When you have food allergies, summer backyard get-togethers can get pretty tricky! Fret not, an allergen-friendly feast can be done as long as we take some easy steps to mindfully prepare in advance. We turned to our neighborhood Smart & Final, a one-stop shop that combines the best of a club and a regular grocery store, to help prepare for our 4th of July backyard eat-out. Here are some of our tips and tricks for not being bound by dietary restrictions:
1. Stock Up Your Allergy-Friendly Pantry
Get the allergy-friendly staples in bulk without a membership fee. We love to stock up on the following items:
- Sun Harvest Organic Honey
- First Street Gluten-Free Sweet Relish
- Sun Harvest Organic Gluten-Free Coconut Flour
- Barilla Gluten Free Penne Pasta
2. Choose High-Quality Options
Whenever possible, choose the higher quality food options such as organic offerings from Smart & Final’s Sun Harvest brand. This will help you save the time you’d need to go through the long list of artificial ingredients and give you the peace of mind that you’re putting healthier nourishment in your bodies. Use organic tomatoes to make a yummy summer salsa, or save some time altogether by having a professional chef prepare the entire spread with the goodies picked by you.
3. Prepare Delicious and Easy Snacks
You can never go wrong with fresh fruits, vegetable sticks, and salads. Just make sure to include an allergy-friendly option for dressing and dips, and don’t forget to leave the garnishes like nuts and seeds on the side. Did you know that brands such as Oreo and Synder’s have gluten-free options? If you’ve missed something on your last shopping trip, you can always order online from Smart & Final for delivery in two hours or less.
4. Color-Coordinate and Have an “Allergy” Corner
Make your get-together super pro by using chafers to keep the food contained and separated. Color-coordinate containers, cutlery, and even utensils to minimize the chances of cross-contamination. Keep food-grade serving gloves handy, and confine the dishes with known allergens to a specific corner or on a separate table if possible.
5. Dazzle with Marvelous Drinks
When you’re pressed for time and you have little ones to take care of, it’s just better to get grab-and-go dishes, like a roasted chicken. Whip up a quick crispy kale – super healthy and super popular with all ages – and lay out an assortment of snacks (pre-cut fruits, grapes, bowl of chips, whatever!) to fill up the tummies, then let the drinks be the talk of the party! Drinks can be made-to-order, or pre-made in a pitcher, plus they are generally allergen-free. Make slushies with your favorite soda pop, or make a splash with an assortment of fruity syrups. Dress the drinks up with tiny umbrellas and slices of fresh fruits (with a cherry on top, perhaps?) or even fresh flowers, and you’ve got everyone giving you props!
We would love to hear some of your favorite allergen-friendly hors d’oeuvre and dishes! Drop them in the comments below, and don’t forget to head here to find the closest Smart and Final near you. Speaking of celebrations this summer, Smart & Final is celebrating 150 years in business this year! From now through July 6, you can donate to Olive Crest
Smart & Final, the smaller, faster grocery warehouse store for household and business customers, announces its annual in-store fundraiser for Olive Crest, an organization dedicated to preventing child abuse and treating and educating at-risk children. From now until July 6, customers at every Smart & Final location can donate, with all proceeds going directly to Olive Crest, in order to benefit at-risk and neglected children. The successful Give $5, Save $5 incentive is back again this year following the record-breaking fundraising campaign last year. Customers who donate at least $5 will receive a $5 off $25 coupon good for their next in-store purchase at Smart & Final between July 7 – July 13.