Bringing Canadians back to the Thanksgiving Table


TORONTO, Oct. 6, 2013 /CNW/ - About 8 million Canadians (22 per cent) will be eating Thanksgiving dinner with a twist, a dietary one. Thankfully the majority of Canadians (74 per cent) will be accommodating the dietary needs of their friends and family this Thanksgiving, according to a new survey commissioned by Udi's Healthy Foods. These dietary needs include vegetarian (eight per cent), gluten-free, raw food and low carbohydrate (five per cent each).

"Identifying foods that need to be eliminated for those who follow a vegetarian diet is fairly easy to do," says Stephanie Clairmont, culinary dietitian and nutrition coach who runs the Clairmont Digestive Clinic in the Greater Toronto Area. "However, it's a bit more of a challenge when it involves gluten, especially for those who do not typically follow a gluten-free diet themselves. There are some wonderful, great-tasting gluten-free products that can be substituted in traditional recipes as an easy way for everyone to enjoy the meal together. There's no need to cook separate dishes."

When asked to name three essential items for Thanksgiving dinner, turkey is tops. Nearly three-quarters of respondents (74 per cent) say turkey is the most essential dish, followed by mashed potatoes (46 per cent) and stuffing (40 per cent).

Fifteen per cent of Canadians report being concerned or confused about how to address special requirements at Thanksgiving. Only 6 per cent of Canadians report being annoyed at making special accommodations or wish the person would not attend.

For the willing, concerned, and confused, Udi's makes it easy with gluten-free alternatives to classic holiday dishes. Include these simple recipes in your Thanksgiving feast:

Here are a few fun Canadian gluten-free Thanksgiving stats - according to Udi's recent poll:

  • Approx. 4.3 million Canadians (12.3 per cent) follow a gluten-free or gluten-reduced diet.
  • Of those who have made the switch, 21 per cent point to a gluten intolerance and 15 per cent have done so to support a family member.
  • 84 per cent of Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving.
  • British Columbians (10 per cent) are more likely than the national average (5 per cent) to incorporate a gluten-free dish into their Thanksgiving meal, followed by Albertans (6 per cent) and Ontarians (5 per cent).
  • Twenty-four per cent of Canadians who are gluten-free or reduced report cheating with bread.

Common Hidden Sources of Gluten at Thanksgiving- Check Labels Carefully:

  • Gravy
  • Stuffing
  • Salad Dressing
  • Sauces, Seasoning and Marinades (Soy Sauce, Mustard, blended seasoning packs, etc.)
  • Pumpkin Pie Crust
  • Ice Cream
  • Instant tea/coffee

About Stephanie Clairmont, RD
Stephanie Clairmont is a culinary dietitian and president of the Clairmont Digestive Clinic in Waterloo, Ontario. She is a speaker, consultant, and cooking instructor on culinary nutrition and digestive health. Struggling for years with IBS herself, Stephanie is passionate about using delicious recipes and real food to help Canadians follow a gluten-free diet. Stephanie believes that real, wholesome food is the true key to health, from the way food is grown all the way to how it is presented on the plate. She is a member of the College of Dietitians of Ontario and Dietitians of Canada. Stephanie is the 2010 recipient of the National Speaking of Food and Healthy Living Award.

About Udi's
Udi's Healthy Foods LLC (Udi's) is a leader in the fast growing market for gluten-free foods in North America. Udi's markets a diversified and growing range of gluten-free products under the well-recognized Udi's Gluten Free Foods brand in the retail market, and since mid-2011, food service channels. Udi's Gluten Free Foods is a leading brand in gluten-free bread and bakery products. In addition, Udi's markets other gluten-free products in the frozen pizza and granola categories.

Survey Methodology
From July 19th to July 22nd 2013 an online survey was conducted among 2,530 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 1.95%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to education, age, gender and region (and in Quebec language) Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

Image with caption: "Udi's gluten-Free Cranberry Walnut Stuffing (CNW Group/Udi's Healthy Foods LLC)". Image available at:

Image with caption: "Udi's gluten-Free Snickerdoodle Pumpkin Pie (CNW Group/Udi's Healthy Foods LLC)". Image available at:

PDF available at:

PDF available at:

SOURCE: Udi's Healthy Foods LLC

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Media contact
Katherine Heydon 

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