How can you reduce your worries this Christmas if you are allergen-sensitive, faced with weeks of socialising over bowls of nuts, platters of cheese, and canapés filled with who knows what?
While you still have to pay close attention to food labels, if you do work your way through the small print it is possible to have a festive holiday season and let the shops do much of the hard work for you.
Free From ranges remove specific ingredients and this area of the food industry is growing rapidly. Foods without dairy, gluten or animal products are becoming much more mainstream and readily available on supermarket shelves and in the food service sector.
Among the many Christmas treats to choose from your supermarket shelves, the Free From range is expanding across the board. Substitutes for soya, egg, dairy and gluten are widely available, as are many other food allergens. Tesco’s has gluten free mince pies and dairy free Christmas puddings, Waitrose offers a gluten free individual Panettone and Sainsbury’s has a vegan marzipan stollen. For something savoury, ASDA can supply a gluten and milk free sage and onion stuffing mix while Ocado lists a truly amazing choice of foods which are Free From (including celery, sulphites and oat) and a very Christmassy dairy free white chocolate advent calendar (if you can still find one).
Free From items are typically only free of a few named ingredients, so while a marzipan stollen may not contain eggs, it will contain almonds.
Free From is making food choices simpler, but it can still be tricky to find a complete absence of all the items which cause skin issues for you. If it is allergen free skincare you are looking for, the finest thing to find in your stocking this Christmas will be Oodee.
"Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!” ― Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
Could the Grinch have been thinking of Oodee?