Gluten-Free Turkeys 2020

The 2020 holidays (such as they are) are upon us. Here is a list of turkeys that are labeled as gluten-free. If a turkey isn't on this list, it may be gluten-free; it just means it wasn't checked.

Some turkeys are not gluten-free. Always check the ingredient list! If you are unsure, call the manufacturer and ask questions.

Pay close attention to any seasoning or flavorings added to the turkey. The ingredients may be a likely source of gluten in your turkey.

Some turkeys will include a separate gravy packet - some are gluten-free, others are not. Be sure to read the ingredient list. Tossing the gravy packet is the best plan, gluten-free or not. Make it yourself; it’ll be so much better.

Be aware that the US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) regulates labeling for meat, poultry, egg products. USDA regulations for labeling allergens [like wheat] are not the same as the FDA regulations. Companies may voluntarily comply with FDA regs, but they are not required to disclose wheat, barley, rye, oats, or any derivatives.

If you see any of these ingredients in a USDA product…

Modified Food Starch
Food Starch

Call the company to verify the source as they could be derived from gluten sources.

About 80-90% of the USDA companies follow FDA allergen labeling regulations.

For more information on label reading, please read:
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“Gluten-Free Label Reading”

Stuffing a gluten-free turkey with gluten stuffing contaminates the turkey - it should not be eaten by those following a gluten-free diet.

If you are making a turkey for a gluten-free guest, please read:
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“Guide to Gluten Cross-Contact”

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If this is your first gluten-free holiday season, you might check out our Navigating The Holidays article for some hints and tips.

"For many, the holiday season is filled with smiles, laughter and lots of merriment. However, for those with dietary restrictions, it can be the complete opposite – fear, dread and lots of worriment."

Looking for some holiday recipes?
Check out
some of our favorites.


Gluten-Free Holiday Dinner Guide - complete with a few recipes!



Need to prepare a gluten-free holiday dinner? Butterball can help! Our Butterball fresh and frozen raw unstuffed turkeys are always gluten-free, and our gravy pack included with our Butterball Whole and Boneless Breast items is also gluten-free. And for all the trimmings, check out the recipes below to find a variety of gluten-free side dishes and desserts sure to please all your holiday guests.

For a detailed explanation on our gluten-free products, visit Are Butterball Turkeys Gluten Free on our Frequently Asked Questions Page.


A: All of the Butterball products are gluten free except for Butterball Stuffed Turkey (bread stuffing) and Butterball Frozen Meatballs. For our products that are packaged with gravy packets, the gravy packets are gluten free as well. The gravy contains rice flour instead of wheat flour and the modified food starch is corn based.

Gluten-Free Butterball Turkeys:

Butterball Contact:


Do your hams or turkey breast contain glutens?

Do your hams or products have glutens in them?

All of our shipped hams, turkey breasts and whole turkeys are gluten-free! Please note: Products in our retail store are not produced in a gluten-free environment.

Honeysuckle White

Honeysuckle FAQ

Do you turkeys contain gluten?

Honeysuckle White® fresh and frozen whole turkeys and bone-in turkey breasts do not contain gluten. If the turkey you purchased has gravy, our gravy does not contain gluten either. Rice flour is used in the preparation of our gravy.

Honeysuckle White Whole Turkeys:

Bone-in Turkey Breasts:

Honeysuckle While offers several gluten-free products, however, you have to check each product.

Jennie-O Whole Turkeys

Jenni-O is a Hormel Company. Hormel will clearly gluten (wheat, barley/malt, rye, oats).

Although our products are labeled in compliance with government regulations, we believe the best practice is for you to read the labels on the products to determine if the food product meets your required needs. Parents and individuals with food allergies and/or food intolerances are responsible for reading the label of all products they intend to use regardless of how the product is represented on this site. To help those dealing with gluten sensitivity or allergies, we have a provided a list detailing the wide range of products we offer that are gluten-free.

If you have any questions we would to talk to you.

Please call our Customer Service Representatives at 1-800-523-4635 or submit your question online.

Hormel's Gluten-Free List (See Jenni-O Brand)

Jenni-O Turkeys:

Jennie-O has many items on their gluten-free list.


