Let’s Munch Safely this Thanksgiving

What to do if your Thanksgiving guest has food restrictions.

Caroline Dardeau, Co-Editor In Chief

Does your stomach disagree with some of the amazing foods that are involved with the best holiday for munching? 

When there is a family member who has intolerances or allergies, that does not mean that you cannot eat all of the foods you want and deserve. Making slight adjustments to recipes should not cause the taste to disappear from the foods you love. 

For all of our gluten free friends, there are plenty of substitutes for gluten. You can use almond flour, rice flour, oat flour, and any all purpose gluten free flour. All meats are gluten free as long they do not contain any stuffing or sauces that contain gluten. Plain meat is the safest way to serve if you would like to keep your feast completely gluten free. If there are only a few with intolerances or allergies, you can make a few things gluten free and have the rest with their normal ingredients. All vegetables are gluten free, it all matters on what you put on the vegetables. Any gluten free items that you are buying make sure there is the gluten free certification stamp! Gluten free dishes include but are not limited to sweet potato casserole, gluten free Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits, flourless pecan pie, new fashioned corn pudding. 

For our vegetarian and vegan friends make sure that there are plenty of vegetables, salads, and pasta! If they do not eat animal products, make sure that they are plant based products present with limited or options for them. Making extra and or additional dishes for those family members.  For vegetarians, scalloped potatoes, chickpea salad, mushroom gravy, mashed potatoes, vegetable stuffing. Some vegan dishes are butternut squash, brussel sprout salad, baked sweet potatoes, etc. 

Nut allergies are one of the simpler to avoid on Thanksgiving day. Avoid all of the crumbles and pecan pie, make sure that the nut topping for the salads and sweet potatoes are on the side. Make sure that all foods are clearly labeled so no unnecessary consumption is made. Some dishes suitable for these guests are orange and cranberry green beans, Chinese sausage stuffing, and butternut squash gratin.

Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest lactose. There are multiple different ways that you can avoid lactose, all vegetables are a safe place. Any mashed potatoes can be made with dairy free milk. Dairy Intolerance is in the realm of lactose intolerance however, it is more about products made with milk such as cheese, cream, yogurt, ice cream, and butter. When making dishes, look to find dairy free butters, cheeses, and recipes.  Coconut mashed sweet potatoes, garlic roasted carrots, and butternut squash are all options for lactose intolerant attendees. 

Egg allergies are ones that are involved in multiple dishes and are binders. Very similar to vegan dishes, the eggs are avoidable. Other than stuffing most Thanksgiving dishes do not include eggs, so most dishes are completely safe for those with egg allergies. A special attention should be brought to desserts, with people with specific allergies to egg yolks or whites, the ingredients matter. When baking make sure your guests tell you what allergies they have. Cranberry sauce, no-bake pumpkin pie bars, and greek yogurt pudding are suitable for egg allergies.

Diabetes is a very prevalent disease that often poses dietary restriction. Whether it is type one or type two, ultimately both require limiting carbohydrates, animal fat, and sugar. Nutrients dense and sugar free food is a safe bet, but make sure that their needs are met. They can commonly eat most meats, vegetables, and low sugar fruit.  Some of the diabetic-friendly choices are roasted pumpkin and pomegranate salad, ginger and garlic green beans with red bell pepper strips, and slow roasted sweet potatoes.

Whether or not there is a dietary restriction in your family, make sure that your guests are all well taken care of and can enjoy one of the best holidays!