Having a safe gluten-free thanksgiving is possible.
I know that Thanksgiving is a hard holiday for people living gluten-free. It’s one of the most painfully obvious times of the year where we realize our ability to connect, celebrate, and participate in traditions has been disrupted.
And connecting, celebrating, and participating in traditions is important nonetheless. So with the help of dietetic intern Sierra King, we developed this complete guide to a gluten-free Thanksgiving for you!
Thanksgiving has many different purposes for many different families. Depending on how your family celebrates Thanksgiving will bring different meaning and traditions to your gatherings.
Even though Thanksgiving is different for everyone, for many, the main reason for Thanksgiving is to give thanks for the blessings in your life (which includes your family).
However, sometimes this holiday can bring stress, loneliness and many other negative feelings for celiacs. This is because food is often central to the holiday and with celiac, our entire relationship with food has been disrupted.
While repairing your relationship with food is important, reminding yourself of what the holiday is about can help ease some of the grief with celiac you might have during the celiac.
The food has changed, and you can still celebrate and enjoy the presence of the people. The food has change and you can still reflect on the things you’re grateful for.
Going into Thanksgiving gluten-free can feel hard. This is normal, holidays where food feels central are going to be difficult. Below are some gluten-free thanksgiving reminders to hopefully offer you some comfort as you go into the day.
I know it’s hard to think about taking up more space or getting more attention than you normally have gotten during the holidays. Be gentle with yourself and your loved ones as you go into Thanksgiving day.
I don’t remember a time when the holidays weren’t stressful. However, celiac does add a level of complexity to the stress of Thanksgiving. Below are 9 simple ways to cope with the stress of navigating Thanksgiving with celiac disease.
A lot of these tips are general and may seem straightforward, but do not underestimate the power of the most basic tips. Something might be basic but that doesn’t mean it won’t help.
If your family is hosting Thanksgiving as a potluck or buffet, don’t worry, all is not lost.You can still enjoy Thanksgiving while gluten-free. Here are your gluten-free survival tips for a buffet style Thanksgiving:
Buffets are scary when it comes to living gluten-free because cross-contact is everywhere, but you can still enjoy the holiday if this is how you family chooses to celebrate.
The last thing we want during a gluten-free Thanksgiving is to touch or have gluten-filled food hovering over our plate. So here’s how to deal with passing dishes around the table during Thanksgiving:
It can feel overwhelming trying to manage all of the points of cross-contact in this situation, but take it one step at a time. And don’t be afraid to lean on your allies during the dinner.
Pretty much any holiday dish has the potential to contain gluten, and Thanksgiving dishes are not different. Below are some common holiday dishes that may contain gluten:
Above are the common Thanksgiving Dishes that may contain gluten, if you have anymore that I should add, leave them in the comments!
Building on one of the ways to manage the stress of being gluten-free at Thanksgiving, bringing your own dishes or hosting can be very helpful. Whether you choose to bring you own safe dish or you’re hosting the entire meal, below are gluten-free main course, side dishes, and desserts you can make and take.
P.s. if you are hosting during the holidays, check out my post on gluten-free hosting during the holidays for even more tips!
When you think of main courses for Thanksgiving, do you think of stuffed turkey? Or maybe you think of ham? Well below are some gluten-free Thanksgiving main courses to make.
And don’t forget, nothing is stopping you from making these delicious main courses for yourself. Keeping the leftovers to enjoy afterwards while bringing a serving for you to enjoy at the Thanksgiving event!
Let’s talk gluten-free Thanksgiving side dishes! There are so many different ways you can go with side dishes for thanksgiving. Below are 3 fun takes on Thanksgiving side dishes.
Sides are probably the easiest dish to bring to help you feel like you’re participating without investing too much time and money into it. If you’re only bringing a side to Thanksgiving dinner, make sure to bring a main dish for yourself JUST in case!
Dessert is perhaps the most important course of Thanksgiving. Below are some delicious gluten-free Thanksgiving desserts you can make this year!
Above are some gluten-free thanksgiving dessert ideas. Please don’t skip out on bringing yourself dessert, whether it’s store bought or homemade. You deserve to enjoy dessert with everyone else.
Not looking to host or bring a dish to share with everyone this Thanksgiving? You can make and take your own Thanksgiving dinner at home or you can have a gluten-free Thanksgiving dinner delivered to you! Below are some companies that offer gluten-free Thanksgiving meal delivery.
Be sure to do your own due diligence and check the suitability of these gluten-free Thanksgiving meal-delivery options for yourself.
If you get glutened during Thanksgiving first things first, don’t panic. Additionally, don’t lash out on anyone. Mistakes happen. Don’t beat yourself up.
The key to surviving a glutening during Thanksgiving is to have a plan for it, just in case. This plan should include things that help you self-soothe any symptoms that you get from gluten exposure.
This might look like wearing comfy loose clothing to dinner just in case you get celiac bloat. You might also carry tylenol for any pain or headaches you may get and you may bring some water and electrolytes to help you stay hydrated. You may even want to bring a case of ginger ale to help ease any nausea.
Check out my post on what to do when you’ve been glutened for more tips.
So we’ve covered reminders, coping mechanisms for the stress, recipes you can prepare or meal-delivery services you may shop, and lastly what to do if the worst should happen during Thanksgiving this year.
I threw a lot at you in this post, so I want to take a moment and again let you know, it’s okay if being gluten-free during Thanksgiving feels emotional and hard.
I want you to know you’re not alone in feeling this way, and if you need some extra support this holiday season, I run a celiac support group that meets 2x/month and I would love to have you join us.
But wherever you find you support, remember your feelings are valid. Celiac is hard and that’s okay. And if you need more help, I cover how to stay celiac-safe during the Holidays, in other people’s kitchens, at restaurants and beyond in the Celiac Crash Course. If you’re recently diagnosed and feeling overwhelmed, you definitely need to check the course out.