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Last updated on January 8th, 2024 at 03:44 pm

How to plan out holiday meals with special diet kids?

Here are my favorite tips on how to plan out your holiday meals with special diet kids.

Every year, I find myself looking for new recipes to make my kids feel included in the holiday meal. This is a tough challenge with so many people’s food allergies and special diets these days. What recipes are safe? Is there enough time to cook everything from scratch? Are there any shortcuts I can take while still keeping it healthy? Here are some of my favorite tips on how to plan out your Holiday Meals with Special Diet Kids.

#1 Create a menu

The key to making your holiday meal memorable is to create the menu in advance. This gives you an idea of what needs preparing, but it helps find alternatives for your kids.

Sit down and decide what your family meal will include, and then you will take a look at the menu and identify the items you will need to have an alternative for so that your kids will also have a good meal.

Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post. If you click the link and buy something, I’ll get a commission at no additional cost to you! However, all my recommendations are things that I personally use because I know they’re clean and good quality products – not just anything with an “affiliate” label on it 😉

A few things that I have found helpful in the past are first to see if there are ways you can prevent making two separate dishes. To do this, you would know if you can find a recipe that you can substitute ingredients that your child can eat. An example of this might be if I had to omit all dairy products and a recipe called for butter, I would substitute the butter for a dairy-free version.

This works most of the time, but it is impossible to satisfy everyone for some dishes, so you might want to make two versions.

#2 Find recipes

This is another excellent way to plan out your holiday menu by finding great recipes that you can use to meet the requirements of your entire family. Pinterest is an excellent resource for this. There are hundreds of recipes available for you. You can find many helpful recipes that meet your child’s specific dietary requirements by just tying what you are looking for in the search feature. I love using Pinterest to find simple recipes that meet my entire family’s dietary needs. This will help save you time since you will have dishes that everyone can enjoy.

#3 Make your grocery list

Making a grocery list is so important when it comes to making your holiday meal. I make my grocery list in advance to have everything I need for my holiday meal. After reviewing the menu and finding recipes that I plan to make, I create a grocery list that includes everything I need to make my holiday meal. I always check my pantry and refrigerator before purchasing the ingredients that I need to prevent waste.

You can find a lot of grocery items at Thrive Market. I love using thrive to buy pantry staples saving me a lot of time going out to find dry ingredients. If you want to try Thrive Market, you can get 40% OFF (no code needed) by signing up using my affiliate link.

#4 Prep in advance

Prepping in advance is also very important, especially when you have to make extra dishes for a child that cannot eat the same foods as the majority of the family.

I always prep a few of the dishes in advance and use my freezer to avoid spending an entire day in the kitchen cooking my holiday meal.

Items that are good to be frozen are desserts and bread. These are also the main dishes that you might find yourself having to make separately because most of the meats and vegetables can be made to fit all dietary restrictions.

Planning out holiday meals with kids who have special diet needs can be a challenge. Getting a head start will save you so much time in the kitchen and keep your child happy. Your child will not feel left out when you can accommodate their diet with foods they will enjoy.


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