So even though my team didn't make it into the Super bowl this year (Geaux, Saints!) it doesn't mean that I will not be watching the big game with friends. Get-togethers can be hard when you are the only person on a restricted diet and in cases where you were invited to someone else's home, it can be difficult to guarantee the safety of the food. So, I wanted to list out a few tips that can help make the day go smoothly, at least snack-wise. ;)
1) Chips - when have you been to a Super Bowl party when there have not been any chips? Its the quintessential party snack. Try coordinating with the hostess And offer to bring the chips for the whole gang. If she already purchased them, ask her what kind they are beforehand so you can decide if you can bring your own or not. Most tortilla chips should be safe. I always like Mission tortilla chips because they are low in sodium, are NOT made with soybean oil, and have a short, simple ingredient list. They also have the best taste in my opinion!
2) Dip - most salsas are gluten-free however, be careful of any non-gluten free chips or other items being dipped in. A safer option may be to try bringing some hummus. It's lower in calories and comes in lots of fun favors. Perfect for sharing and great for dipping veggies into. A much healthier option! If you have a soy allergy though, you might want to double check the hummus label. Sabra hummus is made with soybean oil. . Athenos and Tribe are good brands though.
3) Drinks - top two drinks at Super Bowl parties? Soda and Beer. Most parties are BYOB but in cases where the hosts are providing, call ahead to see what's on tap. If there is not GF beer, ask if it's ok to bring your own. Most people are fine with that and will probably offer to chill it for you. As for soda's, there is a nasty rumor that they are not gluten-free due to the caramel coloring. In America, this is not true because almost all soda manufacturers use corn as their base for caramel color. If you are still in doubt, stick to the clear soda's or for a healthier choice, drink water!
4) Grilled items - for those of you blessed with great weather in order to grill out at this time of year (or for people who brave the cold). Most meats are gluten-free however, double check to make sure the host or hostess did not add anything to the ground beef just to be sure. Hot dogs should be fine as well but, it's always healthier to go with the 100% beef ones. There are a lot of additives in the cheapest. Grilled steaks should be completely fine but double check any seasoning or ask for yours to be plain. You can also ask the griller to make sure to cook your meat and an area where they have toasted the buns.
When in doubt, just ask. Advocate for yourself! You don't have to be rude but, you would rather be safe than sorry. It may even open the host or hostess up to ask about your Celiac Disease or gluten intolerance. That way, you can help raise awareness and spread the word. I always encourage people to educate others about their food needs. If I had never opened up, my best friend would not have been diagnosed with Celiac and my good friend at work would've never been checked for wheat allergies. You never know when you can make a difference!