Gluten-free products from website using their Filters. Purdue’s gluten-free offerings + No Wheat Allergen Filter

Gluten Free Chicken Breast Tenders (26 oz)

Gluten Free Chicken Breast Tenders (42 oz)

Gluten Free Chicken Breast Tenders (42 oz)

Individually Frozen Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts (3 lbs.)

Carved Chicken Breast, Grilled (9 oz.)

Carved Chicken Breast, Grilled Fajita Style (9 oz.)

Carved Chicken Breast, Grilled Fajita Style, (26 oz.)

Carved Chicken Breast, Grilled Italian Style (9 oz.)

Carved Chicken Breast, Grilled, (16 oz.)

Carved Chicken Breast, Honey Roasted (9 oz.)

Carved Chicken Breast, Original Roasted (26 oz.)

Carved Chicken Breast, Original Roasted (9 oz.)

Carved Chicken Breast, Rotisserie Seasoned (26 oz.)

Carved Chicken Breast, Rotisserie Seasoned (9 oz.)

Carved Chicken Breast, Southwestern Style (9 oz.)

Carved Turkey Breast, Oven Roasted (8 oz.)

SIMPLY SMART® ORGANICS Breaded Chicken Breast Nuggets, Gluten Free (22 oz.)

SIMPLY SMART® ORGANICS Breaded Chicken Breast Tenders, Gluten Free (22 oz.)

SIMPLY SMART® ORGANICS Gluten Free Breaded Chicken Breast Tenders (11.2 oz.)

SIMPLY SMART® ORGANICS Gluten Free Breaded Chicken Breast Tenders (42 oz.)

SIMPLY SMART® ORGANICS Gluten Free Grilled Chicken Breast Strips (6 oz.)

Should you have further questions, please feel free to contact a consumer representative at 1-800-473-7383 Monday through Friday 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM ET, or email us at

Plainville Farms

Is your turkey gluten free?

Yes. Turkey does not include gluten. Our turkey deli meats are gluten-free and casein-free. However, our turkey gravy and homestyle dressing contain wheat. Please read the ingredients labels and get in touch with us with any ingredient or allergy questions.

Shady Brook Farms

Shady Brook Farms FAQ

Do you turkeys contain gluten?

Shady Brook Farms® fresh and frozen whole turkeys and bone-in turkey breasts do not contain gluten. If the turkey you purchased has gravy, our gravy does not contain gluten either. Rice flour is used in the preparation of our gravy.

Whole Turkeys:

Turkey Breast:

Shady Brook Farms -
Contact us page.

Hams Gluten-Free Ham List

An extensive list of companies

Gluten-Free Gratitude

A version of this article was originally published in our November 2016 Newsletter.

I cross paths with many members in the gluten-free community who are troubled, angry, and hurting [both emotionally and physically]. These interactions leave me with a heavy heart. Just maybe, the information found here might help ease the pain - just a little bit.

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Stay strong. Keep moving forward.

Peace and blessings,

Alan Klapperch
GIG of ECW Branch Manager

A special thank you to Pastor Kimberly Stowell [my spiritual leader] for "planting the seed". This article was inspired by a recent sermon.

The Guest House

"This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably,
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame,
the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond."

Jalal Al-Din Rumi
Translation by Coleman Barks

Life is full of twists and turns. We never know what's going to come at us.

Rumi's "The Guest House" poem reminds us to welcome all of our life experiences, even those we consider less desirable.

The emotions we encounter in this life offer us the ability to enter a new state of being - to learn something new about ourselves. Perhaps, they may be preparing us for greater things to come.

No one decides one day to play host to a gluten-related disorder. I know I didn't. This "unexpected visitor" appeared - liked the new digs and decided to hang around. In my heart of hearts, the path that I have traveled is not one I would have chosen. I am eternally thankful for what nutritionist and author, Melissa Diane Smith calls “the gift of gluten-free.” All those years ago, when I was lying on the living room floor in the fetal position, I could not have imagined what was in store for me [besides death].

I had to give up gluten, but what I have received in return is beyond measure.

It took a while to realize it, but I was given an opportunity to use my skills and talents to help others. I discovered talents I didn't know I had! The biggest gem unearthed in me was a passion and a purpose - something that was lacking in my life previously.

