Parties, traveling, and eating out are all major components of what we now see as the “holiday season”. However for those suffering from food related allergies, particularly gluten allergies, the holiday season can seem overwhelming when trying to stay healthy. It’s important for those with gluten allergies, and all food allergies, to be able to safely enjoy food without disrupting their holiday festivities and without the fear of getting sick.

So, whether you’re hosting your own get together or attending a party keep these quick tips in mind:

  • If you’re hosting in your own home create a Gluten Free “safe zone” keep these area separate from the rest of the kitchen to minimalize cross contamination.
  • When attending a party you should discuss your allergy needs with the host at least 96 hours prior to the event. Don’t be shy about letting them know that this is a life threatening issue for you, offer to share gluten free recipes and help them prep the dishes so you can help them learn while you ensure your meal will be safe to eat.

Of course, sometimes getting to the party is its own special hurdle. For those having to fly this season keep this ‘checklist’ in mind:

  • Book a non-stop flight first thing in the morning, these are bound to be the cleanest planes as they have been wiped down thoroughly before their first flight of the day.
  • Talk to your airlines and see what they offer for special dietary restrictions.
  • When you’re at the gate talk to the attendants and see if there is a chance for you to pre-board, this will give you time to board and wipe down your seat/area.
  • If you suffer a life threatening allergy or are prone to anaphylaxis alert your flight attendant when your board so they can make an announcement to the cabin before takeoff.
  • Most importantly you should always plan ahead and pack your own snacks or small meals.

The key to having a gluten free, and symptom free, holiday is to plan and communicate. Don’t be shy about asking after menu details or to offer to bring in your own sides and desserts, the holidays and the delicious foods the season brings should be enjoyed by all. This is your chance to teach friends and family what it means to enjoy gluten free foods and make some new holiday traditions in the kitchen.

If you or a loved one would like to learn more about the Gluten Free lifestyle, recipes or ideas on how to live Gluten Free check out these titles:


Gluten Free, Hassle Free, Second Edition by Marlisa Brown, MS, RD, CDE

Brown_Final Cover

This book offers simple, yet delicious, recipes and meal plans to help you navigate the world of gluten free eating. That includes strategies for understanding the truth about Gluten Free diets and weightloss.




Let’s Eat out Around the World Gluten Free and Allergy Free, Fourth Edition by Kim Koeller


Don’t let being Gluten Free weigh you down or prevent you from traveling and exploring the world. This book offers delicious meal guides and ideas for traveling the world and tips on how to navigate unknown menus.