By the time you reach adulthood you are accustomed to your food intolerances and know how to work around them. This is also true if your food limitations are self-imposed, whether for health or ethical reasons. Being accustomed to these limitations means that you know how to prepare or find the best meals and snacks in your area that fit in with your limitations. You know how to work around time restraints, vacationing and restaurants. What happens, though, when you need to work your food intolerances into being a guest?
Whether your diet limitations are due to food intolerances such as allergies and sensitivities, or because of personal choice, it is your responsibility to manage these intolerances. When you are a guest at a party or in someone’s home, you cannot expect that person to go out of their way in order to address your diet needs. Part of being a good guest is taking responsibility for your own food intolerances and making sure that you have something to eat and enjoy, while also not making your hosts or others around you uncomfortable.
Many hosts will put a tremendous amount of effort into making sure that they have something to offer all of their guests. If your food intolerances are extreme, however, it can be difficult for your host to understand exactly what it is that you can eat, much less know how to prepare something that you will enjoy. Take the pressure off of their shoulders by recommending a specific item or providing a recipe. Better yet, offer to bring a favorite dish that everyone can share. Being a guest at a party or a visitor in someone’s home is a great opportunity for you to educate others regarding your food intolerances, and giving them a chance to experience the types of foods that you enjoy.
The main thing to keep in mind when trying to be a good guest with food intolerances is that you can never rely on someone else to provide adequate food that adhere with your dietary regulations. Even if they are willing to try, there’s always the chance that they will make a mistake or forget when preparing the food for their gathering. It is always a good idea to eat something before you go and offer to bring your own food. Be open and honest about your dietary restrictions so that your host has the most information to go on when including you and their gathering.