I consider myself an ordinary, average guy. If this transformation can happen to me, it can happen for you.

It doesn’t take long to realize that going gluten-free changes our life - forever.

This new reality hits us with the force of a speeding freight train. In some cases, it comes out of nowhere. No lights, no whistles, no warning what so ever. WHAM! Our life shatters into a million pieces.

Everything we have come to know and love - changes - in the blink of an eye. What has taken us a lifetime to create must be re-engineered and rebuilt; not an easy task by any measure. This process comes with a high cost; not only financially but also emotionally and physically. Stress, frustration, fear, and anger make large withdrawals from our emotional bank account - withdrawals we may not be able to cover.

With increased rates of anxiety and depression, it’s no wonder those with gluten-related disorders consider ourselves to have a lower quality of life than our peers. As we might expect, grief soon appears. We need to allow ourselves to process those feelings. It’s easy to understand how we could get caught up in a never-ending downward spiral of negativity and despair. There are days we feel as if there is no way out.

I’ve painted a rather dark and brooding [albeit realistic] picture of what it's like to live with a gluten-related disorder. For some, it's all of this and more. For others, they adapt and adjust with minimal or no hardship. We would see similar pictures if we explored other chronic health conditions or tragic life circumstances..

We can’t help but wonder, will we ever feel better about our situation? Is there a way break out of these emotional and physical shackles? YES!


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Robert Emmons, PhD, is the one of the world’s leading scientific experts on gratitude.

A Professor of psychology at University of California, Davis and director of Emmons Lab. His focus is on the science of gratitude and its effects on health and wellbeing.
“Gratitude heals, energizes, and transforms lives. We are engaged in a long-term research project designed to create and disseminate a large body of novel scientific data on the nature of gratitude, its causes, and its potential consequences for human health and well-being. Scientists are latecomers to the concept of gratitude. Religions and philosophies have long embraced gratitude as an indispensable manifestation of virtue, and an integral component of health, wholeness, and well-being.”

Author of several books including: Thanks!: How Practicing Gratitude Can Make you Happier and Gratitude Works!: A 21-Day Program for Creating Emotional Prosperity

What is gratitude?

Dr. Emmons defines gratitude as:

A felt sense of wonder, thankfulness, and appreciation for life.”

He maintains that gratitude consists of two key components: affirmation of goodness, and knowing where it originates. He writes:

“First, it’s an affirmation of goodness. We affirm that there are good things in the world, gifts and benefits we’ve received. This doesn’t mean that life is perfect; it doesn’t ignore complaints, burdens, and hassles. But when we look at life as a whole, gratitude encourages us to identify some amount of goodness in our life.

The second part of gratitude is figuring out where that goodness comes from. We recognize the sources of this goodness as being outside of ourselves. It didn’t stem from anything we necessarily did ourselves in which we might take pride. We can appreciate positive traits in ourselves, but I think true gratitude involves a humble dependence on others: We acknowledge that other people—or even higher powers, if you’re of a spiritual mindset—gave us many gifts, big and small, to help us achieve the goodness in our lives.”

I think it's safe to say that every gluten-free person has ridden an emotional roller coaster. People suffer for years [6 – 10 years on average]; endure numerous doctor's office visits and usually walk away with more questions than answers. Frustrating, to say the least. The result of finally getting answers to the on-going health issues brings an immediate sigh of relief, almost a giddiness. “WHEW, I finally know what's wrong with me!

All too quickly that euphoria dissipates when reality comes calling - “What am I going eat and how am I going to handle this?” Convenience – gone. Care-free dining – adios. The joy of family gatherings - replaced with dread and worry. Things that took little or no thought - now rivals the logistics of a Mars Rover launch.

For many of us, this transition can be a difficult time.

How Gratitude Can Help You Through Hard Times
By Robert Emmons, PH.D.

“It's easy to feel grateful when life is good, says Robert Emmons. But when disaster strikes, gratitude is worth the effort.

A decade’s worth of research on gratitude has shown me that when life is going well, gratitude allows us to celebrate and magnify the goodness. But what about when life goes badly? In the midst of the economic maelstrom that has gripped our country, I have often been asked if people can—or even should—feel grateful under such dire circumstances.”

