We do a lot of traveling for the holidays. This year we have the potential to go to four thanksgiving dinners. I’m looking forward to visiting with family and eating their grub, but my son’s restrictive diet won’t allow him to join us in eating many traditional Thanksgiving foods. While extended family has been supportive of our son’s diet changes, I’m not expecting our dinner hosts to spontaneously swap out traditional ingredients for my son’s extensive list of sensitivities. In my opinion it’s rude to assume that a host should take up that burden. That’s why I’m coming prepared with pre-made, diet-friendly microwave meals so my son can still enjoy Thanksgiving with the rest of us.
Below I’ve included links to my restrictive-diet friendly versions of some traditional Thanksgiving dishes:
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Thanksgiving Turkey with Stuffing and Gravy
Recipes avoid gluten, dairy, yeast, and additives that are typically found in these foods.
Dairy-Free Mashed Potatoes
These are quite simple – if you typically use butter and milk to soften and mash your boiled cubed potatoes, use dairy-free butter replacer and broth instead. I made extra potatoes for dinner one night and reserved them for the freezer meals. A good recipe to use is: http://www.campbellskitchen.com/recipes/skinny-mashed-potatoes-23866
Easy peasy – just use frozen kernels!
Gluten and Dairy-Free Green Bean Casserole with Gluten-Free French Fried Onions
Recipe for homemade french fried onions avoids gluten, dairy and additives that are typically found in store-bought varieties. Cream of mushroom recipe included to avoid dairy and additives from canned variety.
Nutty Acorn Squash
Easily adapted for casein sensitivity with non-dairy butter replacer, serves 4 adults. To transfer into a freezer meal, I blended a couple leftover halves in a blender with 4oz coconut creamer.
Jellied Cranberry Sauce
Avoids High Fructose Corn Syrup
Pumpkin Pie Spice Bars Frozen Dessert
Non-dairy frozen dessert that’s easier to make than baking a gluten free pie crust! Also avoids the additives that are typically found in spice blends.
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You’ll need to give yourself time ahead to put your freezer meals together. It’s probably a good thing to tackle on a weekend. The silver lining is that you can involve your kid in the process. It will teach them valuable cooking skills and double as quality time. If it’s your first shot at recipes like this, don’t be afraid of making a cooking mistake in front of your kid – I do it all the time and we learn from it! Also, as you create the meals together it helps build up the anticipation to gobble up the final product on Thanksgiving Day. 🙂
Of course you can make whatever foods you like for your kiddo. Since these are tailored for common food sensitivities they may save you some trouble. But there is plenty of great stuff out there. The main idea is to get ahead of food traditions before they get the best of your treatment plan.
Have fun creating your make-ahead plate and enjoy!