Are you ready for Your Gluten-free Holidays?
It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving will be here in a few weeks!
As the holidays are approaching, there is so much to be thankful for – our families, friends, health, jobs, and of course, all of you.
For some, the holiday season can be filled with stress, while others just go with the flow and enjoy it all.
However you get through the holidays, navigating them while being gluten-free can definitely be handled well with an open mind.
Worrying too much about the holiday meal?
First of all, do not worry about explaining your food situation to everybody at the table.
Honestly, what you share is totally up to you. Do what is comfortable for you and remember the true meaning of why everyone is together.
Overall, your happiness and stress
all come down to
one very important thing . . .
Hosting the holiday dinner puts you in charge
Hosting your holiday meal can give you a feeling of security to have food you can eat on your holiday table.
By hosting you’re in charge of what is served and how things are prepared in your own kitchen.
However, others will most likely be bringing special dishes to share. Make sure you know which dishes are gluten-free.
Most importantly, designate a gluten-free table or area to help deter cross-contaminating the dishes.
Thinking ahead when living gluten-free
If you are feasting at a relative’s or friend’s house, they may already be aware that you are gluten-free… Be upfront and explain what you can and cannot have.
Do not expect them to totally understand gluten-free living or prepare all of your foods.
Offer to help cook or bring along dishes you can add to the table to have safe, delicious foods for the feast.
Last year I didn’t host Thanksgiving. Even though we joined the family, I brought a great deal of our dinner with us.
That may seem a bit extreme but there are four of us eating gluten-free, along with other allergies. And, I just don’t like to see my kiddos left out while others are enjoying everything.
Our family knows how we eat and now are very understanding about it. To make things easier on them, we brought along our favorite dishes.
For the road trip, we packed what we needed to bring for the feast in a cooler.
I pre-made most of the dishes and froze them so they wouldn’t go bad before we arrived (a 9-hour drive!).
Living on the east coast, all the food was kept quite cold due to the freezing temperatures outside, and everything turned out absolutely delicious. (If you are packing food for a drive, it’s imperative to keep it cold and stored correctly.)
If driving doesn’t work for you. Plan to cook a few dishes when you arrive at your destination. Creating dishes, like creamed onions or sweet potato casserole in a safe and manageable way for all to enjoy, can be a lot of fun. With food allergies, this works out quite well.
To host or not to host?
If you are not hosting the celebration this year, talk to your host, and be upfront.
Hopefully, they’ll be understanding and work with you to create some dishes or have you bring along your favorite dishes for the holiday table.
Our family expects certain dishes to have on Thanksgiving and Christmas, or it just doesn’t feel like the holidays. Right? Those are definitely dishes I bring to share.
Wherever you celebrate, being upfront with your host or guests will take away the uncertainty of having a nice meal on the holiday table that you can safely eat and enjoy.
If you are hosting, you’ll definitely be more in control to have all you’ll need on your holiday table.
Be open-minded and see that your holiday feast can work if you are eating outside of your home.
Cook, relax and enjoy