Throwing a Gluten and Dairy Free Fall or Halloween Party
Fall or Halloween parties can be a lot of fun, however food allergies and intolerance can make things a bit tricky. If you have the time, space and the means, I suggest you host a party at your own home, especially if you or one of your family members is new to being gluten or dairy free. The truth is, although people want to be supportive and understanding, it takes quite a bit of time, patience and information before they can truly grasp how involved avoiding gluten and dairy can be. When things are on your own turf, you have more control over them. I am not in any way saying that it is impossible to attend a party! However, sometimes, I just don't have the energy to worrying about cross contamination or explaining why I can't eat such and such to a new crop of people. That may be selfish of me, but I value my health and peace of mind.
- Is your party going to be strictly gluten and dairy free? If you or one of your family members is like me, you may be the only person in the house who must avoid certain foods. It is up to you if you plan to include gluten and dairy filled foods for your guests. When I first went gluten free, I made things for other people and had my foods elsewhere. One of the reasons I would do this is because it can be cheaper when I do not have to buy a larger quantity of gluten and dairy free ingredients, and at the time, I was worried that people were not going to like GF & DF food (which I do not worry about as much anymore because most of the foods I choose to make for company is so tasty that they can't tell the difference). I rarely ever do this now because I try to avoid getting glutened at all costs. If you have children on a special diet, whether your entire house eats gluten and dairy free or not, I definitely think your party should be strictly gluten and dairy free, so that they do not accidentally ingest something that they shouldn't. Many, but not all smaller kids (example 2 year olds) do not always understand why they can not have something.
- Note: If you choose to include gluten and dairy, be mindful that you need to have a special place for the foods that you do not contaminated. You can also make cute little signs labeling your food gluten & dairy free and attach it to your safe foods. Personally, I designate a place in the kitchen that is completely separate from the rest of the food. I cover everything that I am eating with foil, saran wrap or a lid, just in case a crumb makes its way towards my food.
- What type of party do you want to throw? You should consider the type of party that you want to throw and plan accordingly. Some Party Ideas: * Fall or Halloween Open House, a dinner party,
- How far in advance can you start preparing? The earlier you plan a party, the easier your life will be. I literally have a party planning notebook where I write the type of party, menu items, decorations and daily plan of what I need to buy or prepare before the party. If you are like me and live in a town where you can not go to a gluten free bakery or specialty store, you may be preparing most of your menu from scratch, so plan what you need to do. My sister always teases me, but sometimes I start party planning months and months in advance.
- What foods are you going to be serving? Here is the fun part! Think about fun dishes that you can make in advance so that you can enjoy your party! One of my favorite things to utilize for my fall parties are my slow cookers! Just place everything inside and let it do the work for you. Chili is another fun dish, you can check out my Halloween menu idea from last year here. The earlier you plan you menu, the less stressful things will be.
Check back because I will have a few Halloween desserts that you may want to include at your party! Have an wonderful gl