This year, Easter arrives the day after my birthday. I don’t remember it ever being this early, it is usually closer to my brother’s birthday (2 weeks after mine). I can’t quite believe that I have to prepare for Easter now, when it’s only just starting to thaw here. We could easily get snow again! gah. I don’t feel like it’s time to celebrate spring yet.
With food allergies, food intolerances, and Celiac disease, our trick to keeping a holiday safe and fun is to plan well in advance. We buy Choclat.com chocolate treats, which are Kosher pareve and dairy, gluten, nut, and egg free; they also have Passover treats which are free of corn and soy as well. However, because we can’t just pick up a chocolate rabbit at the drug store, I have to order now, long before most parents have to worry about filling the Easter basket. Because we are OK with corn, I can cheat a bit, I can fill in the basket with some Peeps (free of the top 8), some Pez (gfcf, gluten & dairy free at minimum), and the candy amounts are all set.
We tend to add stuffed animals and other treats to Easter baskets, too. We love the fabulous felt chocolate rabbits found by Cool Mom Picks! That’s a great gift for kids who can’t have a “regular” chocolate rabbit! Add some bubbles and a coloring book & crayons, and you’re all set, a mixture of good treats and good fun.
Now it’s time to deal with the visiting relatives. We go to the homes of grandparents, that way we can leave if needed: it’s harder to leave your own house! We visit one set of grandparents at a different time than they serve food, they know they don’t “get” food restrictions, so we avoid eating with them. With the other set of grandparents, we discuss food in advance, and the food served is safe for everyone. If you are eating with anyone other than your immediate family, it’s always good to have a food plan well in advance of the event! We learned our lesson when our girls got sick because breadcrumbs dropped into their gf food as rolls and other gluten foods were passed over their plates; the only food anywhere near the girls is safe for them.
The Easter Bunny at the girls’ Nani and Vóvó’s house leaves puzzle pieces that form a map, which brings each girl to a “treasure”, in addition to the regular Easter basket with a few candies, toys, and artichokes. Mmmm… what Easter dinner is complete without artichokes? If you are dairy-free, Earth Balance and Soy Garden margarines taste like butter. If you are dairy and soy free, you might be able to find Fleishmann’s Light tubs, but otherwise I’d suggest thinking outside the box for dipping – flax oil with some seasonings is very yummy, plus there are vinaigrettes and other non-butter dips.
Another “think in advance” tip is about the Easter Ham. Most hams that come with a sauce have gluten (at minimum) in the sauce packet, so you’ll want to find a good recipe for making your own glaze. Don’t forget to find some other wonderful, fabulous, family-tested recipes for side-dishes and dessert. My mother always makes a bunny cake, and now it’s been adapted to be gluten, dairy, and berry-free! The Wacky Cake recipe is easy and practically ingredient-free.
What have I forgotten? What other plan-ahead tips do you have for holidays?
[...] A Gaggle of Girls wrote an post worth reading today.Here’s a quick excerpt: This year, Easter arrives the day after my birthday. I don’t remember it ever being this early, it is usually closer to my brother’s birthday (2 weeks after mine). I can’t quite believe that I have to prepare for Easter now, when it’s only just starting to thaw here. We could easily get snow again! gah. I don’t feel like it’s time to celebrate spring yet. With food allergies, food intolerances, and Celiac disease, our trick to keeping a holiday safe and fun is to plan well in advance. We buy [...]
[...] a holiday from being a helliday Posted in March 6th, 2008 by in free medical consent forms A Gaggle of Girls had an interesting blog post (Keeping a holiday from being a helliday).Here’s a small [...]
Great tips! We follow “no eating with Grandparents that don’t get food restrictions” too. It’s just safer that way. Hope you have a wonderful and safe Easter holiday.
[...] The Food Allergy Carnival was posted Friday. Over at A Gaggle of Girls, we contributed a piece about planning in advance for the holiday. [...]