7 December 2020
By Tom Collins
Christmas is a time for family and friends, for sharing, celebrating and, all too often, overindulging. While COVID19 restrictions mean that things will somewhat different this year – the challenges for people who have coeliac disease or are gluten intolerant remains the same: how to avoid becoming ill or ‘glutened’ over the festive season.
That’s why the Coeliac Society of Ireland has created a dedicated the Gluten Free Christmas Survival Hub – to provide support for the estimated 50,000 coeliac sufferers and 400,000 people who are gluten intolerant in Ireland and ensure that they, and their friends and families – can organise a tasty, healthy, and safe gluten-free Christmas in 2020.
The hub contains a veritable smorgasbord of information and practical advice from health experts, as well as top tips and tasty recipes from chefs – including how to cater for guests who have to live gluten free and how to avoid cross contamination of food.
Coeliac Society of Ireland chief executive Gill Brennan said the Gluten Free Christmas Survival Hub, which has been created with support from Aldi, is designed to ensure that everyone can have a joyful and merry Christmas regardless of their dietary restrictions.
Gill said: “This year, perhaps more than any other, we all want to treasure what is most important in all our lives – our family and friends. No matter how differently we might have to celebrate Christmas in 2020, we will want to share it with those we love.
“However, if you have coeliac disease or are gluten intolerant, this time of the year can be incredibly stressful because it is so easy to become accidentally consume food which contains gluten. It can be equally hard for those who are hosting someone who is coeliac or gluten intolerant. The last thing they want, particularly where children are concerned, is to worry about whether the food or drinks they are serving will lead to unnecessary pain or suffering for their dinner guests.
“The Gluten Free Christmas Survival Hub is a great resource for anyone who has to live gluten free and any family or friends who are hosting them. There is information about how to prepare food in a safe manner to avoid cross contamination, there are delicious recipes, and there is also advice hints about staying healthy over the festive season.
“Simply put, if anyone who is gluten intolerant or coeliac is visiting your home over Christmas, you need to visit the website. It is a fantastic resource but you should also reach out and discuss dietary requirements with any guests who are coeliac or gluten intolerant. If nothing else, it may encourage them to bring desert!”