The holidays are fast approaching. Are you ready to handle them gluten-free?
Food is a huge part of our lives; there’s no denying that holidays are filled with special treats and feasts. It’s particularly challenging if you’ve celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Which, is why we’ve pulled together some of our favorite tips to help you make it through the holiday season safely and enjoyably!
Celiac Disease Holiday Survival Guide
To survive the holidays and still manage to have a good time with loved ones, you should follow these eight tips.
1. Gluten-Free Go-tos
Easy, and often plentiful healthy go-to’s are vegetable or fruit platters, potatoes, cheese (unless you’re dairy intolerant, of course), main course meats (depending on how they are prepared), gluten-free grains such as quinoa, oats, rice, millet, and sorghum.
To completely ensure you have something to nosh on, tuck a few gluten-free snacks, nuts, dried fruit, and gluten-free cereal in your bag. These come in handy while you’re a guest or traveling during the holidays.
2. Ask to Be Sure
While awareness of the celiac disease is on the rise, many restaurants are clueless about it. Be patient- both when handling mistakes or explaining the issue. Check out reviews online about restaurants that focus on gluten-free cuisines.
If you plan to eat out during the holidays, always ask the chef. Consider booking a hotel with a kitchenette to have some easy prep meals while on vacation.
3. Create “New” Traditions
Take part in food preparations. Opt to cook together with family, so you can feel confident the dishes are safe for you. Politely suggest recipes and menus that can be delicious AND gluten free.
It’s hard to let go of longstanding holiday traditions, but you can create a new way of doing things and have new memories, flavors and excitement to look forward to every holiday season.
Here are a few ideas to help get you started:
- Gluten Free Turkey Stuffing Casserole
- 4 Unexpected Ways to Enjoy Gluten Free Stuffing Mix
- Gluten Free Stuffed Acorn Squash
- Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese with Gluten Free Cheese Crackers
4. Learn to Say NO
It’s easy to feel tempted to go overboard during the holidays. But, don’t do it- you’ll regret it later. Even if you’ve got a little perseverance with your celiac disease, don’t get pressured to please your family members or friends. This article lists some great tips and tricks for navigating food pushers.
4. Utensils Should be Strictly Yours
Nobody is looking to contaminate your items, but mistakes do happen. It’s possible to get accidental glutening by using a utensil that has been in contact with gluten.
To avoid any mistakes, we recommend you label items such as plates, serving spoons, etc. so other people know to avoid them and you can feel confident you’ll stay safe.
5. Host a Holiday Gathering
Want full and complete control over your holiday gathering? Why not host your own party where the offerings are all safely gluten-free or even totally allergen-free?
This is a solid solution to facing another get-together where you can’t eat any of the food. By driving the ship, so to speak, you’ll be able to socialize while not worrying about every bite of food. It may be a lot of hard work but worth it.
6. It’s Not Always About the Food
It’s easy to feel excluded when family members have invited you over, and there is very little you can actually consume without getting sick. Remember to focus on the people and celebration, not just the food. You can also initiate food-free get-togethers, or you can bring your food.
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7. You’re Not Alone
Most people are dealing with their own limitations – whether it’s food related or otherwise – so, keep that in mind as you mingle this holiday season. While you may be protecting yourself from celiac-containing food, another guest may be mourning the loss of a loved one. The holidays can be hard for lots of folks, however, if there’s one thing we can do, it’s to band in togetherness and remember the reason for the season.
Additionally, it’s ok to ask for advice from others who have celiac disease, and you might learn exciting ways to survive the holidays without getting sick.
8. Points to Ponder
- At parties, if you’re not sure about the foods or drinks, give it a pass.
- During busy holiday activities, bring some gluten-free snacks along with you.
- It’s okay to miss some holiday foods you had previously associated with the season, remember to find NEW foods and rituals that can bring you that same amount of joy.
Don’t forget, you’re in control! Be sure to communicate with those around you, letting them in will help better the situation. Go out and enjoy yourself this festive season. Happy holidays!
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material provided on this Site is provided for information purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, before undertaking any diet, exercise, other health program, or other procedure set out on this Site.