, you could easily bring, for example, a bread substitute or other ingredients with you. This way the hosts don’t have to worry about the possibility of buying the wrong thing from the shop.

Offer to bring a dessert.
Dessert is usually the most difficult course for people without dietary restrictions to prepare, especially if it has to be sugar-free. I often take a cake (usually a chocolate cake) with me when I visit someone. So far everyone has been more than delighted to accept the offer!

Suggest you cook the meal together.
Instead of just turning up for a meal, why not prepare it together? Spending some time with your friends in the kitchen can be even more fun than just eating the food. You could bring some special ingredients with you and help to make sure the food is cooked in a way that suits you. This will make the hosts’ role less stressful, too.

Copyright © Tarja Moles 2012. Photo © Theclarkester |

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Tarja Moles is the author of No Naughties: Sweet Treats without Sugar, Wheat, Gluten and Yeast. Visit for free recipes and information on special diets and living with multiple dietary restrictions.