Preparing Special Family Meals

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Special family meals are a great way of expressing love, giving back to others who may have kids or other loved ones with different diets, and reducing the stress involved in meal prep.

Many people create a “Special Meal” for their family members once a year to enjoy days or weeks of healthy meals made by those members in their specialties. It’s also an opportunity to teach anyone new in the family how to cook and make it an experience that is memorable and helpful for everyone involved.

Here are some examples of special family meals:

· Birthday meal for a child with food allergies.

· Thanksgiving meal for a child who is on a restricted diet.

· Christmas or Hanukkah meal for a gluten-free child, lactose intolerant or vegetarian.

· Celebrate a special occasion like Mom’s birthday, Father’s day (or any day), or brother’s wedding with a meal centered around the occasion.

· Share family traditions.

· Celebrate family holidays like High Holidays, Passover, Rosh Hashanah, and other holidays.

· Adopt a special-needs child’s diet or introduce them to a new favorite food.

· Share meals with someone who is recovering from illness or surgery.

Some of the delicious and exciting ideas for memorable family meals are:

· Healthy and easy pasta dishes that are gluten-free for those with Celiac disease (like Karen’s Fettuccine with Broccoli Pesto). Eating a healthy diet is integral to your health care plan if you have celiac disease. If you have celiac disease, foods that contain gluten – a protein in wheat, rye, and barley – are unhealthy for you. You may have trouble absorbing nutrients from your food. If you eat foods containing gluten, your body may feel lousy – with symptoms including weight loss or gain, diarrhea or constipation, and fatigue.

Many people avoid dairy products because of lactose intolerance or choose low-fat, fat-free, or nonfat products for health reasons. Here are some ideas for switching to a healthier and less processed diet. They’re often easy to prepare and taste great. Many of the recipes are quick to fix too! Whether you’re avoiding dairy products for health reasons (lactose intolerance) or as part of an overall healthier diet (lower fat intake), these recipes will fit your lifestyle.