Holidays: A Time for Family and a Time for Food
What would the holidays be like without candy? Not much fun, especially for young children. Even if your child is on a special diet or you are just searching for healthier options, there are many web sites that can provide a variety of fall and winter candy choices.
The Natural Candy Store has a variety of candy to choose from for any occasion and for any type of allergy or intolerance. They offer many organic options, too. Their candy does not include any artificial colors or dyes. No artificial flavors or artificial sweeteners. You also will not find any preservatives or hydrogenated oils in their products. You can search their site by holiday, by brands, by types, and for special occasions. Check out their dye free candy canes!
Natural Candy Store: www.naturalcandystore.com/category/allergen-free-candy
Yummy Earth sells natural and organic candy in small bags. Their products contain a variety of gummy-type candies. Lollipops, candy drops, jelly beans. They contain real fruit in a array of flavors. Their items can be purchased online on many sites or at these establishments: Walgreens, Toys R Us, Babies R Us, Home Goods, Meijer, Fresh Market, Sprouts, or Whole Foods. Yummy Earth: www.yummyearth.com/
For more stores see: Link: https://yumearth.com/where-to-buy
Indie Candy has a large assortment of natural, allergy free candy items. They sell gummies, lollipops, truffles, fudge, toffee, marshmallows, and other treats. You can search by the ingredient that you must avoid. You can also see their Feingold Stage 1 and 2 list. You can order online or purchase from a few stories in the south-east USA.
Desserts to Bring
If you know that someone who is attending a family or friend gathering is on a special diet, why not bring something just for them. This can also be something you might bring for your own family member. Just be sure the host or hostess knows they are not to be opened, except by the recipient on the special diet. Too many hosts have no idea that cross contamination can spoil the entire food item. The dessert should remain in a closed, sealed container. If you are bringing something homemade, put it in a bag with DO NOT OPEN in red and explain why you did this to the host. You should be the person taking it out of the bag and seeing that it is delivered safely to the people who will be enjoying this food.
There are many specialist bakeries popping up all over the US, serving up allergy free foods. If you need to be sure that something is 100% allergy free of certain items, call ahead and order it.
Here are some web sites that list bakeries and restaurants/cafes that specialize in certain types of allergy free foods.
Allergy Eats: www.allergyeats.com/
If you are looking for a specific “free of” food, search online for your city, or the city you will be visiting and the “free” food (dairy free, nut free, etc.) and “bakery.” You will be surprised at how many bakeries are offering specialized desserts!
Some families prefer to not deal with cleaning the house, getting out the dishes, and pots and pans, and cleaning up afterwards, as well as spending a lot of time cooking and baking, and accommodating large groups of people. Some families and groups of friends prefer to go out to a restaurant to celebrate their holiday meal. There is always the chance of cross contamination for those on special diets, but here are some restaurants that seem to go the extra mile for people on special diets, which could accommodate your family and friends for their festive holiday meal. Call ahead of time, to be sure that they can safely accommodate you.
- Austin Grill – www.austingrill.com
- Bonefish Grill – www.bonefishgrill.com
- Carino’s – www.carinos.com
- Carrabba’s Italian Grill – www.carrabbas.com
- Claim Jumper – www.claimjumper.com
- Legal Sea Foods – www.seafoods.com
- P.F. Chang’s Chino Bistro – www.pfchangs.com
- Romano’s Macaroni Grill – www.macaronigrill.com
- Wildfire – www.wildfirerestaurant.com
Here are some web sites with listings of allergy friendly restaurants to help you to plan your meal.
- Link: www.allergyeats.com/
- Link: www.foxnews.com/leisure/2012/08/02/ultimate-guide-to-allergy-friendly-dining/
- Link: www.fsrmagazine.com/restaurant-chains/most-allergy-friendly-restaurant-chains
If your meal will be served in someone’s home, or your own, there are steps to follow to make sure that everyone has an enjoyable, healthy, safe experience.
When people are on special diets, it could be due to life threatening allergies or some foods could cause painful or undesirable outcomes. It is a kind gesture to ask if any of your guests have any special food needs. A proper host can suggest the guests bring their own special food in an ice chest, if they desire.
When people have allergies or intolerances they truly need to make the host or hostess aware of their special food issues. This includes keeping the special food safe, away from all other food. Many people do not understand one crumb, one drip can cause catastrophic results. It is best to allow the person in charge of the special diets to handle their own food, or the food of their family member, as they know what the person can and cannot eat. They also might want to fill their plate in the kitchen, in a safe area and present the plate to the person at the table, where no one else will touch it.
In today’s times there are thousands of people with very specialized eating needs. Having a large gathering could make serving a meal very difficult, but if you ask ahead of time and follow proper protocol, everyone can enjoy a safe, happy and joyful holiday season.
Here are some additional web sites that can offer some helpful hints in dealing with allergies at holiday time for you and your guests:
- Link: www.cnn.com/2013/12/17/health/holidays-food-allergies/
- Link: www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/1021039/how-to-handle-food-allergies-during-the-holidays
- Link: www.abcnews.go.com/Health/AllergiesFood/turkey-day-menu-dealing-food-allergies-thanksgiving-holiday/story?id=9094733
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
Helpful GFCF Articles
- Ditch The Chemicals Start The Year Off Healthy
- Where to Purchase Gluten Free Casein Free (GFCF) Foods and Some Favorite Brands
- Finding GFCF Baked Goods While You are Traveling
- GFCF Holiday Recipes and Hints on Eating Outside of the Home
- Getting Ready for Summer Fun: Being GFCF & Other Healthy Ideas
- Fall Means Pumpkin GFCF Recipes to Enjoy this Cozy Autumn Season
- GFCF/Chemical Free Holiday Breakfast or Brunch
- GFCF Holiday Cookie Recipes
- Preparing Ahead Before You Make GFCF Recipes
- Staying Healthy Where And What Should We Eat?
- Traveling with Special Dietary Need
- Eating out While on a Special Diet
- Gift Ideas for Those on Special Diets
- Ways to Advocate for Yourself While on a Special Diet
Toffee and peppermint candy images courtesy Natural Candy Store.com
This post originally appeared on our November/December 2014 Magazine