We spoke with Dr. Clifford Basset, a New York allergen specialist. He tells us that “During the holiday season, those with gluten intolerance and celiac disease have higher instances for potential serious food reactions, due to the increase in holiday parties, gatherings, and sweets and alcohol. We all know how easy it is to let our guard down during the holidays, but those with gluten intolerance still need to avoid wheat and gluten at all costs. Therefore it is imperative to have an excellent plan in place to reduce the likelihood of an adverse or unpleasant food-associated reaction.”
Christmas is a time for family and friends to get together — and that means there are many different people in the kitchen preparing the food. Having many different hands making dinner can often be a bit unnerving for someone with a gluten intolerance, so we’ve rounded up some useful tips to help you get through the holidays — gluten-free.
To be extra-safe and ensure a gluten-free holiday, give your recipes to the cook ahead of time or make your menu items and bring them. Chances are if you bring a gluten-free pie to the holiday dinner, nobody will even be able to tell the difference and you’ll be able to enjoy dessert along with everyone else.
We recommend following these tips in order to be gluten-free and have a safe (and delicious) holiday. Follow some of Dr. Basset’s strategies and enjoy a festive and fun-filled holiday.
Holiday items can be a little tricky, especially if you did not prepare them. From honey-glazed ham to fruitcakes, gingerbread men, and even eggnog, a variety of potentially hidden ingredients may contain a surprising amount of wheat and gluten. Alternative gingerbread cookies may be prepared using quinoa, oats (look for the gluten-free variety), rice and/or tapioca flour.
Don’t forget to travel with safe snacks. It sounds simple, but especially with kids and teens, temptation can play a role in increasing the risk of a reaction. Having some safe foods at hand is always a good policy.