Can You Eat Lasagna?

How do you deal with family members who don’t understand that you can’t eat certain foods?

I had a conversation today with an extended family member today about what I could eat for dinner when I visit, and I seriously had to shake my head at some of the questions. Can I eat lasagna? How about potatoes? And carrots?

This only a few days after Thanksgiving dinner, where I was hardly able to eat anything. Apparently, the thing to do this year was to put bread crumbs on all the vegetables. I was able to have the basics: turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce.

I’ve generally decided to explain to extended family that I just can’t eat wheat, and that it’s an allergy. It’s difficult enough to get people to understand that pasta and bread are made of wheat, so talking about gluten? Nah.

I realize that celiac disease is fairly rare (despite its growing numbers), and I’m going to have to educate a lot of the people I encounter. But it’s frustrating and exhausting; I imagine those with peanut allergies went through something similar 10+ years ago.


  • Theresa

    I’m really lucky as most of my friends and co-workers are aware or are actively avoiding wheat themselves. Whenever I go to a gathering I always bring something I’m allowed to eat which ups the number of things I can have. But it is still hard. For Thanksgiving I went to a friend’s house and she thickened her gravy with cornstarch so I could have it but I forgot about the crumbs from the stuffing that fell out in the pan. I’m still feeling ill from that. It can be so hard.

  • Chelsey

    I have just come across your bog and have been reading what you have to say. When it comes to family, friends its hard. I have grown up with allergies and let e tell you there were a lot of times i brought my own foods bceasue the just did not get it or forgot. I cant have eggs, milk, peanuts, nuts, fish, shellfish and now gluten. So its hard but give them time. Now I am good at big family meals they do there best to make sure I have food to eat. Even if they have to take a bit out for me before they make the actual dish.

    • Dawn Wentzell

      Thanks for reading, Chelsey!

      My family is getting better at trying to include some items I can eat in meals, but it’s hard when they don’t know all the sneaky places that gluten can hide. But they’re learning, and I appreciate it. The questions and comments when I first stopped eating gluten were so funny though 🙂

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