Food Allergies, Restrictions, and the Like… Part 3

Picking up from a few days ago…

Another option, when considering this invitation, would be to respond by telling Celeste that she need not worry about any food restrictions for your family (thereby implying – to yourself – that if there are any, you will handle it discreetly, without a problem). For many families, this is a viable option. I, for example, experience a mild asthmatic reaction to wheat. Mama gets migraines from pecans and walnuts. These allergies are not severe (if we eat it, we won’t end up in the ER…), and we know how to avoid the foods pretty discreetly. Often, this may mean that I eat prior to our visit (especially if it’s a pizza party, etc.), and then honestly and politely decline food for reasons of not being hungry:

Me: “Thank you, no.”

Friend: “Aw, come on! Don’t you want some?”

Me: “It looks great, but, no. I’m really not hungry.” or “No, thanks. I really shouldn’t.”

If, however, your family does have allergies or restrictions that could dramatically affect your visit, it is probably more considerate to tell Celeste. For example:

If your entire family will not eat pork, due to a conviction, you should probably tell Celeste. Otherwise, they may decide to prepare bacon-wrapped appetizers, followed by a ham supper. This would be awkward for both the Smiths and your family. The Smiths will feel bad for preparing the food, you’ll feel bad that you made them feel bad, etc… Not to mention suffering from the taunting smell of bacon wafting through the house. There would be immediate tension (even if not ill-willed) created by the lack of communication.

The same would go if, for some reason, the entirety or vast majority of your family was unable to eat certain things (diabetes, Celiacs, other legitimate concerns). Mind you: This is not the same as unwilling (other than by conviction) to eat certain things. If you or your family members are merely picky, try not to let people notice. It can be embarrassing, even unsettling to the host. “What DOES he like? Do I have time to make it? Is there anything here that he’ll eat?” etc. And… branch out a little. Food is amazing! 🙂

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