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Top tips for the gluten-free party season

Family gatherings, works parties and succulent roasts, there’s no denying that winter helps you get into the festive spirit. However, for coeliac suffers (especially the newly diagnosed), the party season can be a time of dread; another season of attending dinner parties and coping with the relentless task of maintaining a gluten-free diet. Yet it doesn't have to be this way, with a little bit of forward planning, preparation and communication, you too can enjoy all the festive flavours winter has to offer!

If you're hosting the party – things just got easier. If you’re not, then don’t worry, we imagine most of your friends will already know about your dietary requirements, but don’t be afraid to remind them, you never know where gluten maybe hiding. It’s also advisable to let your friend know about cross contamination prior to the party or dinner, that way they can prepare in advance to make it as safe as possible for you.

It may even be worth while providing your friend with a list of recipes that are naturally gluten-free, to enable them to make the same food for everyone - some dishes can easily be made gluten-free such as [Chilli Con Carne][1] or [Shepherds Pie][2].

You could also make your own arrangements for certain occasions (again, after a chat with your host in advance), for example bringing along some of your own food. If it’s a buffet, we're sure one of our ilumi [gluten-free curries][4] will go down a treat with everyone (not only are they gluten-free they're healthy too!). Or perhaps, you could bring your own condiments and serve yourself before any sauces are added to the dishes.

Last, but by no means least, make sure you enjoy your dinner party - if in doubt just make sure you have plenty of communication with the party host! If you or your host are in doubt, you can call the [Coeliac UK][3] helpline on 0845 305 2060. They can give you advice on ingredients and plenty of tips on reading labels.

[1]: http://www.gimmeglutenfree.com/2012/01/chili-con-carne.html
[2]: http://glutenfreecooking.about.com/od/entrees/r/Gluten-Free-Shepherds-Pie-Recipe.htm
[3]: https://www.coeliac.org.uk/coeliac-disease/talk-to-us/

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