Maybe you saw the graphic on the left on The Huffington Post or on BuzzFeed where it originated. As you can imagine, some took offense to it. I actually laughed, because, yes, that is me and my family right in the center of ALL those circles. Apparently to some, we are the worst dinner guests ever.
This post is for everyone who knows someone who has a food allergy, food intolerance, or a new dietary preference. It is part 1 of a series. I will also cover books, as well as products.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret that is going to make your life easier for those on your gift list like your Aunt Suzie who went vegan because she had a heart condition, your Uncle Fred who is now diabetic, and yes, you, Sam, because you can’t very well ship that six pounds of pistachios to your sister whose toddler was just diagnosed with tree-nut and peanut allergies.
Here’s a list of safe gifts. Since we are all individuals, please make sure to double check your loved ones list of allergens against the ingredients lists and always call the manufacturer if you have any questions.
SO DELICIOUS NOG (free of milk, eggs, tree nuts and peanuts)
SO DELICIOUS (@so_delicious) has a very thick and rich coconut milk nog. I actually did you a favor and they’re stocking it at Back To The Land in Brooklyn (Park Slope). Here’s a link to the So Delicious web site so you can see who is stocking it in your neighborhood.
GNOSIS VEGAN CHOCOLATE – made in NY (please read labels there may be peanut or nut cross-contamination)
Last year I was talking with G my local pizza guy (I can’t eat his Pizza, but I do pick it up for husband) who has a diabetic father. He was lamenting that his father missed chocolate. WHAT? No need to miss chocolate. So I picked him up some of this live raw vegan chocolate. He was in heaven and now shops at fine health food stores everywhere.
NUT FREE/DAIRY FREE GOODIES FROM DIVVIES made in NY (not everything is wheat/gluten free, but call them and they can walk you through)
We love DIVVIES, started by another parent to an allergic child. They have wonderful chocolate chips (contain soy lecithin) but are made in a nut-free dedicated facility. Their popcorn is also divine as are their other candies. You will NOT go wrong if you order your sister a box full of this deliciousness (always make sure that the ingredients in the products will work with your particular allergens).
BOB’S CANDY CANES
I don’t even have to tell you about these, because quite possibly you can pick them up at Duane Reed, Neergaard in Brooklyn, Rite Aid or CVS. They are dairy, tree nut, peanut, gluten-free and egg free. I love these. If you’re buying for your child’s classroom, make sure you keep them in the package so that the teacher can read the ingredients.
ANGIE’S KETTLE CORN
Before I discovered my food allergies, and those of my child, I loved it when I’d receive large tins of popcorn from clients during the holidays. Angie’s is free of the top 8 allergens, super delicious, and is low in fat and sugar. What’s even better is that she’s got her little kernels in Costco and Target so they’re easy to find. In addition, Angie’s kettle corn boasts one of the best allergen statements in the food manufacturing business.
In addition to any and all of the above, my ideal wonderful gift basket would be full of:
LUCINI ORGANIC OLIVE OIL, BALSALMIC VINEGAR AND PASTA SAUCE (or just anything lucini!)
LE VENEZIANE Italians take no prisoners when making the best gluten free pasta made from corn
INDIECANDY: Top 8 free candies in a dedicated facility located in Alabama
Hopefully you quickly bookmarked this post. Have a safe and healthy holiday.
Again, and as a reminder, my allergens are not your allergens. Always make sure to read ingredients, check with your board certified allergist when in doubt, and call manufacturers if you have ANY questions.
click HERE for Part 2 of this series