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Surviving the holidays is hard. Surviving the holidays with food allergies is almost impossible. I’ve learned a few things over the years that have really helped me get through these special days! I hope these 6 Tips to Surviving Gluten Free Holidays help you as much as they helped me.
1. If you are invited to a party or holiday meal, call the hostess and find out what the menu is and explain your needs. I never take it for granted that there will be anything specially made for me, so I make sure the hostess is aware that I don’t expect anything special, but that I’m just trying to plan for the meal.
2. Offer to take a side dish and dessert. That way you know you can eat something for sure. Even if the meal isn’t potluck, it’s still a nice gesture as many people that don’t have food allergies don’t understand how dangerous cross contamination can be.
3. Stock your pantry and freezer with all your favorite holiday flavors. A lot of natural stores and online shops make holiday versions of your favorite treats perfect for holiday snacking. I found candy cane chocolate sandwich cookies at the store that were gluten and dairy free! SCORE!
4. Take your favorite holiday recipes, like dressing and make simple swaps. Swap out the bread with Udi’s White Bread and the recipe will be amazing. I swap out the butter in my recipe for my favorite dairy free butter and the recipe is so good that there is never any left. Everyone at our dinner eats my dressing instead of the other one at the dinner.
5. Eat before you go to the party! This is just good for your waistline too. Not only can you control how much you eat at the party, you fill up on healthy foods before you go. Eating before I go, keeps me from feeling sad that I can’t eat or participate in all the festivities. I also scope out the nearest place to the party to grab a bite quickly if I’m still hungry or the party goes long.
6. Host the big dinner at your house! I know that’s a HUGE undertaking, but if you are extremely sensitive then this might be the best option. You will know for sure…100% sure…that there is no cross-contamination and that everything is totally safe for you.