Extra Risk At Christmas
The festive season is always a fun time to catch up with friends and family. Christmas for many can involve dinner parties and nights out with friends. While Christmas is all about fun and being together with loved ones, it is also time that can carry some extra risk and anxiety for coeliacs.
Here are some potential extra risks that can occur at Christmas:
- Eating out: During the Christmas period restaurants become extremely busy and can often take on new staff members who may not receive comprehensive training as other staff who are there longer or full time. Menu plans or ingredients for cheaper alternatives can change over the Christmas period. When eating out, even in a restaurant you frequently enjoy gluten free meals in, always double check and remind your server your meal needs to be prepared as gluten free. Don’t be afraid to ask the staff about the ingredients in a dish or ask to see the packaging for any ingredients you are not sure of. Having a copy of the Coeliac Society Food List or the app to hand can be very useful – see food list.
- New products: At Christmas shops introduce new product lines many of these items are sweet treats and cakes. Always remember to read the labels carefully on any new products and check the Coeliac Society Christmas product list for reassurance.
- Gifts: At Christmas it is very common to bring a box of chocolates or biscuits when visiting someone’s home. If you receive a gift and you are not sure if they are gluten free or not. It is advised to check the Food List or just don’t eat the product.
- Visiting: If you are invited to someone’s home it might be a good idea to contact them a couple of days prior to the visit. Chat to the host about being coeliac and the gluten free diet, maybe give some recommendations of gluten free alternative products or recipes. Be sure and emphasise the importance of prevention of cross contamination. You could also offer to take a gluten free dish with you for everyone to enjoy. Find some gluten free Christmas recipe ideas here.