My word where has this year gone?! The shops are starting to get ready for Christmas, but before we kick off the festive cheer, there are lots other seasonal occasions to be enjoyed – Halloween, Bonfire Night, Birthdays and other general parties! Food plays a massive part with social occasions such as these and being coeliac can make you a little worried. Like anyone else you want to tuck into delicious treats, but need to sure the food will be 100% gluten free and has been safely prepared.
To help out a little with such occasions, I have popped together a couple of ideas that hopefully ensure that parties you are holding or attending are enjoyable and cater for everyone!
Thinking about coeliac children attending parties, it’s so important that they are not made to feel different to the other children, so for me I would ensure that everything on the table would be gluten free and then each child can have a “free for all” and simply tuck into food because it’s what they like, rather than what they can eat. The delight for them being able to pick anything from the table will mean so much. Here are a couple of things that would work well;
Gluten free pizza cooked and portioned into bite size pieces
Gluten free crackers or Crispbread with cheese spread
Things on sticks: Sausages*, cheese & pineapple, mozzarella & cherry tomatoes.
Crisps* (Pom Bears are gluten free and kids love them!)
Popcorn* (most are naturally gluten free but always check!)
Vegetable sticks; peppers, cucumber, carrots and dips
Mini jellies with ice cream*
Fresh fruit with melted chocolate*
I have to also share with you my favourite little cakes that my Mum used to make for me and my brother for our Birthday teas! They are simply mini chocolate crispy cakes (Juvela crispy rice works a treat for this), then pop a half marshmallow* with a little blob of melted chocolate and a chocolate button* on top. They are amazing and will be enjoyed by kids of all ages!
For a celebration cake, Juvela gluten free all-purpose flour mix is an absolute winner! Although it is something that is generally prescribed to people with coeliac disease, it can also be purchased from any pharmacy. The online pharmacy, Chemist.net supply it too. By having a gluten free cake, it again means everyone can be a part of the party for the day! The Juvela Gluten Free Sponge Cake recipe is amazing and can be adapted for different flavours if required.
If it’s a late-night party that only requires nibbles, I would just take a long a few snacks with me to be on the safe side. However, if it’s an early evening affair that requires a supper, I would check out with the host what they are planning and maybe offer to take a long something tasty to help with the catering. Perfect things would be a cottage pie, chilli, hot pot or curry. This way you are helping out, but will also ensure you are covered too!
I personally find that people go to lots of trouble to accommodate me and make sure everything is OK, but it’s the little checks that I need to make like checking the butter they used is a fresh one and they are not crossing over with chopping boards and utensils to prevent cross contamination.
I hope whatever parties you attend you have fun and you get to enjoy tasty gluten free snacks and suppers along the way!
Happy, Healthy gluten free partying to you…
*Check in Coeliac UK’s Food & Drink Directory for a suitable brand.