Allergen-Friendly Holiday Prep 

Having a wide range of dietary needs to accommodate during festive gatherings can be stressful when unfamiliar with how to make certain culinary modifications. Cross-contamination between dishes isn’t always a concern but it could be if you or an expected guest has a diagnosed allergy or severe food intolerance. 

Allergen-Friendly Holiday Prep

If you’re worried there may not be enough satisfying sustenance to ensure no one leaves hungry, keep these tips from plant-based protein expert and engineer Christine Lewington in mind during meal planning and prep: 

  1. There is a perception that all vegan (and/or gluten-free) products are more expensive than conventional or animal-based items. A fear of having to spend more money might cause people to be nervous about communally breaking bread. But serving less meat, fish, and dairy products can have a positive impact on one’s wallet — especially if you tend to spring for high-quality products that aren’t necessarily cheap.  
  1. There are many conveniently packaged but rather higher priced ready-to-eat, allergen-free options in the grocery store that might not be affordable long-term — or if serving many people. To make your tentative menu more cost-effective, try to buy ingredients like flour, rice, potatoes, etc. in bulk. Then create as much of the meal as possible from scratch. For example, it can be a lot of fun “reverse engineering” your favorite foods and recreating them with plant-based ingredients.  
  1. Don’t skimp on taste! Have many spices, dips and sauces available for your guests to try with the “alternative” dishes (just like you may have with traditional options).  
  1. Clearly identify what is, plus what is in, each appetizer, entrée and dessert. Also, be ready to share ingredients or recipes with your guests — or host — upon request since others may be averse to sampling foods they are unfamiliar with sans this additional information.   
  1. Pick a tantalizing beverage to accompany each course. Testing new sips can be just as much of a memorable experience as the main fare on the table.  

Do you have a simple, “flexitarian” recipe or homemade bite that would make a tasty addition to any “festive” spread? Tell us more about this crowd-pleaser in the comments section. 

Wishing you all a wonderful rest of the holiday season — and 2023! 


6 thoughts on “Allergen-Friendly Holiday Prep 

  1. Unable to print out your article because it has things about the Wellness Wednesday on top of the article. I like to read these to my chapter but was unable to read it because of this problem.

      1. Good suggestion, Sandra! And our IT team has now fixed this glitch so this should no longer be an issue with future posts.

  2. Hi Kathy,
    I sent you an email that contains a photo of this page with an unobstructed view of the blog.
    Let me know if you have any issues accessing that messages or image.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *