Ask the experts… I feel left out at work when people bring cakes I can’t eat into the office. What should I do?

Chocolate cupcakeI feel left out at work when people bring cakes I can’t eat into the office. What should I do?

There are so many ways to deal with this one. You could have a screaming fit every time another birthday cake appears that you can’t have. People would at least get the message. But you may prefer not to come across as the office nutter.

Assuming everyone already knows you can’t have gluten, they’re probably nervous about trying to cater for you. They may not bake something gluten-free for fear of making something awful, accidentally putting in gluten or risking cross-contamination.

Therefore, I’d recommend showcasing a gluten-free cake to prove it can be delicious. People will remember your kindness and will be more likely to return the favour when it’s a special occasion (in many offices, this is more commonly known as ‘Friday’). When someone does spoil you, make sure you send a whole office e-mail to thank them for being so thoughtful.

If that fails, seek out the office gossip and tell them how you’re feeling. By the time the day’s finished, you’ll probably be inundated with the latest from the free-from aisle. Just remember to wear an elasticated waistband!

About our expert:

Ali Walsh - The Bristol Bakehouse 2Ali Walsh was diagnosed with coeliac disease nearly 20 years ago, at a time when free-from food was scarce. She started her own cake business because there was a lack of fresh gluten-free cake on offer. Ali feels if you can’t eat a particular food, you shouldn’t feel deprived, and has created recipes so delectable that even people without dietary requirements clamour for her bakes. A regular on BBC radio, Ali often advises on managing diets.

Do you need help with your free-from cooking, or do you have a nutritional query? Email your question to