How We Celebrate: The Pros and Cons of a Celiac Thanksgiving

Today is a great day. It’s a day to spend with family and friends. It’s a day to sit back in your favorite easy chair and watch some football. Most importantly, it’s a day for us to count all of our blessings. Thanksgiving is the official start of the holiday season (don’t tell that to the retail stores) but it is also one of the only days that we center our lives around food. Yes, we have Memorial Day picnics and Fourth of July cookouts but Thanksgiving is different. It’s all about the turkey, the stuffing, the pumpkin pie. It’s a day to gorge ourselves, feel guilty about it, and then shop off our guilt the next day.

Our day will be like many of yours. We are lucky enough to have both of our immediate families living close to us so we will split our day between two locations. We will go to my wife’s parent’s house first and then go to my aunt’s, where I will see my parents. I only plan on eating at one place as I’m getting old and my body doesn’t accept the challenges of multiple Thanksgiving meals that well any more. But when I was Cam’s age, I would eat on Thanksgiving non-stop. Whenever I walked by the table, I would grab a roll, a piece of turkey, whatever I could get my hands on. Cam doesn’t have that luxury, of course. While many things that we traditionally eat for Thanksgiving are “safe” for him, he still needs to be careful. Many of these are hidden dangers so, for a better understanding, I’ve decided to highlight the pros and cons of the Thanksgiving that he faces.

Food: Turkey = gluten-free. Mashed potatoes = gluten-free. Sweet potatoes = gluten-free. Cranberries = gluten-free. Man, I love this holiday! – PRO

Stuffing: Fortunately, Cam wasn’t a huge “stuffing guy” anyway so this one doesn’t affect him as much. What does affect him is if the turkey is stuffed with stuffing. That turkey is thus cross-contaminated and not safe for him to eat. – CON

Pre-planning: Knowing that the turkey will be stuffed, we purchased our own turkey. We cooked it yesterday, carved it this morning, and we’re bringing some of the turkey breast with us for Cam (and whomever else) to enjoy. We’re also bringing our own gluten-free rolls and pumpkin pie, one of his favorites. – PRO

Kitchen item worries: Was the pot that the potatoes were boiled in also used for any type of wheat pasta in the past? Was a fork used to take that piece of “stuffing turkey” also used to grab his “safe turkey”? The chance that he gets contaminated by things such as this are small but, as a parent, you still are worried and no one likes to worry over the holidays. – CON

Our Blessings: He gets to see both sets of his grandparents, possibly one of his great-grandmothers, two aunts, one uncle, multiple great aunts & uncles, cousins. On top of that, our CeliacTeenDad site on Twitter hit our 1,000th follower yesterday. That’s 1,000 people that is living this with him, listening to what we have to say, and becoming aware of the gluten-free lifestyle. We have so many things to be thankful for and there’s not better day than today to remember that – PRO 

Have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving everyone!



1 thought on “How We Celebrate: The Pros and Cons of a Celiac Thanksgiving

  1. Kaila511

    Happy Thanksgiving! I’m so glad you get to spend the day with your family! I pack my meal (sides and all) for the holidays, so I don’t need to worry about cross contact. And, congrats on your 1,000th follower; I’m so glad that so many people are following your journey. I love all your tweets. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s