USE THIS CHECKLIST BEFORE SHOPPING FOR SPECIAL DIET FOODS
Preparing a holiday meal is no longer a matter of recreating the traditional family recipes handed down through the generations. Now more than ever people are following medically prescribed or self-styled diets that make menu planning a challenge. And when extended family members don’t gather around the table that often, it’s even harder to know who eats what?
Let me offer some advice.
If you’re hosting the meal, ask in advance about special food restrictions so you’re prepared. You don’t have to be a short-order cook, but you should have something on the menu for everyone. Recipes can be modified and alternate ingredients used to make them fit.
If you’re going to be a guest, don’t make assumptions about what will be served. Call ahead to explain not only what foods you can’t have, but what you can. Then offer to bring something from the “can eat” side of your diet.
Here’s a quick checklist of 10 lesser known diets to guide you before you go shopping:
Special Diet Checklist
- Baby Food Diet – Only allows pureed baby food in jars as snacks or for up to two meals a day
- Gluten-Free Diet – No croutons, bread stuffing, crumb-topping, rolls, pie crust
- Low Carb Diet – No potatoes, yams, winter squash, any of the gluten-free choices, anything candied, cranberry sauce, fruit, dessert other than nuts
- Halal Observant – No coffee, tea, alcohol, pork, gelatin, improperly killed animals
- DASH Food Plan – Very little added salt and mostly low sodium foods, no processed meats or high fat cuts, only low fat or fat free dairy products, lots of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds.
- Low Purine Diet – No organ meats, gravy, goose, butter and spreads, nuts, cream
- Macrobiotic Lifestyle – Depending on the stage, they may eat nothing more than brown rice or be a vegetarian who eats fish, but preferably only locally grown foods that are minimally processed
- Raw Food Diet – No cooked or commercially processed plant foods, although blending, pureeing and dehydrating them is acceptable
- Stone-Age, Caveman or Paleo Diet – Only those foods that could be obtained by hunting, fishing or gathering, nothing grown by modern agriculture or made by food processing
- Low Residue Diet – No whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, coconut, raw vegetables, edible fruit skins or seeds