I have several friends with Celiac Disease meaning that the holiday time can be a little bit tricky (and maybe a little frustrating). With an abundance of holiday parties and outings, it can be hard to navigate while making sure you’re not offending hosts or starving throughout the whole event! Luckily, the abundance of gluten-free offerings and products have multiplied over the years making it much easier (and tastier) to be gluten-free than it used to be, so that’s good news!
3 Easy Tips for Surviving Holiday Parties if You’re Gluten-Free
1. BYOC (Bring Your Own Cookies): Or appetizers or side dishes! Contacting the host and letting them know you’ll happily bring something has a double benefit – you’re helping them out (during what is likely a stressful time for them) and you’re helping yourself out, ensuring you have at least one gluten-free (and most importantly, uncontaminated) item to munch on.
2. Tell Your Host: This is particularly important if you know the gathering will include a sit-down meal (and if you’re highly sensitive). It’s one thing if you feel you can pick at the cheese plate or grab a handful of nuts (even if they’re sitting next to something containing gluten) – but it’s much harder to avoid eating at a sit-down dinner! In this case, it’s best just to call the host ahead of time (and by ‘ahead of time’ I mean a week+, not a couple hours!) and let them know you’re gluten-free. It will also help to let them know just how sensitive you are so they can plan accordingly. You can even offer to bring a few items to help lift some of the burden of hosting off their shoulders!
3. Plan Ahead: Let’s be honest, not all holiday parties we attend are thrown by people we know well enough to contact ahead of time. In this case, I would say make sure you eat right before you go (most holiday parties are not a sit-down dinner so you can get away with avoiding the passed appetizers) and keep a small snack or two in your bag to ensure you have something if hunger strikes.
Now that you’ve got a plan in place, get some inspiration!
- King Arthur Flour’s Gluten-Free Recipes
- Gourmande in the Kitchen’s 50+ Gluten & Grain-Free Holiday Desserts
- Cooking Light’s Gluten-Free Holiday Menu
- Whole Food’s Gluten-Free Holiday Recipes
- The Kitchn’s 20 Gluten-Free Treats for the Holiday Season
New to Gluten-Free? Check out this article: What Can I Eat? 25 Tips for Handling a Gluten-Free Holiday1