Read More:

At first glance, the gluten-free lifestyle means giving up a lot of things. However, as we start picking up the pieces of our life and clearing away the debris, we discover that goodness is still there. It has not abandoned us; it is merely manifesting itself in different ways - ways that are unfamiliar to us. Somedays, we may need to dig damn hard and deep to find the goodness.

Gratitude allows us to focus on what we have instead of what was taken away.

TIP: View what we are receiving as gifts. This helps protect us from taking them for granted.

Let’s explore a few of these gluten-free gifts. Probably the most obvious and precious gift is the opportunity to improve our health. The gift of love from someone who cares for us when we don’t feel well. The gift of compassion from our best friend or loved one who is learning right alongside us - cheering us on - being our gluten-free champion. The gift of kindness from a stranger in the gluten-free aisle at the grocery store as they help us avoid a nuclear meltdown because we don’t know which product to get. The gift of friendship as we meet others in the gluten-free community; we realize we are not isolated, nor alone. The gift of comfort when we find a product that is labeled and certified gluten-free. These examples scratch the surface.

For over a decade, Dr. Emmons and his associates have scientifically documented the social, physical, and psychological benefits of gratitude.

  • Gratitude increases happiness.
  • Gratitude reduces anxiety and depression.
  • Gratitude blocks negative emotions.
  • Gratitude improves health: strengthens the immune system, reduces blood pressure, lessens symptoms of illness, decreases awareness of aches and pains.
  • Gratitude improves sleep. Better sleep is an important factor in improving overall health.
  • Gratitude promotes forgivness.
  • Gratitude fosters a “pay it forward” attitude.
  • Gratitude strengthens relationships.

Robert Emmons, PhD Video Series

The Power of Gratitude:

What Good is Gratitude?

The Benefits of Gratitude:

Gratitude sounds great, but how can we best harvest these transformative powers?

Cultivating an attitude of gratitude takes a bit of work and practice. At first, you may feel uncomfortable or awkward doing it. You may be wobbly and unsteady, just like taking your first steps or your first attempt at riding a bike. You might even find it emotionally painful - you know - kind of like those muscles you didn’t know you had until after raking the lawn. Like any skill or activity, the more we do it, the better we get. It is best to start slow and work your way up.

Dr. Emmons suggests these exercises to get started. Please be sure to click the links for a more detailed description of these exercises and the reasons why they work:

  • Count your Blessings: Regularly make mental notes of your blessings - no need to write them down. Do it first thing in the morning or before going to sleep. Ask yourself, “What am I grateful for today?”z

  • Three Good Things: For a minimum of one week, write down three things that went well each day. Small or large events - it doesn’t matter. A tangible, written paper trail is essential. In detail, explain why things went well. Capture how you felt at the time and how you felt when remembering the event. Share your thoughts about what caused the event. If you happen to focus on negative feelings - shift focus toward the good events and those positive feelings.

  • Gratitude Letter: Write a letter to someone who did something for which you are grateful, but you’ve not fully shared your gratitude. It’s best if this person is still alive - someone you can meet face-to-face. When you meet, read them the letter. Take note of their reaction as well as your reaction. Together, discuss your feelings about the letter.

  • Savoring Walk: For a minimum of one week, go for a 20-minute walk. Take a different route each day. During this time, notice as many positive things as you can - sights, sounds, smells, and touches. As you notice something, pause a moment and understand why it’s pleasurable to you.

  • Keep a Gratitude Journal: This is similar to Three Good Things above but more in-depth. Evidence shows journalling one to three times per week elevates happiness better than daily writing. For a minimum of two weeks - at least once a week for 15 minutes, describe up to five things for which you feel grateful.

Why is Gratitude Good?
By Robert Emmons, PH.D.

We’ve studied more than one thousand people, from ages eight to 80, and found that people who practice gratitude consistently report a host of benefits: stronger immune systems, less bothered by aches & pains, lower blood pressure, higher level of positive emotions, more optimism & happiness, more compassionate, more forgiving, less lonely & isolated.”

Read More:

Some people find they do better when surrounded by others - like having a workout partner(s). Participating with another person or a group of people inspires and motivates them to continue.

