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Christmas on a Restricted Diet

Holiday Foods Without Nuts, Gluten, Sugar, and Other Troublesome Staples


Traditional treats may be off the table if your child has to avoid nuts, gluten, sugar, or other staples of holiday fare. But if you're willing to tweak those hand-me-down recipes, you can make safe versions of everything from fruitcake to eggnog. I've gathered links to recipes around the Web to try and be inspired by.

Gluten-Free Christmas Cookies

A big tray of cookies frosted red and green, sparkling with sugar and speckled with nuts, cut into stars or pressed down with thumbprints, is as much a part of family Christmas memories as a tinsel-decked tree or a jolly visitor in a red suit. If your child has to avoid gluten, those cookies might seem to be no-nos -- but these recipes from around the Web, described by their authors as being gluten-free, can help you say yes to sugar cookies, gingersnaps, and all those traditional treats. Go to Recipe List

Diabetic Christmas Cookies

Make holiday parties and family moments a little sweeter for a child with diabetes with this baker's dozen of no- or low-sugar recipes, most from diabetes-related sites. Go to Recipe List

Gluten-Free Gingerbread

Whether it's building a house, making a man, or sitting plump on a plate with some whipped cream on top, gingerbread is a sweet and spicy holiday tradition. Don't skip it if your child has to avoid gluten -- try one of these recipes described as gluten-free from around the Web, and start a tradition of your own. Go to Recipe List

Gluten-Free Fruitcake

Having a good excuse to avoid fruitcake may seem like the rare positive thing about a gluten-free diet, but these wheat-free recipes from cooking sites around the Web may surprise you: Rich in dried fruit and low in dry cake, they use gluten-free flour or no flour at all to make Christmas cake positively palatable. Go to Recipe List

Nut-Free Fruitcake

Nutty as a fruitcake? Not with these recipes! Taken from cooking sites around the Web, these takes on Christmas cake leave out the nuts from the start, so you don't have to adapt recipes and hope for the best when accommodating your nut-allergic child. Go to Recipe List

Allergy-Safe Pumpkin Pie

Combine an allergen-free filling with a gluten-free crust for an update on the classic holiday dessert that's safe to serve your diet-restricted child. Bring one to the relatives' holiday dinner and see if anyone notices the difference. Go to Recipe List

Egg-Free Eggnog

If your child can't have eggs, try these recipes that substitute pudding, ice cream or tofu for the eggs in eggnog. Some are dairy-free as well as egg-free (and you'll want to make them alcohol-free by leaving out the optional rum). Go to Recipe List

Gluten-Free Stuffing

Bread cubes are traditional for stuffing a Christmas bird, but problematic for people with wheat allergies, Celiac disease, or a need for a GFCF diet. Whether you switch to gluten-free bread crumbs or seek other stuffing ideas, these recipes -- described by their authors as being gluten-free -- will help you make stuffing that's delicious and safe. Go to Recipe List

Dairy-Free Mashed Potatoes

Those with milk allergies can still enjoy mashed potatoes with these recipes described as dairy-free, or with dairy-free options. Go to Recipe List

Less-Sweet Sweet Potatoes

If your child needs to avoid sugar for medical or behavioral reasons, try one of these reduced-sugar or no-added-sugar recipes to put a safe dish of yams or sweet potatoes on the table. No mini marshmallows required. Go to Recipe List

Dairy-Free Scalloped Potatoes

Scalloped potatoes are favorite side dish for special meals, but if your child or other family member can't tolerate milk or cheese, your traditional recipe may not work. Try one of these dairy-free adaptations to keep the dish on your table. Go to Recipe List

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