GF/Diabetes-friendly Christmas treats

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GF/Diabetes-friendly Christmas treats

Postby StJuniper » 09 Nov 2015, 12:03

So my MIL and I are participating in a program with our local food bank that lets you fill a hamper with festive goodies to supplement the regular non-perishables people get from the food bank. The family we were assigned is a couple and are gf and diabetic. We don't know anything about these special diets! Can you guys look through this list with me and help me brainstorm ideas for what to buy/how to substitute diet-appropriate treats for what's on the suggestion list and also help me not put something in I shouldn't? TIA!

Here's the list of ideas for packing the hamper:
-canned cranberry sauce
-canned gravy
-stuffing mix
-stovetop popcorn
-nuts, candy, snack mix
-shelf-stable salami and pre cooked bacon
-hot chocolate mix
-pancake mix and syrup
-salsa, dip mix
-candy canes and Christmas cookies
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Re: GF/Diabetes-friendly Christmas treats

Postby yorkshirepudding » 09 Nov 2015, 20:34

I also don't know much about gf/ diabetic diets, but I'm just :o at your list as most of it seems high sugar or contains gluten! I don't know some of the products but I'm guessing the stuffing and gravy have gluten in and most of the other stuff is probably no good for diabetics, as I'm sure you know! If it was me, I'd just google some diabetic treats, and look in the free from/ allergies section of the supermarket for some gf Xmas stuff. Hopefully someone in the know (and in Canada) will come along soon with some product ideas! I'm sure the couple will realise they are a bit awkward to cater for and be very grateful if they have a few things they can eat rather than more things that are not quite suitable. Good luck, and what a nice idea, to be able to provide for a specific family rather than generic donations.
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Re: GF/Diabetes-friendly Christmas treats

Postby Treeb » 09 Nov 2015, 21:36

Do you know if both of them are both gf and diabetic? I'm wondering if you included something sugary or whatever if one would be able to eat it even if the other couldn't.

Are you meant to buy everything on the list, or is the list just there as a suggestion/guideline?

I'm no expert and not sure how much variation there is between food in the US and food there, but here are my thoughts on each:

-canned cranberry sauce - sugary! Maybe there is a reduced sugar type?
-canned gravy - possibly gluten, read packaging
-stuffing mix - Maybe there is a gluten free option available?
-stovetop popcorn - should be fine I think
-nuts, candy, snack mix - nuts would be good. Sugar-free candies shouldn't be hard to find.
-shelf-stable salami and pre cooked bacon - Should both be fine
-hot chocolate mix - Sugary obviously, but there might be a sugar free or low sugar version
-pancake mix and syrup - gf pancake mix and maybe a sugar free syrup? (Sounds eww, but I'm sure they probably exist for people who need it)
-salsa, dip mix - Salsa should be fine, as should most dips
-candy canes and Christmas cookies - Might be able to find sugar free versions, but probably not cookies that are both gf and sugar free

Good luck!
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Re: GF/Diabetes-friendly Christmas treats

Postby mamapup » 09 Nov 2015, 22:20

Could you give them ingredients to make things themselves? My preconception is that packaged food is more popular in North America than in Europe but the idea of a ready made pancake mix makes me heave and laugh at the same time.

If they can't have flour then oat and banana pancakes would be amazing if you.gave ingredients and instructions on how to make, for example.
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Re: GF/Diabetes-friendly Christmas treats

Postby Brigitte » 10 Nov 2015, 04:19

Sometimes the prepackaged foods thing is a socio-economic thing. Maybe some families have parents who work a lot and don't have time to cook from scratch or teach their kids how to do it, and then you've got people who have zero experience cooking from scratch and wouldn't know what to do with a bag of flour. Prepackaged foods remain accessible to pretty much any family out there regardless of their usual cooking style. In some neighbourhoods there is also a lack of access to quality basic ingredients (especially produce and fresh meat) at a reasonable price, which then affects people's eating and cooking habits as well.
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Re: GF/Diabetes-friendly Christmas treats

Postby mamapup » 10 Nov 2015, 10:19

In the UK it's certainly socio-economic but in North America too? Apologies. I did my MA in a university full of Americans and they were all pretty bad at eating fresh or cooked from scratch stuff. Now they're older they are better but they bemoan the rest of their continent for eating badly still. That'll teach me to listen to my friends.

