Ooh what a lovely time of year this is! Many of you have shared fabulous tips with me via the Juvela Customer Service Helpline so I’d like to give some in return by putting pen to paper and sharing my 12 best festive ideas. Hope you enjoy!
1 Pick Up Your Advent Calendars
I have my Cadburys one at the ready to have that first chocolate with my morning cuppa on the 1st December. I’ve had a glance at other ones in the supermarket and they do have other brands that are suitable (with no gluten containing-ingredients).
I’ve also noticed this year the lovely idea of little bags that can be numbered, filled and hung on a line – allowing you to add appropriate gluten free treats into each bag – fab!
2 Do a Big Shop ASAP
Stocking up on all those gluten free store cupboard essentials that have good dates but are not the fun things to buy is essential. I’ve got hooked with online shopping – it’s such a time-saver! On occasions, I’ve used Ocado and Waitrose and they have a great filter on their site that you can click the option within the individual categories to just show gluten free foods. It does take the guess work out when adding things in your basket!
3 Get Baking (and freezing)
Make some room in your freezer and bake to your heart’s content! At this time of year it makes perfect sense to bake some Christmas treats in advance and freeze so that they can be enjoyed when all the festivities kick off. You can’t beat having a supply of mince pies, stollen, sausage rolls and other delights squirrelled away. Have a look at our Christmas Recipes page for inspiration.
4 Energise And Organise When Shopping
Christmas Shopping time….so exciting! Prior to your trip, check out where you can have a nice lunch and evening meal – if like me you make a complete day of it. Although I usually find no problem ordering main meals, sometimes there isn’t a snack option to enjoy with a coffee in the morning (plenty of sweet things but not savoury) so I do tend to take a bacon or sausage buttie with me just in case. Out of courtesy, I do always check with the café that they are happy for me eat what I have brought in explaining that I am coeliac!
5 Don’t Forget About Local Produce
Have a natter with your local butcher/farm shop (if you have one) to see what gluten free treats they may be offering and if possible, pre-order along with all your veggies and simply pick up at your convenience.
6 Keep It Natural
To ensure there is no concern that any gluten containing products are eaten by mistake, fill your house with tasty treat bowls that consist of naturally gluten free treats such as dried fruit and nuts*, along with slightly naughtier Cadbury Roses and Quality Street! Remember to double check all ingredients lists to ensure suitability.
7 Gluten Free Gifts Are Fun
If you have any other family members or friends who are coeliac, what better way to treat someone than with their very own gluten free hamper? Although the Free From aisle is super for lots of items, incorporating foods that are naturally gluten free is a bit more of a treat!
Another suggestion is something I do frequently and I find it a great way to spoil that special someone with suitable gluten free goodies incorporated in the present. Basically it’s a ‘pass the parcel’ style gift, with the main present in the centre, but wrapped within each layer place a handful of parcel confetti and a gluten free confectionery treat….lovely to give and receive!
8 Get Fizzical
Don’t forget that fizz is naturally gluten free, so that’s plenty of excuse to stock up on the bubbly stuff! Great to enjoy with Christmas nibbles when friends and family drop in. You can check out the Coeliac UK Christmas List link for gluten free nibbles. There will be lots more things that you can have but you will need to check the ingredients and allergen box.
9 Sort Your Prescription In Advance
Have a think about what you may need to prioritise now on your prescription over the festive period and pop it in when you can, to allow plenty of time to get organised.
We have a great request form for all our Juvela products. There may be things on the form that you do not usually have, but would find to be a better option over the Christmas break.
10 Remember Fresh Bread Ordering Deadlines
Don’t forget to get your prescription in for your Juvela fresh bread and rolls. If space is tight in your freezer, then consider ordering Juvela long life bread or rolls instead. They do not require freezing and can be ordered by your pharmacy, arriving with them the following day.
Please make sure you don’t get caught out without bread over the Christmas break… Hot toasted fibre sliced bread with smoked salmon and scrambled egg makes for the best Christmas morning breakfast!
11 Speak Up
Don’t be afraid to let your friends and family know your dietary requirements before you stay or visit. If you’re a house guest for a few nights, take some gluten free bread (and if necessary your own toaster/toasting bags) and maybe take a meal that you’ve prepared, such as a chilli or hot pot, along with gluten free treats that can be enjoyed by everyone.
12 Treat Yourself
When all your shopping and gift-packing is done and dusted, hunt out a fabulous little local pub that can offer you delicious home-cooked gluten free food, that will suit you and all the family. If you don’t already have a favourite pub, simply Google “gluten free food pubs” close to your home or desired destination and give them a call to check they can cater for a gluten free diet.
Incorporate this outing if possible with a long leisurely walk to blow away those pre-Christmas cobwebs! Visit Britain have a great article on the best winter walks to help inspire you!
So there you go! Hope the handy link to Coeliac UK’s Christmas List is a help for picking out those Christmas goodies. There will of course be lots more things that you can enjoy that aren’t on the list, but to ensure they are safe, please always ensure you check the ingredients list and allergy box.
Wishing you a very Happy Christmas!
Liz x*The information we’ve provided here is accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time of publishing. As always, please ensure you thoroughly check any food is definitely gluten free by asking plenty of questions before you decide to try or buy!