My aunt and uncle was just here for a visit. I do enjoy having them stay with us. We’ve been quite lucky with them because they live near the one and only bakery I’ve found that has great, Little Guy safe bread. So when they come, they always bring us some from the Little Aussie Bakery. If you ever happen to be in the San Antonio area, it really is worth checking it out! They are also easy company to have as their daughter has Celiac’s Disease and some food issues. So our requests are not completely bazaar.
I always get a bit nervous when it comes to having house guests. Have I told them enough about the food allergies? Do they know and understand we don’t have certain foods in our house? Will they remember to wash their hands frequently? Will they remember to only keep food in the dining room? Will the food I prepare for them be “good” to them?
And it keeps going on. You see, I want to be a good hostess. I want to meet all their needs. Unfortunately we have different rules in our house that often times people don’t have to think about. Ultimately my concern is my son’s safety (of course!). But I do like to be a good hostess.
In order to ease some of my tension I’ve come up with some tips to help with house guests:
1) Check on their food preferences- I find this is an easy way to introduce the food allergy issues without completely focusing on our needs. If you know they like chips or ice cream. Have your house stocked with safe versions of these items. This not only is being a good hostess but it also helps to keep your allergic person safe.
2) Offer to do all the cooking- Again this is a great way to be a great hostess to your guests but it also ensures meals will be prepared to your needs. I ask if they have any diet restrictions or things they really don’t care for. I lead into a reminder of our restrictions by saying we tend to eat healthier than most. I explain briefly why we do this and the foods we don’t allow in our house.
3) Clean out a space for their food- This is especially nice for those guests who will be staying for an extended period of time. This way when they do bring in some of their own food they have somewhere to keep it. By choosing a space that is slightly removed from your allergy safe foods, you decreased the chances of cross-contimination. Also, if your allergic one is a child, you can keep them safer by putting these foods out of their reach.
4) Wipe down the counters/table tops more frequently- My little guy has contact reactions for some of his allergies. This is a difficult concept for those not dealing with allergies to fully understand. He also is pretty sensitive to small amounts of his allergic foods, so yes, that tiny breadcrumb will make him react. When guests are over, I’m even more so hypervigilant on wiping everything down.
5) Be Upfront- Everyone is use to having rules in their house. I have several friends who hate (and I do mean hate) to have outside shoes worn inside. I think its much easier for people to not only comply but be more understanding when we’re up front with them. I like to let them know early to avoid any awkward moments.
Do you have things you do to prepare for house guests? I’d love to hear your tips.