Brunch: Munching and Merrymaking Mid-Day

Brunch is just another term for merrymaking mid-day. It is a welcomed alternative to nighttime festivities, especially around the holidays when there just seems to be so many parties, and too little evenings!

For those of us with food allergies and gluten intolerances, brunch can be a tough meal to attempt. Not quite breakfast, but not yet lunch, brunch is typically laden with allergen- after-allergen… you know the spread – Eggs, bagels, cream cheese, salmon, pecan strudels.

Most brunch menu items are usually prepared ahead of time, heated – if needed, then displayed buffet-style for guests to enjoy. Because of this make-ahead nature of most dishes, adjustments and changes to adapt to a specific allergen or to make gluten free is not possible. That leaves the food allergic and gluten free folks at a mid-day loss. 

If you are hosting a brunch this holiday season, make sure that you have a few dishes that are free of each common allergens and follow the suggestions below.

– Get in on the act: If guests ask if they can bring a dish to the brunch, ask them if they, or anyone in their family that will be in attendance, has any food allergens. If they do, ask them to bring their favorite dish that is free of that particular allergen.

– What’s in this? Ask every guest who bring a dish to the brunch to also bring the recipe and all ingredients used in that recipe. This is not only helpful to those with allergens, but for swapping recipes too!

– Ham it up: If you plan on serving a dish of bacon or other breakfast ham, make sure it is free of gluten.  Yes… meat can contain gluten too!

– Get fruity: Always have a fresh fruit salad on your brunch buffet table. Every guest will love it – not just the allergen and gluten free!

– It’s not just about the food… really!: Since brunches are held early in the day – plan activities that enjoy the sunshine. Sledding, ice skating and cross country skiing.

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