Need a gift for a friend, family member, or another loved one living with alpha-gal syndrome? Here are some great gifts for people with allergies.
The information provided on this site is based on my personal experience living with alpha-gal syndrome. I consistently cite and link to expert sources, but nothing published on this site should be perceived as medical advice.
Alpha-gal sensitivities vary by person. You should understand your dietary restrictions and make any adjustments needed when using this site, directing any questions to your physician.
Whether it’s a romantic dinner with your valentine, a backyard barbeque celebrating a birthday, or a cookie exchange during the holiday season, gift-giving celebrations often feature food. But when you have a food allergy, it can quickly take all of the fa-la-la out of the festivities.
If you’re searching for gift ideas for a friend, family member, or other loved one living with alpha-gal syndrome, you’ve come to the right place. Here are 20 amazing gift ideas for alpha gals.
In This Article
Because dining out with a food allergy is a whole new experience, and many alpha gals can no longer consume the ready-to-eat treats they once loved, kitchen appliances are surprisingly thoughtful gifts for people with food allergies.
1. Ice Cream Maker
While many people living with alpha-gal syndrome can still consume traditional dairy products, others have to eliminate butter, milk, cheese, ice cream, and other tasty items from their diet. But when you gift your favorite alpha gal an ice cream maker they can easily whip up a sweet treat that won’t make them sick. This 1.5-quart frozen treat machine from Cuisinart can crank out frozen yogurt, sorbet, or ice cream in less than 20 minutes. Or go bigger with a 2-quart option.
2. Personal Blender
If your favorite alpha gal is whipping up plant-based protein powder smoothies or wants a dairy-free milk shake with a few scoops of homemade ice cream, a personal blender is a handy gift. These Magic Bullet, Ninja, and NutriBullet blenders all come with a sipping lid that makes it easy to go from blender to on-the-move with the same container.
3. Donut Maker
Donuts make people happy, unless they are allergic to the milk and butter in the batter. If your favorite alpha gal loves donuts, make their holiday with a donut maker so they can substitute alpha-gal friendly ingredients as needed.
4. Pressure Cooker or Slow Cooker
For alpha gals co-existing in a household with meat eaters, a pressure cooker or slow cooker (or a second appliance used exclusively by the alpha gal) is a fabulous gift. With one of these babies, your favorite alpha gal can make vegan yogurt, chicken stock, and hard boiled eggs. They can even whip up a batch of vegetarian chili to nosh on while everyone else cheers on the home team with steaming bowls of the standard recipe.
This 6.5-quart Instant Pot is a little pricey, but this generous gift does it all – pressure cook, slow cook, dehydrate, air fry, sous vide, and more. It also comes with over 800 recipes (although most will likely need to be modified for people affected by food allergens). This 7-in-1 electric cooker comes with the same library of recipes but is more affordable due to a few less features. And when it comes to slow cookers, this 7-quart stainless steel model is my favorite.
5. Chicken Roaster
While all mammalian meat – like beef, pork, bison, and venison – is off-limits to alpha gals, they can still enjoy chicken, turkey, duck, and other poultry products. (Well, provided there aren’t mammalian ingredients or carrageenan lurking inside. See the related article below for why this plant-based product is bad for alpha gals.)
Related Article: What is Carrageenan (And Why Should Alpha Gals Avoid It)?
6. Fish Grilling Basket
Since alpha gals can no longer enjoy hotdogs and hamburgers at backyard barbeques, make it easy for them to throw some shrimp (or salmon) on the barbie. This grill basket makes it easy to saute vegetables and shrimp over coals, and this grill basket makes it easy to cook whole fish filets. Or roast salmon on these cedar planks to add extra smoke and flavor.
Thanks to a bite from the lone star tick, people with AGS are forced to adopt a vegan + eggs + poultry + fish diet. As long as people living with alpha-gal syndrome can tolerate dairy, they can enjoy recipes in vegetarian cookbooks. And, they can add eggs, chicken, turkey, tuna, and other ingredients to recipes in vegan cookbooks.
7. Alpha-Gal Allergy Cookbooks
Written by an alpha gal who had to give up all of her favorite foods – steak, ribs, butter, and cheese, the Alpha Gal Allergy Cookbook has a wide assortment of alpha-gal friendly recipes and 21-day meal plan. Also written by someone living with AGS, the recipes in An Alpha Gal Cooks can easily be adjusted for any meat -eaters, vegetarians, or vegans in the household.
8. Other Helpful Cookbooks
For alpha gals wanting to make their own alternative dairy products at home, Homemade Yogurt & Kefir and Incredible Vegan Ice Cream make great gifts for allergy sufferers. Since chicken, duck, turkey, and other poultry products, as well as fish and seafood, don’t trigger an alpha-gal reaction, The Good Cook’s Poultry and The Whole Fish are great resources.
While alpha gals must bid a fond farewell to beef, pork, lamb, and sometimes dairy, there are exotic meats and vegan products that make good substitutions.
9. Exotic Meat
Instead of filling their bodies with highly processed meat alternatives like Impossible Foods or Beyond Meat, some alpha gals get a red meat fix with exotic meats. Because it comes from a bird (and not a mammal), emu meat and ostrich meat are safe food gifts for people living with AGS. And you can purchase both from Amaroo Hills, a family-farm owned by an alpha gal.
