When catering for someone with coeliac disease, it is important to remember that it is a serious medical condition and that a strict gluten free diet must be followed at all times.
Care must be taken to avoid cross contamination during food preparation because as little as 50mg of gluten (equivalent to 1/100th of a slice of standard wheat bread) can damage the small intestine in people with coeliac disease. All ingredients used (including garnishes, dressings, sauces, etc.) must be gluten free.
Below are some tips for catering for family and friends with coeliac disease;
- Talk to your friend or family member about their favourite gluten free dishes and ask them for suggestions on what you could make for them. Most people with coeliac disease are happy to bring along a plate to share.
- When shopping for gluten free food, look for items marked ‘gluten free’ or that have the ‘Crossed Grain Logo’.
- When serving your coeliac friend, confirm with them the ingredients used or show them the packet if it is a store bought product.
- Try to make as much of the meal gluten free as possible to avoid any risk of cross contamination.
- If you are cooking gluten free and gluten-containing food for the same occasion, ensure appropriate measures are taken to prevent cross contamination.
- Start with recipes that are naturally gluten free – e.g. meat and vegetables/salad for a main, panna cotta or crème caramel for dessert.
- Barbecues are great for entertaining with gluten free friends/family. There are many gluten free sausages, rissoles and beef patties available. Salads can easily be made gluten free, along with gluten free salad dressings.
- Roasts are another great option for a main course and gluten free gravy mixes are readily available. Just ensure that any glazes, coatings or stuffings are also gluten free.
- When serving dip platters, it is easier if all of the biscuits are gluten free, or consider using veggie sticks to avoid gluten-containing crumbs in the dip.
- If baking, start with something easy, such as a gluten free packet mix. Just be sure not to dust your cake-tin with ordinary flour or sprinkle your cake with an icing mixture that contains gluten.
- When eating out, ensure that the restaurant you choose is able to cater for the gluten free diet. Refer to our Eating Out page for further suggestions.