Gift Ideas for Those on Special Diets
Hours and hours are spent at the store (or online) to find your loved ones or co-workers the perfect gifts. Some people run out on Black Friday, while others put off their shopping until the very last minute. Planning ahead is always a great idea when looking for the perfect gift for someone who cannot enjoy all of the food festivities. Specialty foods or gifts that are thoroughly thought out ahead of time can make your special someone leap for joy upon opening their package, gift bag, basket or envelope.
While some people can walk into any company lunch room, party, event or function and grab everything and anything from the table, people with food intolerances or allergies usually miss out on this experience. There are many gift items one can present at a work event table, or to an individual so they are not left out at work or at a family or friend event.
Think about purchasing some special dietary items for co-workers. Keep the container closed, to avoid cross contamination. Label the item in large letters, stating that it is free of whatever ingredients (keep in mind someone could still cross contaminate the package if they put their contaminated hand into the container). Perhaps, think about gifting the food item directly to someone with the allergy, to keep the package safe, then allowing them to share it with certain people who will not cross contaminate.
Family and friend parties are other events that can disappoint someone who is on a special diet. So many delectable goodies all around them and they cannot consume anything. That is sure to make the holidays a “downer” for the people with allergies or intolerances to certain foods.
Check online for local establishments that sell bakery or other food items, so that your special someone is not left out. This would be a very welcome gift; you can enter your city, or nearby cities, and what the item must be free of. Surely, in 2017, there are so many places that cater to those with special diets, you will be sure to find something to give as a special gift.
Here are some companies that make special dietary foods that would make nice gifts for a co-worker or loved one who can enjoy goodies, just like everyone else throughout the holiday season:
Giambri’s sells a variety of candies and goodies for every day, as well as for specific holidays. They produce products that are all natural, gluten, and/or allergen free; but they do not use processing equipment that are dedicated for their products. Be aware that if your co-worker or gift recipient has a strong sensitivity to certain foods containing peanuts, tree nuts, egg, wheat, soy, corn, milk, and artificial flavors and colors, their products might not be your best choice. You can always contact the company to inquire about what you would like to purchase.
Yum Earth carries a variety of sweet treats and specializes in allergy free candies. All of their items are tree nut free and peanut free. They offer organic and GMO free candies, too. You can order their products online, or look at their location link to find a store near you. Yum Earth’s items are clearly marked with the allergens that they are free of, to help you make wise choices. Their web site has a “seasonal” link to be able to locate holiday candies.
Surf Sweets specializes in gummy candy, jelly beans and items to cook or serve. They use organic ingredients in most of their products and are very allergy friendly. Check their web site for a list of items and what those items are free of. Their site has a store locator tab to help you find stories that carry their products by zip codes. They carry holiday candy.
Amanda’s Own Confections
Amanda’s Own Confections offers most of their candies and goodies that are free of the top 8 allergens (soy, wheat, eggs, milk/dairy, shellfish, fish, tree nuts and peanuts). (Except for their sunflower cups). Some items contain soy. They have dedicated equipment to keep everyone safe and avoid any cross contamination. They have chocolates for all holidays. They are mostly online, but do have items in a few locations in twelve states.
St. Clairs sells candies, mints and cocoa that are organic and free of the top allergens. They even mention if the product is Feingold friendly. They do not offer holiday items.
Enjoy Life Foods
Enjoy Life Foods sells bars, cereal, cookies, fruit and seed mixes, baking mixes, chocolate and more. Why not wrap up a basket full of these goodies for your special someone to brighten their holidays? Most stores carry their products. Their web site has a store locator and all of their products are free of the top 8 allergens.
Glutino has a variety of gluten free foods. Many of their items are also free of dairy. Read the labels to be sure. A basket filled with bars, pretzels, toaster pastries, cereals, chips, baking mixes, cookies, crackers and other products will make your GF recipient ecstatic! Their products are available in most stores or online.
Another great and appreciated gift is a gift card to a specialty store that caters to your gift recipient’s allergy or intolerance. Or, even a gift card to their favorite allergy-friendly restaurant would be a great idea. Ask around or listen attentively months prior to the holidays, so you know what favorites they have.
Barrie Silberberg is the author of The Autism & ADHD Diet: A Step-by-Step Guide To Hope and Healing by Living Gluten Free and Casein Free (GFCF) And Others Interventions. Her web site is: www.puttingyourkidsfirst.com
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This post originally appeared on our November/December 2017 Magazine