Still shopping for the perfect present for your food-sensitive friends and family members? Jules Shepard has some gluten-free gift ideas that might just do the trick.

Gluten-Free Candy Tree

It’s that time of year again! I don’t know about you, but the holidays really sneaked up on me this year; I’m woefully behind on my shopping already, and I know I’ll blink and it’ll be too late for me to find the perfect gifts for everyone on my list.

It’s times like these that I like to remind myself that “homemade is from the heart”—and is usually appreciated far more than any store-bought something.

Homemade gifts take time, yes, but they’re thoughtful and show that you really care. It’s kind of like sending a real card in the mail with a real stamp that was delivered by a real postal worker—not an e-card sent at the last minute. (Yes, we’ve all done it!)

Here are some of my favorite homemade gifts. What are some of yours?

Candy Tree: Creative and Colorful

Here’s a fun craft for young kids to help make (think teacher gifts!): a candy tree. They’re easy to put together, starting with those $2.99 floral tree forms you can find at any craft shop plus colorful pushpins and even more colorful candies.

Here’s a list of some individually wrapped allergy-friendly candies that would suit most on your Christmas list:

GoOrganic Hard Candies—Organic, gluten-free, no artificial flavors or colors.

GoLightly Sugar Free Assorted Toffees—Gluten free, sweetened with Splenda. Kosher, dairy-free, contains artificial flavors and colors; some contain peanut.

JJ’s Sweets Cocomels—Caramels made from coconut milk. Organic, vegan, gluten- free, and kosher.

Lovely Candy Company Sea Salt Caramels—Kosher, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, and no high fructose corn syrup or artificial ingredients or colors.

Tootsie Frooties—Watermelon flavored is nut-free, gluten-free, peanut-free. Contains soy and milk.

Yummy Earth Organic Candy Drops—Organic, made without corn syrup or artificial dyes. Gluten-free, free of the Top 8 food allergens, and corn-free. Kosher and contains the daily requirement for vitamin C.

Dum Dums Lollipops—Gluten-free and free of the top common allergens; kosher but does contain artificial colors and corn syrup. Perfect tree toppers!

Jolly Rancher Hard Candies—Free of the Top 8 food allergens and gluten-free, but does contain artificial color and corn syrup.

Atomic Fireballs—Gluten-free, kosher and corn syrup free. Ingredients: Sugar, modified corn starch, artificial flavor, carnauba wax, gum arabic, titanium dioxide, red 40 lake.

Gluten-Free Cookie Mix in a Jar

Gluten-Free Cookie Mix in a Jar

My holiday list—probably like yours—has lots of people on it with various dietary restrictions: celiac, gluten sensitivity, vegan, soy-free, nut-free…. Regardless of the special diet, one thing is for sure: Everyone loves cookies! So consider giving a Gluten-Free Cookie Mix in a Jar. Hop over to my recipe post find out how to make one of these adorable gifts. 

Herb-Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil

The how-to for this appealing gift couldn’t be easier:

1. Pick your favorite herbs (basil, rosemary, thyme …) and place several sprigs in a jar.

2. Cover with high-quality extra virgin olive oil, seal the bottle, and set aside in a cool, dark place for 1-2 weeks.

3. Wrap a bow around the bottle and gift with herbs still inside for extra flair.

Gluten-Free Herb-Infused Oil Bottle

Nesting bowls

Non-Food Gifts for Foodies

There are, of course, loads of gift ideas for your foodie friends and family that don’t involve actual food. I have started a list of some of my favorites: Check it out by going to this page and scrolling down to the “Non-Food Gifts” section, where you’ll find tips on such items as bamboo nested mixing bowls, a reusable wooden cake and cupcake carrier, and fun baking spatulas, among other items.

And finally, if you’re a subscriber to Gluten Free & More Magazine, you may remember seeing these gift ideas in our Dec./Jan. 2015 issue. If you’re not a subscriber—or if you know someone who would love our magazine—a subscription under the tree is a great gift—and one that keeps on giving.

Jules Shepard is a longtime author and associate editor at Gluten Free & More. She also markets her own line of gluten-free products, available at her website,


Special holiday gift from for readers of Gluten Free & More: Take15% off products site-wide on until Dec. 22. Save on the best gluten-free flour, mixes, books, e-books, baking accessories, and even gift cards! Use code GFandMoreGift at checkout.