How do you go to family dinners when you eat differently than everyone else? I have a lot of experience with this. I’ve been vegetarian since 2000 so I was an outlier before I went vegan. My family is pretty much used to it but it is still a hassle.

The main thing to do is to make sure you bring a dish or two. Make it substantial so if it needs to be most of your meal it can be. My mom and I are at the point now where I bring about half the meal if I go to her house. That can be tricky since I’m about 2.5 hours away but you can make it work.

Don’t expect other people to be helpful. Just make yummy food and be ready for the jokes. (Maybe that is just my family.) My brother very graciously offers to prepare me a hamburger at every cookbook. Yes, he knows, but he’s my brother so has to be a pain. Even he was horrified though on the day that my dad cooked veggie burgers on the grill and then piled them on a platter in the middle of the stack of meat burgers.

Most people in my family won’t try the food I bring. They are suspicious because they know there are veggies and nutrients hiding in there. This helps with me getting enough food since it is mostly the husband, my mom, and me eating it.

My mom is a weird case. She is super concerned about working around the husband’s food allergies and health. That’s good because that’s very important. Before get togethers we discuss the menu and make sure it is safe for him. Then she adds, “Bring whatever you want to eat.”

After the husband went vegan she was more concerned about feeding him. I mean, I was vegan too but whatever. After the visit, she commented on how proud she was of him for sticking to the diet.

If you don’t have this kind of control over the menu just do what you can. Eat before you go. Have a snack with you. Hope there is a salad you can pick through. Make visiting less about the food and more about *shudder* talking to people.