Social skills for autonomous people: cooking for people who can’t eat certain things




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…

Also - let me know EXACTLY what you plan on making. “Chicken option” or “vegetarian sides” are too vague for me to know if I can eat - but I can say confidently that chicken parmigiana is safe and a stirfry with tofu and mushrooms is not.

Also - I can’t speak for anyone else, but my dietary restrictions cause me a lot of shame, embarrassment, and anxiety. You don’t have to remind me that I’m weird. I am fully aware, thanks. I would never expect you to plan a meal around me, but if you’d like me to be comfortable attending, checking in with me privately and well in advance works wonders. Putting food down on the table and then saying in front of everyone, “shit, you don’t eat anything, do you?” - not so much.

I feel like this a lot. I have celiac disease, which many, many people don’t know about, or don’t know enough. So I can’t eat a whole lot of things which most people take for granted, mostly and mainly anything with wheat in it. And also, not many people know enough to keep foods separated to avoid cross contamination. I always feel like I’m annoying whoever invites me to a dinner party, which makes me feel bad, embarrased, and anxious, but it’s my health we’re talking about. Which is why I always try to talk to the host/ess in advance to make sure that there will be something that I can eat safely, or make other arrangements, such as bringing my own food or eating before going to the event.