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4 Dishes to Serve Gluten-Free Seniors on Thanksgiving

By Ted Holmgren, 9:00 am on

Approximately 2 percent of seniors have celiac disease, which is double the rate of younger adults with the condition. Celiac disease causes an immune reaction to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. Though having to follow a gluten-free diet can make eating more difficult for your senior loved one on a day-to-day basis, the challenge grows considerably on a food-filled holiday like Thanksgiving. Chandler, AZ, home care professionals recommend a few gluten-free dishes to serve your loved one this Thanksgiving.

1. Flour-Free Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

Though potatoes do not contain any gluten, it is difficult for many cooks to make gravy without flour. Arrowroot, cornstarch, and pureed rice can all be used to thicken gravy without altering the taste. Not only is gluten-free gravy a great option for seniors who have celiac disease, but it also has a fraction of the calories as regular gravy as long as the chef is not heavy-handed with the thickener. 

2. Cornbread Stuffing

Cornbread originally became popular because of how easy it is to make, and it is also packed with vital nutrients like fiber, folic acid, calcium, iron, magnesium, and vitamin A. Those who bake this side dish themselves can make it even healthier by controlling how much sugar is used. Dried fruits like currants and cranberries are a great way to add some sweetness to the cornbread while giving it a better texture. Make sure to use gluten-free flour in the recipe.

3. Quinoa Salad

A light and healthy salad is an excellent way to start a heavy Thanksgiving meal. Instead of going with the traditional Caesar or Waldorf salad, you might want to think about adding quinoa to the first course. Quinoa is a gluten-free grain that is filled with protein, fiber, and iron. It adds a subtle nutty flavor and can be paired with practically any diced fruits or vegetables. 

4. Cider Roasted Vegetables

Roasting vegetables in tangy cider brightens their flavor and adds an extremely complex aroma to otherwise bland ingredients. As a general rule, root vegetables should be roasted together, with the lighter greens only being added near the end of the cooking time. Unlike vegetables that are sautéed in oil or butter, this style of cooking keeps most of the vitamins and minerals intact. Cider is also an excellent ingredient for keeping your loved one’s blood sugar at a stable level.

If you’d like to learn more about celiac disease or gluten-free dishes you can prepare for your loved one, reach out to Chandler Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers can cook nutritious meals, go grocery shopping, and assist with a wide variety of other daily tasks. We also offer specialized Parkinson’s, stroke, and Alzheimer’s care Chandler seniors can rely on. For more information on our in-home care services, call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at 480.448.6215 today.