Just in time for your Christmas dinner shopping, some tips about dealing with special dietary requests.
Allergies and special diets are becoming increasingly common. so chances are, someone at your table may need special consideration.
If you’re not used to cooking for someone with a special diet, it can seem daunting. So we met up with dietician, Jodi Robinson, and we’ve put together some advice for gluten free, dairy free and meat free holiday cooking.
Now there’s no need to ditch the turkey. But if you have special guests with special diets, consider them in your Christmas menu.
For gluten free visitors, details are important.
Jodi Robinson, Registered Dietician: “Ask them. And if you know for sure they have Celiac, you want to be extra careful.”
Swap in a wheat-free bread, and you’ve got a great gluten-free stuffing. And don’t forget dessert. These brownies are made with black beans and coconut flour. If you’re not a baker, fruit kabobs are a thoughtful offering.
For vegetarian and vegan diners, shepherd’s pie is a creative turkey substitute that may even entice some converts.
Robinson: “You’re using a meat alternative such as legumes to be the base instead of the meat. So it’s going to be a dish that everyone can enjoy and it really is a protein alternative to having that turkey.”
The mashed potatoes are made with a dairy free spread, so they still taste buttery. If you’re cooking from a box, be cautious. Jodi says: “Anything that’s packaged or processed, that’s where you really need to be careful in terms of the gluten and the dairy.”
If you’re not sure who will be joining you, letting guests dress their own dishes is safer.
“Make a base salad of lots of healthy vegetables, maybe some fruits as well and then you put the allergenic ingredients on the side.”
Diners with allergies can eat a basic salad and everyone else can load up on nuts and cheese.
You don’t have to sacrifice your favourite recipes, but a few adjustments will make everyone at your table feel welcome.
If someone has a severe allergy, such as Celiac disease, you want to be very careful, because even cross-contamination with certain ingredients can cause problems.
If you’d like to try any of the dishes you saw in this story, you can find them on Robinson’s website.