A Season of Gluten Free Giving
It is no secret. I dislike the Christmas season. The commercialism, the non-stop bad music that takes over Muzak everywhere. The crowds, the gimmes, the fights over discounted televisions.
Bah. Bah. Bah.
That said, there are a lot of very charitably minded people and alot of good is done during this season. So I will try to remain positive. I will not shop on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. I will aim to shop local or artisan made, when I can.
This year I will as I have for several years, highlight how to be allergy conscious when donating food during food drives. As we enter the season of food drives, please, please think about people in need who have issues like I do. Gluten Intolerance and food allergies, are not just issues of the wealthy and middle class families. While the Kroger brand of mac and cheese is great and on sale this week, many families cannot eat it for a variety of reasons. So think about more whole food choices, with no processed sauces or additives.
From a nutritional point of view, if we can afford to give higher quality foods, we should. In the long run, those in poverty have more long term chronic health issues related to food insecurity and poor nutrition.
I say look for 5 ingredient or less foods.
This could include:
shelf stable soy milk or nut milks
apple sauce — with no added sugar
peanut butter or soy butter or sun butter
plain instant oatmeal (not gluten free, but great for people with other allergies)
plain instant rice cereal
gluten free flour blend
dried fruit such as raisins and cranberries
plain rice — instant or slow cook
dried beans, lentils, peas
canned fruit, with no added sugar
canned beans — but read the labels, just beans, no funny stuff
gluten free crackers/rice crackers
all fruit jams/preserves
gluten free cereals/granola
gluten free breakfast bars/granola type bars
Call ahead, will the pantry take winter squash, potatoes, apples? Gift cards? Many pantries meet their clients needs this way. In many cases they really want fresh items and can place them the same day.
I cannot imagine trying to meet my dietary needs, with a very limited income. Can you imagine if you were a family on the edge and a child or adult in the family was struggling with uncontrolled IBS/Celiacs or other issues due to an inability to find wholesome, whole food choices. How about the kiddos who are on a strict tree nut/peanut free diet?
The reality is all the items on my list are generally healthier options for everyone. We all benefit from less processing and less sugar and less junk in our food. So while you are giving someone with allergies or intolerance some options, you are also giving everyone something very healthy.
It is a win-win.
Still have questions. Reach out. After almost 11 years of being gluten free, I am very well versed at grocery shopping for those with issues. Even on a budget.