Halloween, Easter, and Valentine's Day may be more candy-centric, and Thanksgiving more focused on the bounty on a dining-room table, but Christmas seems to wrap all those food festivities into one month-long onslaught of sweets and baked goods and parties and traditional family meals. Which is good news for those who live for Christmas-cookie season, and bad news for those who can't eat the cookies because they're packed with gluten or nuts or sugar. You may feel like you're running the gauntlet with your child with food allergies, celiac disease, diabetes, or other restricted diets, hoping to get safely into the new year without a crisis. Nothing festive about that.
Put a little ho-ho-ho back in the holiday by preparing safe sweets and treats for your child. My article on "Christmas on a Restricted Diet" has ideas for everything from nut-free fruitcake to gluten-free stuffing. And if friends and family members aren't taking the hint that you're not just being an old Scrooge about your child's eating habits, pin one of these printable labels on your little one's lapel when you're going into dangerous dining territory. If you have a food-related tradition-tweak that works for you during the holidays, share it on the Readers Respond page.