Living gluten-free can be isolating if you feel you’re the only one who knows what you go through on a daily basis. Try to educate your friends and family about a gluten-free diet because the more they know, the more they can help support you.
Family members need to know enough about the diet to help prepare meals, shop, and prepare for traveling. It’s your job to educate them. Make sure they know what gluten is, where it’s found, and how to avoid it. Consider taking a class and ask your spouse, parent, or friend to attend with you. While they may never become an expert (like you must), simply making the effort to understand the gluten-free lifestyle will be helpful and comforting to you.
But there are times when sensitivity should be practiced also. Baking a huge batch of your favorite wheat-based fudge brownies or chocolate chip cookies in front of you, particularly in the transitional weeks of going gluten-free, is not the most supportive thing your family can do.
They can support you by being open to new tastes, ingredients, recipes, and products that you bring home or experiment with. Saying “Yuck! You’ll never get me to try that,” is not being supportive and understanding. Encourage experimentation!
Invite family and friends over for a gluten-free food night where you have a variety of foods prepared from scratch as well as packaged products they can taste. This is a fun way to help educate family and friends about the diet. Create gluten-free question games to spice up the event, making it educational and memorable.