I have been gluten-free since before most people even knew what gluten was.
It was a diet I was unwillingly forced into for medical reasons, and although gluten-free living has come a long way, I can still remember the taste of all my favorite missed foods (ah, carbs how I long for you).
Despite my familiarity with this lifestyle, nothing could have prepared me for becoming a mom of two kids with dietary restrictions of their own — especially during the holidays. Parties and traditions all seem to revolve around food during this time of year!
As I’ve sat back and watched my kids miss out on one thing after another, it’s become painfully obvious that if you can’t eat your way through the holidays with everyone else, you’re going to feel a little left out.
In preparation for this year, I started looking around for ways to give my family a tasty, traditional holiday season. I knew there had to be options that would allow my little ones to enjoy the same things the kids around them were having. And shockingly enough, I have found some AMAZING alternatives!
1. Sensitive Sweets Gingerbread House Kit
When I saw this, I literally did a happy dance. Free from the most common allergens, vegan, and without artificial preservatives and colors, this gingerbread house kit made by Sensitive Sweets, comes with everything from gingerbread walls and frosting, to organic candies.
When I envisioned parenthood, I pictured building a gingerbread house with my children, and so far, it has never happened. While our reality will probably include icing hanging from the ceiling and two kids fighting over gumdrop windows, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited for my family to make this holiday dream come true.
(And even if all else fails, at least I can eat the house!)
2. Katz’s Pumpkin Pie
My daughter doesn’t believe it’s Thanksgiving until someone sets a pie down in front of her. Unfortunately for her, the only pie I can make is apple. Despite every holiday movie telling her that pumpkin pie the seasonal tradition (and the years I’ve spent trying to convince her that apple pie is a fine substitute), I can finally give up the charade.
Katz, a company that has made it easy for customers to shop by allergy, will ship a pumpkin pie directly to your door for the holidays, and I’m personally looking forward to finally adding a traditional pumpkin pie to our table!
3. Moo Free Advent Calendar
“Mommy, how many more days until Christmas? How many more days?” It’s the question every parent hears on repeat as the Christmas season rolls around, and I have to say, it gets old. Fast.
Sure, I could make those paper ring chains, or give my kids a real (and boring) calendar to help them count down the days, but do you know what is more fun than that? Moo Free’s award winning organic, gluten, soya, and dairy-free advent calendar.
As the parent of a dairy-free child, I never thought my son would get the chance to pop open a little paper door every day and enjoy a sweet treat while waiting for Santa to come … that is, until now!
4. St. Claire’s Hot Cocoa
Everyone was in their holiday pajamas, the tree was lit, snow was glistening outside, a fire was going, and we were hanging ornaments on the tree. It was exactly like a scene out of a Hallmark movie … except that one of my children was face down on the floor crying his eyes out.
Everyone in our family was having hot chocolate, except him; he was having almond milk. But thanks to St. Claire’s vegan and common-allergy free hot cocoa mixes, this year all my children will be sipping cocoa while stringing the tree lights. Because really, what fun is a tradition if you can’t include your entire family?
5. TruJoy Candy Canes
What is Christmas without a candy cane? Well, for kids with dye allergies or those restricted by the Feingold diet, a traditional Christmas candy cane may have been out of the question … until now!
Free of common allergens, synthetic dyes, and Feingold diet stage 2 approved, TruJoy candy canes give even the most sensitive of kids a treat that many of us take for granted.
Seriously, can you imagine going through life without ever having a candy cane? Didn’t think so.
6. Marilyn’s Gourmet Fruitcake
Ok, I’ll fess up. Even before going gluten-free I’d never eaten a fruitcake, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be able to!
If I decide to make up for lost time, Marilyn’s Gourmet could help me out. If your family is the type to break out the fruitcake when the winter season rolls around, this gluten and preservative free fruitcake might be your best bet to include a few more people!
7. Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix
Now here is one that my kids and I have tried and can honestly say is amazing. I really love it when national chains jump on the allergen-friendly bandwagon, so I was thrilled when Betty Crocker came out with a sugar cookie mix that is gluten, dairy, and common allergen-free.
And let’s be honest, nothing says “Happy holidays” like eating the heads off of copious amounts of sugar cookie snowmen.
8. Cheryl’s Cookies
Too busy to bake your own holiday cookies? It’s cool, I won’t judge. But what I will do, is drop the name of Cheryl’s Cookies, so you can order your own gluten-free Christmas cookies and have them shipped anywhere in the country. There’s something extra fun about eating holiday cookies out of a tin, isn’t there?
9. Live G Free French Fried Onions
Fear not my gluten-free friends, now you, too, can cover every single one of your Thanksgiving dishes in fried onions, thanks to Aldi’s Live G Free.
So there you have it! This year, I plan to welcome all of my dietary restricted family members into the stretchy pants club, because we are going to eat our way through this holiday season with everyone else in America.
From my family to yours, we wish you a very tasty, traditional, and allergen-friendly holiday season.