Friday, November 28, 2014

What Not to Give and What to Give Someone with a Gluten & Wheat Allergy?

Everyone loves this time of year except for people with Celiac Disease or people who have food allergies.
When Family and Friends don't know what to give a person for Christmas, Holidays, Birthdays they automatically go to food. They will give you a gift certificate to a restaurant or a gift bag full of food from World Market. Don't be too mad at your family or friend. I will make them feel really bad by saying, "Man this looks so yummy but I can't eat any of it, so I am re-gifting it to you right now so Merry Christmas 2015." 

This is a time when friends and family doesn't know what to get people so they get them food and gift cards to restaurants. Celiac & Gluten Allergy hates them.

Here is a list of what NOT to give someone with Gluten and Wheat Allergy:

1. DO NOT give them a gift card to a restaurant. 

I can't count how many times my friends or family have given me a gift card to McDonalds, Steak n Shake. 
Steak n Shake is a scary place to eat if you are gluten-free. McDonalds has nothing to eat. 

DO NOT give them gift cards to fast foods because they don't do a good job with gluten allergies.   

If for some reason you have a family or friend tradition of giving someone a restaurant gift card then do some research for your area. Call restaurants in your area. For example, in Grand Rapids Michigan area, Georgio's Pizzeria has gluten free pizza and pasta. The Olive Garden has gluten-free pasta and Red Robin has a gluten-free bun at the 28th Street location by Woodland Mall. Again take some time to do the research. If you don't have time to do the research then don't give the person a food gift card. 

2. DO NOT give them gift baskets of food or Towering boxes with food. 

I hate it when a friend hands me a pre-made food gift basket.  If I am lucky I might be able to eat one item from it. Plus, you know the person didn't put much thought to the gift.   Don't give your friend or family with Gluten allergies a basket full of crackers, sausages, cheese, and dips. Even worse don't give them a basket full of a variety of cookies and chocolates.  Such as these:

3. DO NOT give them  Tin of Popcorn

You wouldn't think it would have gluten and wheat in them but a lot of them do. The wheat and gluten is usually coming from the seasoning or topping or the facility in which it was made.

ALWAYS READ THE INGREDIENTS. IF IT DOESN'T SAY GLUTEN-FREE ON IT THEN DON'T GET IT. It is better to be safe then sorry. Also, if it says it is gluten-free, but was made in a facility with wheat, DON'T GET IT. Again it is better to be safe then sorry. 

If you have a tradition of giving a tin of popcorn a place that does have Gluten-Free popcorn is:

4.  DO NOT Give them homemade cookies or bake-goods you  made. 

Only give them bake goods if you are 100% sure they are gluten-free. wheat, barley, oats (unless it says Gluten Free Oats). Be extra careful with contamination. Make sure you wash your utensils, pots and pans extra hard. If at all possible use wax paper, aluminum foil or something on your pans to have extra protection from contamination.

5. DO NOT give them a subscription to Cooking Magazines such as Rachel Rays, Cooking Network, etc. (Unless told otherwise from your family member or friend). 

I hate getting a subscription to Rachel Rays or the Cooking Network and seeing so many recipes that I can't have.There is always a way to take those recipes and make them gluten-free, but it takes time and money to perfect them into being tasty gluten-free.

Instead get them a magazine subscription to:
Simply Gluten Free Magazine

Gluten Free Living

6. DO NOT give hand creams, soaps, shampoos, conditioners and makeup without making sure they are gluten-free. 

People forget there can be glutens in body lotions, hand lotions, soaps, shampoos, conditioners, and makeup. If you know the products the person you are buying for uses then you should be fine. If not just do a simple phone call to the company to make sure. You can also look it up on the Internet.  Just keep in mind products ingredients do change so look for the date on your research.

What to Get your Gluten & Wheat sufferers:

 1. Kitchen Tools

Celiac's and people with food allergies do a lot of baking. 

2.  Gloves

3. Messages, Hair Cut.

4. Gluten-Free Apps

5. Gluten-Free Magazine Subscriptions such:

6. Gluten-Free Cookbooks

7. Movie Tickets

8. Community Theatre Tickets. 
If you live near Grand Rapids, MI. Check out:

Grand Rapids Civic Theatre

Broadway Grand Rapids

9. Scarves

10. Gift Cards for Retail Stores, Amazon, Ebay, etc.

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