When you’re on a gluten-free diet, the holidays can seem like a minefield of tempting foods with unknown ingredients. A few easy strategies, as well as a few great gluten-free recipes, can make holiday get-togethers much easier.
When going to a holiday party or other event:
- — Understand that you will need to find your holiday cheer in the good company and conversation, not necessarily in the food.
— Eat before you leave home, so you’re not overly hungry at the party. This will reduce the temptation to eat something that is not safe.
— Bring your own dish or dessert to share (like the gluten-free lemon bars below), so you are assured there will be something you can eat.
— Bring a gluten-free granola bar or nut bar (Larabars and Kind bars are tasty and filling), so you can sneak away and have a quick snack if there’s nothing safe for you to eat.
— Be an early bird. Food left on a buffet table easily can become contaminated when guests use the wrong serving spoon, dip their pita in otherwise gluten-free hummus, or break bread over the salad. If you are at the party early, you can go into the kitchen and reserve untouched portions for yourself. You’ll also be able to read package labels.
— Let your host know in advance that you cannot eat anything made with wheat, rye, barley and oats. Tell the host that she doesn’t need to make special foods, you would just like to determine which foods will be safe for you to eat. If you can find out the menu, focus on two or three dishes that seem likely to be gluten-free and ask about the ingredients in those specific dishes. If the party will have a buffet, ask the host to put aside uncontaminated portions for you in advance.
— When in doubt, leave it out. Don’t eat food unless you are certain it is gluten-free.
For easy desserts to bring to holiday get-togethers, check out these Gluten Free Nosh recipes:
- — Gluten-free lemon squares
— Gluten-free meringue cookies
— Gluten-free chocolate truffles and chocolate-covered strawberries
— Gluten-free dark and white chocolate pomegranate bark (you can also vary this recipe to make gluten-free peppermint bark)