What do you bring to a gluten free person?

When going to a party or gathering where you know someone who is gluten free or has celiac disease, it can be tricky to figure out what food or gift to bring that will be safe for them to eat. There are a few key things to keep in mind when shopping for gluten free gifts or dishes.

Check Labels for Gluten Ingredients

One of the most important things is to read ingredient labels carefully to look for any gluten-containing ingredients. Some common ones to avoid are wheat, barley, rye, malt, and oats (unless certified gluten free). Even foods that don’t seem like they would contain gluten, like soy sauce, many broths and stocks, teriyaki sauce, and salad dressings often have wheat or malt ingredients. When in doubt, put the item back if it’s not clearly labeled gluten free.

Look for “Gluten Free” Labels

The easiest way to choose safe foods and gifts is to look for items that are specifically labeled “gluten free.” This takes a lot of the guesswork out of deciphering ingredient lists. Gluten free labels have become much more prevalent, especially at mainstream grocery stores. You can typically find a gluten free section with items like pasta, bread, crackers, baked goods, granola bars, and more. Just double check that the brand’s facility is gluten free too, as cross contamination is a concern.

Stick to Naturally Gluten Free Foods

Focus on foods that are naturally gluten free, meaning they don’t contain gluten in their whole form. This includes:
– Fresh fruits and vegetables
– Lean meats, poultry, fish, and seafood

– Eggs
– Beans, legumes, nuts and seeds
– Milk, yogurt, cheese
– Rice
– Corn and corn products
– Quinoa
– Fresh herbs and spices

Build a meal around these safe, gluten free options. Marinate proteins, make veggie sides, whip up fruit salads, etc. Get creative with flavor combinations!

Gluten Free Baking

If you want to bake something as a gluten free gift, substitutions will need to be made to remove sources of gluten. Here are some common swaps:

  • All-purpose flour – Replace with a blend of gluten free flours like rice, tapioca, potato, and chickpea flours.
  • Wheat flour – Substitute with coconut, almond, or gluten free oat flour.
  • Breadcrumbs – Use gluten free bread, crushed gluten free crackers, or ground nuts.
  • Pasta – Opt for gluten free corn, quinoa, rice, or bean-based pasta.
  • Soy Sauce – Swap for tamari or coconut aminos.

Use approximately 3/4 cup of gluten free flour blend for every 1 cup of regular flour called for. Expect baked goods to turn out slightly more dense and crumbly compared to traditional versions.

Pre-Packaged Gluten Free Treats

Another option is to pick up pre-made gluten free treats like:

  • Cookies
  • Muffins
  • Cakes
  • Doughnuts
  • Candy
  • Chocolate
  • Pies
  • Brownies
  • Granola

Read labels to verify gluten free status. Many mainstream brands now offer gluten free versions of popular sweets and snacks. You can also seek out specialty gluten free bakeries online or in stores.

Homemade Gluten Free Mixes

For a more personal gift, put together gluten free dry mixes in jars that the recipient can easily turn into tasty treats at home. Some mix ideas include:

  • Pancake/waffle mix – Gluten free flour, baking powder, salt, sugar
  • Brownie mix – Cocoa powder, sugar, gluten free flour, chocolate chips
  • Cookie mix – Gluten free flour, sugar, baking powder, chocolate chips
  • Cake mix – Gluten free flour, sugar, baking powder
  • Mug cake mix – Gluten free flour, cocoa powder, sugar

Print out or include instructions on how to combine the dry ingredients with wet ingredients like milk, eggs, oil, etc. to prepare the mixes. Decorative jars, scoops, and gift tags make it an extra cute gluten free gift idea.

Non-Food Gluten Free Gifts

Of course, you don’t have to give food as a gift if you’re unsure about diet restrictions. There are plenty of non-edible gluten free gift ideas including:

  • Candles
  • Lotions
  • Gift cards
  • Jewelry
  • Books
  • Cozy socks
  • Flavored coffee
  • Tea sampler
  • Unique gluten free cookbook
  • Kitchen tools

Choose a fun, useful item that shows thoughtfulness without the stress over gluten. A gift card to a nice gluten free bakery could also be appreciated!

When in Doubt, Ask!

If you want to confirm that a certain food or gift will be suitable, the best approach is to directly ask the gluten free person if they can eat it. Explain what measures you took to check for gluten ingredients and cross contamination. They will be touched that you took the effort to accommodate their dietary needs.


Bringing something gluten free to a party may seem challenging, but is very doable with careful label reading and ingredient substitutes. Stick to naturally gluten free fresh foods, labeled gluten free products, and non-food items to stay safe. When preparing a dish, swap out any gluten sources for gluten free alternatives. And always ask the recipient if you are unsure about a gift’s gluten status. With a little extra care, you can find or make something delicious that anyone gluten free can happily enjoy.

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