Multiple food allergies and family/holiday dinners? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 10-21-2011, 09:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Since I have positively identified at least two known major intolerance/allergies in my diet, I'm now worried about approaching holiday family dinners and how to go about handling them.  We live close to a few of dh's family members and usually celebrate holidays or birthdays every month to 6 weeks with a gathering and dinner.  There are already several family members whom my mother-in-law (who nearly always hosts) plans around:  my husbands grandma, who has a bowel blockage and can't eat any fiber, and my sister-in-law, who doesn't have any allergies but is just annoyingly picky.  I think that another "aunt" has a food issue, but they don't always come since they live a little further away and have other family they celebrate with.  I really don't want to be another difficulty in the menu planning, but my issues are much harder to work around than even great-granny, since either most typical holiday foods would incorporate some sort of gluten/dairy/corn, or the potential for contamination is just so high!  I'm not sure the best way to approach this.  This will be a long term problem, so I think somehow I'll need to gently instruct my mother-in-law at the very least, how not to contaminate foods that I could actually eat.  We have a good relationship, over all, so she should be receptive.  I'm just worried how not to make things overly stressful for everyone.  I'm sure others have been faced with this problem before.  What solutions have worked for you?  


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#2 of 11 Old 10-21-2011, 09:34 AM
 
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Eat before you go or take your own safe food.  It's the only 100% safe way to go.  

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#3 of 11 Old 10-21-2011, 09:46 AM
 
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same as PP

 

as someone who cooks a lot for people I can say that it is not acceptable in our home to invite people and be dictated to as to what to server them- I will only slightly accommodate to a degree - I am not restaurant, people sometimes seem to forget that - you are a guest when you are invited

 

explain - bring along or help paying to go to a restaurant but is seems like she is already catering to two (and frankly I would only do for the older person not a picky person) and unless she wants to "run a restaurant" at each gathering it is a bit much to ask-IMO


 

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#4 of 11 Old 10-21-2011, 10:27 AM
 
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Bring your own food. My dd has a corn allergy and I always take something she can have. I'm used to it and I don't want the host to stress over what to cook. I do this for birthday parties, school events, family outings, etc. 

 


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#5 of 11 Old 10-21-2011, 10:41 AM
 
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Also, offer to contribute a dish! You KNOW that one will be safe. Inquire about the method/recipe for the roasted meat (if you eat meat) which in theory should be fine as long as there is no butter. Ask that butter be put on the veggies at the table, not before serving? (BUt don't count on that the first time around...have a back up plan. Habits take time to change)

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#6 of 11 Old 10-21-2011, 10:47 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flightgoddess View Post

Also, offer to contribute a dish! You KNOW that one will be safe. Inquire about the method/recipe for the roasted meat (if you eat meat) which in theory should be fine as long as there is no butter. Ask that butter be put on the veggies at the table, not before serving? (BUt don't count on that the first time around...have a back up plan. Habits take time to change)



Yep!  This is what I do.  Also, anytime we travel, I always bring a stash/cooler of food, no matter what.  Most everyone we dine with is used to this now.  I have found it is easier for the host not to have to worry about how to prepare differently.  Usually, they have a way they enjoy cooking certain items during the holiday, tradition-like methods (like their older family members did) that I always seemed to feel bad for asking how they cooked it, KWIM? 

 

 


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#7 of 11 Old 10-21-2011, 11:01 AM
 
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If we are going somewhere else, we always bring our own food. I sometimes bring a dish that everyone can eat, but I still take separate portions out for DS and me first because people are not careful with serving spoons sometimes and I don't want to hover over everyone in fear of cross contamination. I think if you explain ahead of time, most people will be understanding and as PPs said, I think it's easier that way because I know the food that I bring is completely safe.


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#8 of 11 Old 10-21-2011, 11:04 AM
 
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If you do take your "own" dish to share, be sure you get to it FIRST and/or scoop out what you think you want and a little more.  I can't tell you how many times things get "dropped" when going through the buffet or spoons for the stuffing get mixed up with the GF stuffing!

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#9 of 11 Old 10-21-2011, 12:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post
(and frankly I would only do for the older person not a picky person) 


I know, right?  It's really ridiculous what she goes through for the picky person.  

 

I will have to talk a bit more to dh.  I'm afraid it will be seen by mil as rude to bring separate food, because she has ALWAYS accommodated everyone.  Growing up, if her boys didn't like dinner she would go ahead and cook a completely separate meal.  I think that's ridiculous, and we don't do that here.  It is possible that we could offer to prepare the meal for her, though.  We've done that in the past for Mother's day, and anytime we grill she expects my dh to do the grilling (so most summer gatherings).  Serving might be a little tricky, but as we usually prepare kids' plates first, it should be easy enough to squeeze mine in at that time.  

 

I don't know why I'm so stressed about this.  I think it's that introvert in me that really doesn't want to make waves or stand out.  

 


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#10 of 11 Old 10-21-2011, 01:29 PM
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Yep, offer to bring a dish (or two!) that is safe, try to find out before hand what you and your family will be able to eat, and always always always bring extra food from home.  If you feel like you might offend your mil, or feel strange having something on your plate no one else does, maybe you can casually  have the extra snacks you brought without bringing attention to yourself at another time.  I try my best to not say anything to whoever is having us over, unless they specifically ask, because it's too confusing for most people and it might make them feel bad if they don't get it right or that you are ungrateful for whatever it is they would be cooking.  I try to be very casual about the lack of what is not on my plate, and if someone asks I just say, "Oh, that looks delicious and I wish I could eat it, but I have found that I/my kids are very sensitive to _______________ and feel better if we refrain."

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#11 of 11 Old 10-22-2011, 08:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think we have decided to do a Thanksgiving type meal for ourselves for Wednesday dinner, so I can bring safe food from the leftovers to the in-laws.  To share, we'll bring a desert that I can eat and another dish.  We're usually tasked with bringing the rolls, so we'll let mother-in-law know that we won't be bringing something else and please ask someone else to bring rolls this year.  For future smaller gatherings, we'll probably just offer to do the meals for her.  I'm sure she'd welcome the break from cooking for everyone, and we can just alter the usual menu items to fit my sensitivities.  

 

Thanks for the help everyone!


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