Mission entertainment: how to behave at parties
Birthday parties are joy and fun occasions for everyone. But after the games, the laughs, the photos and the group dances, there comes a moment when the celiac child can lose his smile. It is the moment of the buffet, when children suffering from celiac disease can feel discriminated: it often happens that they are forced to move away because there are no foods suitable for them on the table. And it can’t be blamed on the family of the celebrated, since celiac disease is still a condition whose gravity is ignored by many people. Yet it takes very little to make everyone live the true spirit of the party.
Happy Birthday to me!
If it’s your birthday party, there are no problems. Your mom will surely serve an exquisite cake and lots of gluten-free sweets for you and your guests.
The guest's box
If you are invited by your friends, the easiest thing to do is to bring with you from home a gluten-free cake or biscuits, or another snack of your choice, gluten-free as well. Ask your mum to buy a beautiful box: you can use it on these special occasions to bring the sweets with you avoiding them fall, or protecting your cake from being crushed or damaged. However, you will have to be careful not to accidentally use a friend's plate or fork: even small food residues containing gluten can cause you to feel unwell.
And if at the time of the buffet, someone, intrigued by that box, will approach and ask what it contains, simply explain that it is gluten-free foodstuff: it is as good as the others but does not make you feel bad after eating it.
Or, if you want, invent a fantastic story set on the Gluten-Free Planet.
Totally gluten-free menu
With a little attention and a bit of sensitivity, you can organize a great buffet that makes everyone happy, even children who have problems in digesting gluten.
The ideal solution would be to compose a totally gluten-free menu. Much less stressful than separating dishes and foods to avoid contamination between gluten and gluten-free products. A hard and very risky task: remember that celiac, in addition to not being able to eat foods containing gluten, can’t put in their mouth objects that have touched products containing gluten (i.e.: eating with a cutlery or in a dish contaminated with gluten).
To inform the guests that the products are gluten-free is not needed, while it is advisable to inform celiac children that they can eat everything with the utmost tranquility and without worrying about anything, because there is nothing that can make them feel bad.
If, instead, you want to offer a mixed menu with gluten-free foods and foods made with gluten, it is necessary to make sure that the gluten-free products are not contaminated by those with gluten. How to do?
• First, before the party, ask your celiac guests or their parents (in case of very young children) for advice and information and possibly find out what they like, so you will know exactly what to offer and you will avoid buying or preparing dishes that they will not touch.
• Set up a different table for gluten-free dishes or delimit the part of the table reserved for gluten-free products, checking that celiacs only use that area. Remember that everyone will also want to taste gluten-free products, even if they have been prepared for only one person: it happens above all with children who are curious to know and try what a celiac can eat. Then prepare abundant portions gluten-free products.
• Label gluten-free products laying them on trays, plates and more, so that they are clearly visible: for example by choosing a different color or using tags.
• Ask not to contaminate the area including gluten-free products: just a small sign warning "gluten-free area, please do not put in this area dishes, cutlery or trays found on other tables".
• Carefully check that the ban is respected: it is a difficult but not impossible task and supervision is always necessary, especially with children. Maybe you should ask for some other adult’s help (parents of celiac children have a trained eye and will be able to help you more than others).
• If at the end of the party a gadget is left that includes treats or other things to eat, make sure that the ones for celiac guests are gluten-free.