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When you go out to dinner with friends or family on your birthday there is always a chance that the waiter will bring out a surprise dessert to help you celebrate. This kind gesture is quite common and can help the birthday meal feel a little extra special, but what happens if you can’t eat the dessert?
This situation is difficult to plan for since restaurants don’t always tip their hand. Sometimes your friends or family might let the waiter know discretely or call the restaurant ahead of time, but other times the restaurant can just surprise the group. Since the best way to avoid soy is to plan ways around it, this surprise can be quite difficult to handle.
Adding to the complexity of the situation, it is hard to know what the dessert will be until they bring it out. Different foods have different ingredients to consider, and it can be hard to think through if the food is safe to eat while everyone is looking at you.
So, what should you do in this situation? First, make sure that your friends and family understand your food requirements. They should know enough to either (a) ask about ingredients for you when letting the restaurant know it will be your birthday or at least (b) not be surprised if you have to ask about the ingredients of the dessert (or if you choose not to eat it). Also, check the menu before you go to a restaurant on your birthday. Assuming, of course, that you picked the restaurant for your birthday, you probably did a quick menu check to make sure there was an item or two that you could safely eat. While doing this, also check out the desserts. Pay special attention to signature items as these are likely to be brought out for a birthday dessert. Finally, don’t feel pressure to eat the dessert if you don’t feel comfortable doing so. You can always pass it to those around you, order something else, or go somewhere else for a treat after dinner. The restaurant is doing something to celebrate; it won’t bother them if you don’t eat it.
Your birthday is a celebration of you. This means that you can choose how to handle a free birthday dessert and you can enjoy a dessert treat on your own terms!