Date: Friday 22nd November 2013
This will be the fourth gluten-free Christmas that we have had since my daughter was diagnosed with coeliac disease just before her third birthday. These are my tips for a fun-filled Christmas with a gluten-free child.
1) Stock up on 'freefrom' treats early! If you see something in the shops then buy it and store it away (provided the date is long enough!). We have found that things often seem to run out the closer you get to Christmas...especially mince pies!
2) If you are going to friends or relatives to eat then always ask what they are going to cook and how they are going to cook it! Offer to take one course with you (so you know it is safe)...this eases the pressure on your friends or family. You could always point them in the direction of my website where I have lots of family-friendly 'freefrom' recipes to try!
3) Make large batches of pastry, divide into freezer bags and freeze them - you can then defrost a pack if you need to make something in a hurry when friends and relatives drop in, or when the children want another mince pie!
4) Try and cater all gluten-free...it saves worrying about cross-contamination and also makes the coeliac feel included.
5) If you are going to a party ask the organiser what food there will be and then pack a box of similar food for your child to eat. Taking a large batch of gluten-free cupcakes to share also helps the gluten-free child to feel included...just make sure they take theirs before the other children dive in with gluten-filled fingers!
6) Ask what special Christmas cake the child would like. As my children do not like fruit cakes I have made a chocolate log instead, which goes down well with everybody! Find last years recipe here.
7) Check out the Goodness Direct blog where you will find details of the gluten-free advent calendars available this year.
8) Click here to find out which of Cadburys Christmas range chocolates are gluten-absent...the term they choose to use for products that do not contain gluten because they say they cannot guarantee they are free of contaminants. If you would prefer to buy chocolate from a supplier that can guarantee they are 100% free from contaminants then take a look at Plamil, they have advent calendars and chocolate snowmen for kids.
9) If you want to take all the stress out of Christmas and let someone else do the cooking then take a shopping trip to M&S to look at their Christmas food range, or follow this link to a list... I understand that it is best to order the food online before collecting it from your local store. That way you get what you want!
10) Enjoy yourself! It is only one day and one that is there for enjoying!
- The Free From Fairy
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