We know the power behind the act of expressing our own gratitude - participating with a group of people expressing their gratitude has to multiply that power - right?

PK gratitude mission
If you are on Facebook and interested in participating in such a group, I invite you to check out PK Gratitude Mission.

This is a closed group, created by Pastor Kimberly Stowell - my pastor and spiritual leader of St. Stephen's Lutheran Church, Rogersville, Wisconsin (home of the gluten-free communion). Only members of the group can participate and see the posts to the group, so you’ll need to request to join or be invited.

When asked about the purpose of the group, Pastor Kimberly says: “The Gratitude Mission is about helping and upifting others.

If large groups frighten you, fear not. Currently this group is small; consisting of less than 80 people. Everyone is kind, courteous, and respectful. I am a member; I find witnessing other people’s gratitude moving and inspirational.


Thank you for your time. I will leave you with one final message of inspiration…

Just keep swimming

“When life gets you down, you know what you gotta do?

Just keep swimming,
Just keep swimming,
Just keep swimming swimming swimming,

What do we do we swim swim swim”

Finding Nemo


Alan Klapperich
GIG of ECW Branch Manager

Navigating the Holidays

For many, the holiday season is filled with smiles, laughter and lots of merriment. However, for those with dietary restrictions, it can be the complete opposite – fear, dread and lots of worriment.

The risk of getting sick at every meal is a huge source of stress and concern. Now let's pile on the stress of family dynamics. We've got the fixings for an epic family battle royal.
"Let's get ready to rumble!"

“My family puts the FUN in dysfunction”

I'm sure many can relate to the quote above. If you feel your family is the poster child for dysfunction, do not worry. All families are dysfunctional, it's simply a matter of degree.

Since the dawn of time, our existence has revolved around the acquisition and sharing of food. We have evolved and times have changed, but the primal need to gather and share food with members of our clan still remains. Holiday celebrations are a perfect example of that.

If we dig deep inside and look beyond the medical necessity of our food requests, we will find an emotional component. Our requests are an extension of ourselves. When our family and friends fail to acknowledge our food requests, we feel it as exclusion and rejection of us as a person. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. Sometimes it's hard to tell what is inside the hearts and minds of our loved ones. I suspect the reasons are many and varied. Perhaps it is fear? Maybe they are afraid to try because they don't want to make us sick? Maybe we've yelled at them one too many times about food selection or preparation? What can we do? We have to talk to them.

tincan phone communication
Opening up a line of communication is so important when it comes to resolution. Having a calm, heartfelt conversation about our health concerns and what it takes for us to be healthy and happy is the best chance we have at getting them to understand. It is up to us to kindly and respectfully educate them on how to do things correctly, no one else will do it.

I invite you to read this informative article on Confrontations vs Conversations from PsychCentral: It offers some great insights…

Confrontations are usually fueled by anger.
Conversations are fueled by curiosity.

Confrontations have an aura of a judicial proceeding.
Conversations frame a problem as something to be solved.

Confrontations have an element of moral superiority.
Conversations happen between equals.

Confrontations shield the confronter from any responsibility.
Conversations say “we’re in this together.

For us today, gluten-free comes as easy as breathing, but it wasn't always that way. We were frustrated and confused, it's reasonable to expect family members will feel the same way. However, their behavior may appear to us as stubborn, unyielding, or uncaring. Remember, listening is a critical component of communication.

More tips on dealing with lack of support from family members can be found here:

Despite our best efforts, we may have to accept the fact that some people just won't get it. This does not mean we can give up, however! Let's face it, we're up against years, decades, or in some cases centuries of traditions. The very definition of tradition allows it to brazenly flip Change, the bird.

Trə-ˈdi-shən: a way of thinking, behaving, or doing something that has been used by the people in a particular group, family, society, etc., for a long time.

"What?! No stuffing inside the turkey? Great-Great Grandma Brunhilde would turn over in her grave if we didn't use her recipe!"

Changing family traditions is downright heresy. Remember, to your family, gluten-free will be the new kid on the block. Situations like this call for the utmost patience. It may take some time for this concept to percolate through their brains and become a newly added family tradition. Don't panic, stay calm, and keep the lines of communication open. Keep up your educational efforts even if its only small tidbits here and there. Sometimes it's best not to flood them with information – ever try to drink from a fire hose?

