Smitha Nair M.D.

Eating Gluten-Free During the Holidays

Eating gluten-free can be challenging during normal times but learning how to navigate parties and other social events can make gluten-free holidays even more challenging… but it can be done!

Below are some tips for getting through the holidays — gluten-free.

  1. Plain turkey is gluten-free. You can enjoy the turkey as long as it hasn’t been seasoned or marinated with something that contains gluten. If the turkey has been stuffed with gluten-containing bread or slathered in gravy made with wheat flour, you will want to avoid the turkey.
  2. Sweet potatoes are gluten-free. Ask the host to have a sweet potato ready for you.
  3. Vegetables and fruit are gluten-free go-to’s. A healthy vegetable or fruit platter is a nice break from all the rich food we find during the season.
  4. Bring your own. Bring your favorite gluten-free salad or dessert as your contribution to the holiday dinner. That way you don’t have to worry whether there will be salads and desserts that you can eat.
  5. Have something to eat before going out. If you are heading to a party, have something to eat before going so that you don’t have to worry about finding something that you can eat.
  6. Plan ahead.   Find out what the menu is for the get together you are going to. For last-minute social events, it’s a great idea to keep some safe party foods on hand in your pantry or freezer, so you can grab something to bring and share. A few ideas are packages of your favorite gluten-free cookies, chips, or snack foods.
  7. Be the host. Hosting guests at your house will be more work, but it allows you to have full control over the food.

Above all, enjoy the season by preparing as much as you can in advance to leave some time to share important holiday traditions that don’t have anything to do with food.

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