Some people have complicated dietary needs.
If you want to cook for them, much sure you understand what they are.
The basic way you do this is by
- ask them what they can and can’t eat
- believe them
- make food they can eat
- don’t make food they can’t eat
- if you aren’t sure, ask
- If one of the ingredients is something you haven’t talked about, ask
It can also help to say that you will not be offended if they need to bring their own food.
you can ask them for ideas and recipe links, too. they know how tricky their needs are to accomodate, after all, they’ve been doing it themselves. unless they are enormous douchebags they will not expect you to prepare an entire glorious feast all for them, or impress them with your culinary creativity. don’t overstress.
(if they DO expect, for instance, your whole family to eat a gluten-free vegan christmas dinner to keep them from having to look at something they can’t eat, stop inviting them. they are wankers.)
It also helps, when taking someone with a complicated relationship with food to a restaurant, to ask them about the restaurant beforehand if it’s one they haven’t been to before. Or scope out the menu or give them a menu to look at before you go.
Because I really hate going to restaurants I’m not familiar with and ending up not eating anything because literally nothing on the menu is something I want to put near my mouth.
Worse when I go with strangers because of my odd eating habits. My family’s used to it and some close friends are too. But strangers? LOL no.
And if you’re making something from scratch for someone like me, please say everything that is in the recipe to me. Because I’ve learned the hard way that some dishes involve ingredients I can’t stand and their picture and/or name does not give any hint of it (for example, onions tend to go unnoticed unless I look at the list of ingredients, as does celery).