Allergy Friendly Holiday Menu Inspiration {Top 8 Free}

Two years ago, I found out that my then-six-month-old baby had at least ten serious food allergies, including dairy, egg, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, and several fruits. He hadn’t even tried any of these foods, since he was still mostly exclusively breastfeeding, but he was so sensitive that he’d been dealing with horrible allergy symptoms just from the foods I was eating. (On a scale of 1-100, his sensitivity to several of them was an immeasurable >100!)

Since I was determined to stick with breastfeeding for as long as I could, I decided to change my diet—dramatically—overnight.

With the internet’s help, I gave myself a crash course on allergy-friendly eating, learning how to read labels and experimenting with safe alternatives like flax eggs and nutritional yeast (for cheese).

Then came the holidays. I more or less assumed that I wouldn’t be able to eat anything on the menu, except maybe the meat and some butter-less potatoes. My family was incredibly thoughtful and accommodating, but we were all a little out of our league.

Today, I’m no longer breastfeeding (not that son anyway—now it’s his younger, and thankfully allergy-free, brother) and my son is too young to care that his holiday meal doesn’t look like everyone else’s. But I’m already thinking about the day when he might care, and when it will make more sense for me to remove his allergen foods from the meals our entire family eats, rather than always making something special (read: boring) for him.

Luckily, I’ve come a long way since butter-less potatoes. Now I know that there are tons of allergy-friendly options out there, if you’re willing to get comfortable with a few ingredient swaps and, maybe, to rethink what your idea of a “holiday meal” is.

In case anyone else is looking for some help in accommodating food allergies this holiday season, I put together a roundup of recipes that are all free of (or can be easily made free of) the “top 8” most common food allergens:

  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Soy
  • Wheat
  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts
  • Fish
  • Shellfish

Even if you’re not accommodating food allergies, these recipes are all fabulous, and would make excellent additions to your holiday menu!

Enjoy!

Allergy Friendly Holiday Menu

 

Appetizers

Grinch fruit kabobs

Apple cinnamon bacon bites

Crispy green bean chips

Bacon wrapped dates

Cranberry salsa

Mini hot dog bites

Caramel corn

Chicken zucchini poppers

Easy guacamole {unlike crackers, tortilla chips are usually gluten-free and allergy-friendly}

 

Entrées

Meat-based entrées are often naturally allergy-friendly, or very easy to make allergy-friendly (the most common swap is butter for a dairy/soy-free butter alternative—I use Earth Balance). Here are just a few ideas…

Roasted chicken with bacon and rosemary

Apple pomegranate pork loin

Slow cooker honey balsamic pork roast

Beef tenderloin with balsamic glaze {use gluten-free flour}

Pumpkin and black bean casserole

Maple tempeh with herbed quinoa {skip the walnuts for nut-free}

 

Sides

Apple cranberry stuffing

Cornbread stuffing

Stuffing with pancetta sage sausage

Cranberry sauce

Sweet potato biscuits

Sweet pumpkin cornbread muffins

Pumpkin apple walnut harvest rice {skip the walnuts for nut-free}

Sweet potato casserole {skip the pecans for nut-free – ok to add marshmallows!}

Maple butternut squash apple casserole

Baked apple and brown rice casserole

Mushroom sage risotto

 

Veggies

Ginger citrus maple roasted beets and apples

Citrus maple glazed roasted carrots

Roasted fingerling potatoes and brussels sprouts with rosemary and garlic

Mashed cauliflower with roasted garlic and chives

Bacon and onion green beans

 

Desserts

Soft molasses cookies

Butterscotch bars

Sugar cookie cut-outs

Snowman cookie pops

Chewy coconut sugar cookies

Chocolate fudge

Peppermint fudge brownies

Frosted chocolate peppermint cookies

Chocolate candy cane cookies

Snickerdoodles

Apple crisp + coconut whipped cream

 

If you have any questions about allergy-friendly cooking, feel free to leave them in the comments!

4 Responses to Allergy Friendly Holiday Menu Inspiration {Top 8 Free}

  1. Tara
    Tara December 12, 2014 at 3:29 am #

    Wonderful list! The cranberry salsa sounds so good:)

    • Kim
      Kim January 6, 2015 at 2:56 pm #

      It does!!

  2. Ali December 13, 2014 at 4:18 am #

    This is great! My twin boys have a protein allergy so I have been dairy, soy and egg free for months since I’m nursing. I’m getting tired of eating the same things so this is great! Thanks!

    • Kim
      Kim January 6, 2015 at 2:57 pm #

      So glad you found it helpful Ali! Hang in there! You’re doing a great thing for your boys. 🙂

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