Both taste a lot like beef, and emu was once billed as America’s next red meat. Grill emu or ostrich steaks as you would red meat, or use ground emu or ostrich to make meatballs, hamburger patties, or meatloaf. Alpha gals can also enjoy duck magret prosciutto (instead of regular prosciutto, which is a pork product) and duck foie gras.
Fish and seafood also make delicious food gifts for alpha gals. Gift a taste of Maine by sending live lobsters, lobster tails, or a lobster roll box to your favorite alpha gal. Or let them enjoy stone crab claws, fresh oysters, meaty scallops, or caviar.
Sage Advice: Although most caviar is safe for alpha gals to consume, this study linked an alpha-gal allergic reaction to flounder roe.
11. A Bottle of Wine
What is an ostrich steak or lobster tail without a bottle of wine? Although a nice bottle of wine seems like a safe bet for someone with alpha-gal, it’s not automatically a good gift for people with food allergies.
You’ll never see it listed on the bottle (because it’s not required by law), but some winemakers add gelatin or carrageenan as a fining agent. It is used in both red and white wines to clarify the wine, removing any haze, adjusting the color, and tweaking the flavor of the wine. It’s most commonly added to mass-produced wines (the brands that are sold boxed or in large quantities at grocery stores), so opt for wine from an upscale, boutique winery instead. One of my current favorite splurges is the 2019 Coeur de Vigne cabernet sauvignon from the Sullivan Rutherford Estate in Napa.
12. Vegan Chocolate
If the alpha gal you love can tolerate dairy, then dark chocolate is a safe option. As a general rule, it doesn’t include dairy, but it can contain up to 12% milk, and there may be trace amounts of milk from cross contamination if the same machinery is used to make milk chocolate.
For alpha gals that cannot consume cow’s milk, vegan chocolate as an alpha-gal friendly gift provided you select products that have been certified by a third party. There is currently no federal legal definition of “vegan” in the United States. The FDA hasn’t defined the term, and food manufacturers are free to use the term as they like. So be sure that any vegan chocolate you gift has been certified by Vegan.org, The Vegan Society, or VegeCert. This third-party verification ensures that the products you select are completely free of animal and dairy ingredients.
Related Article: The Truth About Alpha-Gal and Chocolate: Is It Safe to Eat?
One of the best gift options for people with allergies are food-free items. Here are a few selections to consider for your loved one with AGS.
13. Personal Care Products
A soothing lip balm, hydrating lotion, and relaxing face mask should automatically be safe gifts for people with allergies, right? Except that many lip balms contain lanolin (a natural moisturizer extracted from sheep’s wool), many lotions contain carrageenan, and face masks often contain glycerin (which is okay when derived from vegetable oils, but not when made from animal fats).
Be sure to choose vegan personal care products without carrageenan on the ingredient list. And, as with chocolate gifts, you’ll want to be sure the vegan beauty products you select have been certified by a trusted third party.
Related Article: How to Read a Nutrition Label When You Have Alpha-Gal
15. An Audible Subscription
A lovely gift that’s good for people with allergies who love to read is an Audible subscription. Each month, your favorite alpha gal will earn a credit toward any audiobook title in Audible’s premium selection, regardless of price.
17. T-Shirts and Other Clothing Gifts
If they’re into sassy sayings, perhaps your alpha gal would rather sport one on a funny t-shirt than see it while sipping from a coffee mug. Other clothing gifts include quirky pajamas and gear for the great outdoors. Just remember that some alpha gals can have an allergic reaction to animal fibers like sheep’s wool, Angora, and alpaca fiber.
18. Jewelry and Accessories
One alpha-gal friendly apparel gift is jewelry. Select a fashionable necklace, thoughtful bracelet, or cute pair of earrings as the perfect gift for someone with AGS. Support one of my favorite local jewelry makers by purchasing a handmade sterling silver piece from Kristin Christopher.
19. A Hand-Poured Candle
Or support another favorite small business by gifting a hand-poured, all-natural soy candle from modestly m candle co. Available in charcoal, glass, and tin containers, you’re sure to find the perfect scent from a wide selection of standard and seasonal selections. My favorite? Lavender sage!
20. Movie Tickets
Whether they opt for a comedy, thriller, or animated film, movie tickets are guaranteed to be an alpha-gal allergy friendly gift. You can purchase the gift of movies with an AMC gift card, or make a gift basket for a movie night at home with an Amazon gift card for a Prime Video and a basket of goodies. Just remember that many alpha gals cannot tolerate butter or cheese on their popcorn, so add nutritional yeast for them to sprinkle over it instead. And you’ll want to ensure that any candy treats are alpha-gal friendly, like UNREAL vegan chocolate peanut butter cups and candies.
Related Article: Sweet! 50 Alpha-Gal Safe Candy Treats
Sage Advice: Still not sure what to gift your favorite alpha gal? Gift cards are always a safe bet.
Do You Have a Go-To Gift for People with Allergies?
What is your favorite gift idea for someone living with alpha-gal syndrome? Any additional tips and tricks to pass along? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.