Supporting family members with food restrictions over the holidays

Holiday recipes for family with special food needs or dietary restrictions

Supporting family members with food restrictions during holidays or other gatherings 

Do you have members of your family who can’t eat certain foods? There are a lot of reasons people might avoid dairy, sugar, gluten, and other types of food. They might have a chronic condition, like heart disease, or an allergy. At social gatherings, people with dietary restrictions may feel frustrated, sad, or anxious with so many of the traditions centered around food. Here are some ideas to help make your get-togethers more relaxing for everyone. 

Let them be a part of the meal planning.

It may be useful for those who have special food needs to help decide what is being made and who is doing the cooking. Do they want to cook food and bring it? Are they OK if you make it in your kitchen? Just asking these questions can put them at ease and make sure everyone has the food they need to stay healthy.

Keep the snacks separated.

Getting the food they can eat mixed up with food they can’t is a real concern for people with food-related conditions. If you have the space, put the snacks and appetizers that are safe for those with restrictions on a separate table from the food that isn’t. 

Think beyond food.

Consider games or activities that aren’t centered around food. Board games, puzzles, and card games can be fun for all ages. You may even end up with everyone’s favorite new tradition.

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