Just think of it…Easter may be just as bad as the December holidays for gluten free frustration – especially if you have a gluten free child! Easter egg hunts (who knows what junk is in there), carb-heavy brunches and buffets, candy strategically put in fancy dishes around the house — just begging to be snacked on. You have to make an effort to be sure what you’re eating (or serving to a person with celiac disease) is gluten free.
Here are some quick hints to help get you through the Easter Holiday.
Gluten Free Candy
Before you let your child eat whatever is in those plastic eggs found at the local Easter Egg Hunt, grab this list but also lay some ground rules. Make sure your child understands they won’t eat any food from the egg hunt until you have gone through it together. Dump everything out and take a look at it (just like on Halloween). Here is a gluten free Easter candy list to use. I often will keep an extra stash of candy to swap out in case a lot of it has gluten. One of the big issues is anything with “crispy rice” in it…those candies are not gluten free.
Oh that Ham Dinner or Easter Brunch
Ham dinner: If you’re still gunning for the store and need to pick up a ham you can purchase Cure 81 hams by Hormel. HoneyBaked Ham is also gluten free. Also for Easter Brunch at home this is a great recipe for a gluten free egg bake that uses hash browns as your crust! Very simple and no rolling pin needed!
But if you’re going out for dinner or brunch that’s a different story. Here are some things to know. You should call the restaurant ahead of time (preferably during quiet hours so you have the manager or chef’s undivided attention) and ask what they will have for their dinner or brunch options that are gluten free. See if you can arrange a meal ahead of time with them.
If it’s a buffet, there are cross contamination issues. People double dip and drop food into other food along the buffet line all the time. Short of you taking the first scoop out of all the gluten free items, you can’t get a safe gluten free meal at a buffet. But perhaps, a chef will plate up some food for you from the kitchen before the cross contamination can occur.
Fun Gluten Free Beverages
The first thing that came to mind with a gluten free brunch: Mimosas. Those are easily made gluten free with champagne (which is gluten free according to celiac.com) and orange juice. But a tamer beverage could be a simple punch of raspberry sherbet and 7 up! Sherbet should be an easy gluten-free choice, but you should always check the label to ensure it’s gluten free status. Kemps, for example, will list any gluten-containing ingredients in their products so their labels are easy to read.
Anticipate the worst when it comes to dining at a friend’s or family’s house. Always be prepared! I know it sounds so pessimistic but as much as friends and family mean well, many don’t get safe gluten free cooking. Especially in the “early years” of your diagnosis. Check out this post I did on that very subject last fall. Feel free to pass along this information to anyone who may try to cook gluten free for you or your family.
Have a fabulous Easter Weekend.