Leyla Eraybar – Gluten-Free Dining in Restaurants

For people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, dining in restaurants can be hugely challenging. For newbies to the gluten-free lifestyle, restaurants can be  difficult because of asking questions about the food. Dining out can become so much easier.  Find restaurants where the waiters are supportive and the chefs are talented.

Here are some tips to help make your dining experience as easy and pleasant as possible.

1. Don’t start hungry.
This is good advice for anyone dining in a restaurant, but it’s particularly important for those with gluten sensitivity. The hungrier you are, the more likely you are to eat something unsafe for you. If you must dine out while hungry, bring some crackers  while everyone else is filling up on the rolls.

2. Be familiar with the gluten-free diet.
This means not just knowing which grains to avoid eat, but also what some unlikely sources of gluten might be and the need to protect yourself against contamination.

3. Select the right restaurant.
Attempt to find a celiac-friendly restaurant, which are becoming more popular. Check in advance to make sure there are menu items you can eat by going on the restaurants website. Look for the menu online, or have it faxed to you.

4. Tell your server you’re on a special diet. 

Tell your server about your food allergies and how you need to know how the food is prepared. If your server does not to understand, ask to speak with the restaurant manager.

5. Pick a few dishes on the menu that look as if they might be safe, and ask questions. 

Try to look for simple dishes that lacks coatings or sauces, or with sauces that can be left off.

Always ask your server to tell the chef that you can’t have food containing wheat, and always ask questions. 6. Caution the restaurant staff about cross-contamination.


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