I wish I had one simple answer that would solve every gluten-free holiday and family situation, but I don't. If I did, my name would be Dr. Phil and I'd have a TV show.

Bottom line – if you cannot resolve any of the food issues, try to put that aside and focus on the people that love and care about you – that is what really matters.

Here are some tips to get you through the holiday season.

  • If you are brand new to the gluten-free lifestyle, it might help to have some basic information. Please see GIG of ECW's Gluten-Free Diet Boot Camp article:

  • Plain turkey is most generally gluten-free. Read the labels to verify. Several brands will now say "Gluten-Free" or "No Gluten". Make sure it has not been pre-seasoned or marinated; seasonings and marinades may contain gluten. Some turkeys will have a gravy packet. Verify the GF status of the gravy before using. Better yet, ditch the gravy packet and make your'll be glad you did!

  • Like turkey, most hams are GF [read the label], however if it has a glaze, it must be checked.

  • If the turkey has been stuffed with gluten stuffing, do not eat the turkey, it's been contaminated.

  • Stuffing [gluten-free or not gluten-free] made inside the turkey is a food safety concern. If you cook the turkey long enough to properly cook the stuffing [to a temperature of 165], the turkey is dry and over done. If you cook the turkey until it's done, the stuffing may not have reached the food safe temperature of 165. Either way, it's not good eats. Make the turkey and stuffing separately.

  • Cooking bags are commonly used to help keep meats moist. However, the instructions state a tablespoon of flour should be added to the bag and shaken. The flour prevents the bag from exploding. Ask your host about this ahead of time. FYI - cornstarch or gluten-free flour will work too. [I never knew about exploding bags, we always use a bag and never put flour in it.]

  • Mashed potatoes, a GF piece of cake, right? Not so fast, some recipes call for a bit of flour [oh the humanity!]. Scalloped Potatoes is another dish that more than likely has wheat flour. FYI, some potato salad recipes also call for flour. If you don't know how the host prepares their potatoes, it's best to ask.

  • Mainstream "cream of" soups are not gluten-free and so are any dishes made with them, [think Green Bean Casserole].

GF alternatives from Pacific Natural Foods:
Cream of Chicken:
Cream of Mushroom:

Spotted in 2017 & 2018 - Walmart's Great Value Brand:
Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup -
Condensed Tomato Soup -

  • Progresso offers their Cream of Mushroom soup, but it's not quite as condensed as actual condensed soup, but with some slight recipe modifications it can be used.

  • Cornbreads or corn muffins often times have a mixture of cornmeal and wheat flour. There several mixes that are available. Krusteaz brand has a pretty good cornbread mix that's available in mainstream grocery stores.

  • Veggie & fruit trays are always popular. Be sure to survey the neighboring foods and assess cross contamination risks.

  • Stay away from the butter dish. It's a crumb magnet!

  • Be wary of communal chip or veggie dips. They might not be GF and they could be contaminated due non-GF snacks.

  • BYOF (Bring your own food). Bringing a dish to pass ensures you'll have something you know is safe. We may feel a bit guilty about asking others to go out of their way to accommodate our requests. Good news! We have the ability be part of the solution instead of the problem. Politely ask the host what you can bring. Ask them to allow you to help. Let them know you want to ease their work load and worry-factor - not add to it - when it comes to making something safe for you. It helps to know what's on the menu so your dish will fit in with the others. Tip: Make sure you bring plenty for yourself and others.

  • Open a line of communication early. It's a delicate topic, but you have to discuss GF food selection and cross contamination concerns with the host if they are not familiar with preparing gluten free dishes. Because they are not immersed in the gluten-free lifestyle, they'll need your help to educate and guide them. The education process is not a "once and done" event, it occurs over time. This is not on their radar 24x7x365, so they will need gentle reminders. Sometimes it's hard for people to grasp, so please be patient if they don't get it right away.

Here are some helpful education resources:

  • Enlist the help of an ambassador. Sometimes it's easier to have another person to be an advocate for you. Ask a brother-in-law, sister-in-law, aunt, uncle, or cousin that you trust to help the host find gluten-free options for you. The more family members you have on your team the easier it will be.

