Preparing a holiday meal without gluten

KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - Almost everyone loves a good turkey dinner with stuffing and other holiday favorites. But if someone can't eat gluten do you know about the alternatives? The Kearney Hy Vee dietitian has some ways to save dinner.

Many people can't always take part in the holiday meals because they can't have gluten. But with new awareness of gluten intolerance, there are more options for alternatives. (KSNB)

“A lot of your dips and mixes we can provide gluten free options. If you are making stuffing you can make a gluten free bread instead,” Registered Dietitian Kaiti George said. “There is going to be naturally gluten free items like rice. I know some people do rice casseroles, gluten free cream of mushroom soup for you green bean casserole.”

Being gluten intolerant means a person's body can negatively react to gluten found in wheat, barley, and rye. Those who have Celiac's disease even get intestinal damage from it. Others simply have cut it from their diet for other health reasons.

“There is a lot more awareness I guess with how gluten can affect your digestive system and things like that or some people who are having some kind of digestive discomfort are kind of moving toward that gluten free diet so we are seeing a lot more of that,” Kearney Hy Vee Health Market Manager Phillip Thomas said.

There is a common misconception that gluten free foods don't have the right texture or flavor but the gluten alternatives have come a long way over the years.

“The research and development of gluten free products have changed even in just the last five years,” George said. “Texture has changed, often times people think that gluten free products are going to be hard or dry and that's not necessarily the case anymore.”

The Hy Vee in Kearney holds taste testing to give people a chance to try the foods before they purchase them. They understand some of the alternatives can be a little pricey but it can help make dinner include everyone.

“If somebody is looking to dabble into the gluten free to try it out I would say try the staple items. some bread, some pastas that type of thing,” George said.

So have no fear of your nephew who is allergic to gluten this Thanksgiving.