If you’ve arrived here searching for practical, usable advice on how to navigate an elimination diet or a set of food restrictions for someone you love, thank you. Just the fact that you’re willing to try is a show of generosity and compassion that person will not forget. If that person is a child, I can tell you from experience that you are earning that child’s parent’s love and gratitude even as you read this.
Most importantly, before you read any of the posts below: please don’t forget to ask the person for whom you’re cooking about their level of sensitivity. It will be hard for both of you if you go out of your way to cook something that turns out to be dangerous for the person with allergies or sensitivities despite all your hard work. Ask about things like cross-contamination, oils and spices, and brand names of products you bought. No two people following a medically-supervised elimination diet are alike. No two people with celiac disease, lactose intolerance, or nut allergies are alike. Always, always ask.
A final note: if your beloved friend or family member tells you they’d rather bring their own food, please don’t take it personally. Having allergies or needing to follow an elimination diet is daunting. No one wants to leave the party in an ambulance or spend it sick in the bathroom. Just the fact of you offering — and being willing to try! — is kindness enough. Feel free to share this page with that person — maybe I stumbled on something they didn’t know about yet! And don’t forget about my Food That Helped list!