  • Make sure the hosts know that you appreciate their efforts. Thank them, thank them and thank them again.

  • Eat [at least something] before you leave home, it takes the edge off of your hunger.

  • If you like to cook, host the celebration yourself. This gives you ultimate control. If the guests ask to bring something, request things that are naturally gluten-free. Veggie tray, fresh fruit tray, an undressed salad, a bottle of wine or other beverages (not beer unless it's GF), vanilla ice cream (suggest a good brand). Don't be afraid to suggest non-food items: festive napkins, folding chairs, family favorite tableware, etc.

  • If guests do bring gluten items, have a designated area for GF and NGF dishes.

Inspiration for this article goes to:

Quick Guide to Holiday Family Dining
Celebrate Gluten-Free Newsletter Fall 2014
Gluten Intolerance Group of North America

25 Tips for handling a GF holiday
Gluten-Free Living - December 2014

Additional Holiday information…

“Episode 50 - Holiday Survival Guide with Ellen”
Published December 19, 2018
by A Canadian Celiac Podcast with Sue Jennett

“Holiday Survival Guide 2018” PDF
Canadian Celiac Assoc.

“Holiday Survival Guide 2017” PDF
Canadian Celiac Assoc.

"Be Our Gluten-Free Guest"
Published November 30, 2017
by Amy Keller, MS, RD, LD

"Happy, Healthy Holidays - Thanksgiving and Beyond"
Nichol Creach, Gluten Intolerance Group

“Host your Gluten-Free Holiday”
Gluten-Free Living

“Top GF Thanksgiving Tips You’ll Need This Week”
The Savvy Celiac

“Make a Traditional Thanksgiving Menu…Completely Gluten-Free”
Jane Anderson

“18 Tips for GF Bread Baking”

“Tackle the Holidays like a Gluten-Free Pro”

“Managing the Holidays with Celiac Disease EP050”
Gluten-Free RN

Al Klapperich – GIG of ECW Branch Manager

Updated 11/10/18 - Added Canadian Survival Guides and Podcast, update links
Updated 11/22/18 - Updated broken links
Updated: 12/1/17 - Added Additional Information section
Updated: 11/11/17 - Added Walmart's GF soup info

Thankfully Gluten-Zero

Thanksgiving table
As my twelfth gluten-zero Thanksgiving celebration draws ever nearer, I can't help but think back. Honestly, I cannot remember the exact details of my first gluten-zero Thanksgiving.

I'm sure I was a jumble of nerves. I was only 6 months gluten-zero, still trying to get a handle on all of this, not 100% confident in my food choices [no labeling regulations existed in 2003], worried I'd get sick, and then try to explain all of this to family members. GULP!

I have been graciously blessed and my heart is filled with much gratitude and thanks. I have an amazing wife that has always supported and believed in me, even when I doubted myself. Without her, I would not be what I am today.

I have the best family and friends. They respect my choices and always watch out for me.

The members of GIG of ECW and the gluten-zero community in general. It's you, my peeps, that inspire and motivate me, keep driving me forward as a human being and support group leader.

"The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away."

~ Pablo Picasso

I am eternally thankful for what Melissa Diane Smith calls “The Gift of Gluten-Free”. All those years ago when I was lying on the living room floor in the fetal position, I could not have imagined what was in store for me [besides death]. I gave up gluten, but what I have received in return is beyond measure.

I realized that I was given an opportunity to use my skills and talents to help others. Heck, there were talents that I didn't even know I had! The biggest item unearthed in me was a passion – a purpose – something that was lacking in my life previously. I was given a gift, and I was shown how to give it away. It was a profound awakening.

I invite you to think about your gluten-zero life and list the items for which you give thanks. Consider all aspects of your life – physical and mental health; your relationship with friends and family members; your eating habits; your spiritual practices [things that feed your soul]. You might be surprised at the number of items you have on the list!

I also invite you to inventory your gifts and find out what can be given away. What you receive in return may rock your world. You won't know until you try.

Stay strong. Be well.

Your humble servant,

Al Klapperich – GIG of ECW Branch Manager