That said, I work with economically deprived people and no matter where I've been, they've always been keen to learn to cook from scratch when offered the opportunity.
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Re: GF/Diabetes-friendly Christmas treats

Postby StJuniper » 10 Nov 2015, 12:09

MP, I think the main concern with giving ingredients for recipes is access to fresh groceries. I have no way of knowing whether this couple can cook and if they can, what facilities and ingredients they have access to, so I think it's safest to stick to ready-made.

Trees, we're supposed to fill the hamper with shelf-stable treats. So we could add things not on the list if they were suitable, and don't necessarily need to include every single thing. I think I'm supposed to make it both gluten-free and low sugar. I thought I'd sub the hot chocolate for tea, maybe some flavoured instant coffee? I found gf stuffing and gravy on Amazon but they only sell by the case; maybe I should pay a visit to s health food store...
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Re: GF/Diabetes-friendly Christmas treats

Postby Ali70 » 10 Nov 2015, 16:38

From a diabetes perspective its a very personal thing. A lot of people (me included) avoid diabetic versions of things because they generally taste pretty crap, are expensive, full of artificial sweeteners and have a laxative effect if you eat too many. I prefer to eat a small amount of choc/sweets occasionally and manage my insulin accordingly rather than the sugar free stuff. Others may vary though. I'd aim for a few sweet treats, but more savoury stuff.
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Re: GF/Diabetes-friendly Christmas treats

Postby Brigitte » 11 Nov 2015, 05:12

mamapup wrote:In the UK it's certainly socio-economic but in North America too? Apologies. I did my MA in a university full of Americans and they were all pretty bad at eating fresh or cooked from scratch stuff. Now they're older they are better but they bemoan the rest of their continent for eating badly still. That'll teach me to listen to my friends.

That said, I work with economically deprived people and no matter where I've been, they've always been keen to learn to cook from scratch when offered the opportunity.


That's an interesting perspective on North Americans, actually. I have somehow gained the impression that in the UK there is an overabundance of bland overcooked vegetables and fried everything else. Even the BLW cookbook, despite being pretty great overall, definitely has a lot more fried recipes than I'm used to seeing. Then again, I live in Vancouver where we are generally a rather young and healthy population overall, so perhaps my own viewpoint is skewed yet again.
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Re: GF/Diabetes-friendly Christmas treats

Postby mamapup » 11 Nov 2015, 07:43

Haha. Well I live in central London and although we are surrounded by fried chicken shops I can hand on heart say my kids have never had fried chicken!

We don't over cook our veg (50s stereotype) and we never eat pre packaged food apart from the kids' special treat of pizza. We almost never fry anything except maybe tofu! My kids beg for tofu.

That give you a different impression? Check out the meal planning thread and see the lack of fried food and bad veg in the blw world.
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Re: GF/Diabetes-friendly Christmas treats

Postby Brigitte » 11 Nov 2015, 08:00

Obviously any individual family might have any sort of eating habits, and a generalization won't apply to everyone. The BLW crowd is in a way somewhat self-selecting in terms of health since we all know not to give our kids anything too salty or sugary and so on (and fatty fried foods are usually one or the other). I was just saying as a generalization, from friends who have travelled there...perhaps they saw all your fried chicken shops? Restaurant fare is always a bit different from home cooked foods :) And one of my favourite recipes from Nigella Lawson specifically calls for overcooked mushy peas (I don't do that part), so perhaps that also has me chuckling a bit every time I cook it :) But of course, Americans and Canadians have a reputation for high obesity rates in comparison to Europeans. There are generalizations and individual exceptions all around :)
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Re: GF/Diabetes-friendly Christmas treats

Postby mamapup » 11 Nov 2015, 09:19

Agreed except I refer back to my socio-economic comment, sadly. Most of my friends didn't do blw would also eat like we do. It's truly a social divide here, which is awful.
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Re: GF/Diabetes-friendly Christmas treats

Postby Lily » 11 Nov 2015, 18:10

I think maybe the BLW book has recipes for fried things because babies need the extra calories - steamed or boiled veg just isn't so suitable.

Also, mushy peas aren't the same thing as overcooked peas! They're made using a type of dried split peas which naturally go mushy when cooked, a bit like lentils in dal.

This thread has gone way off-topic. Sorry StJ!
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Re: GF/Diabetes-friendly Christmas treats

Postby mamapup » 11 Nov 2015, 19:12

yeah, sorry about the derailing. But mmm, mushy peas, aren't they dried marrowfat peas or something, Lily?
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Re: GF/Diabetes-friendly Christmas treats

Postby StJuniper » 11 Nov 2015, 19:27

Haha no problem, I got the help I needed. I've always wondered about mushy peas! I assumed it was just green peas cooked into oblivion.
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