Holiday gatherings should be a happy time. After a year of not seeing one another, we all want this year’s holidays to be special. For families with food allergies, however, holiday gatherings often bring more worry than joy. If you’re hosting a holiday meal for someone with food allergies, or if your family has food allergies we’ve got a few tips on how to navigate Thanksgiving and food allergies with ease.
Communication is key.
For both allergy sufferers and the ones preparing meals, it’s important to communicate.
Allergy sufferers: Make sure those preparing meals are aware of allergies, especially severe ones. If your child is allergic to tree nuts your hosts need to be aware of that early on so they can avoid adding chestnuts to the stuffing or pecans to the pie.
Hosts: If you’re hosting a gathering this year, make sure to share the menu well in advance if you know you have folks with food allergies attending.
Compromise when possible.
Hosts: We know it’s probably unlikely you’ll be able to make everything at your table suit everyone. However, if possible try to include a dish or two that you know are safe for ALL your guests.
Allergy sufferers: Be prepared to bring a dish or two of your own and know that you or your child with allergies may not be able to eat everything that’s being served.
Hosts: Do the best you can to understand the allergies your friends or loved ones are dealing with. If you have others attending, make sure they too are aware of what can and can’t be brought into the house, if you know your relatives have severe allergies. Know that your guests may have to leave if they feel the situation is unsafe for them or their children.
Allergy sufferers: Have your epinephrine injector with you, just in case. Be prepared to leave a situation if you feel it’s unsafe for you or your children.
We hope the holidays and gatherings are a fun time for everyone! Suffering with food allergies can seem harder this time of year, but there are many alternatives out there to traditional items you may not be able to eat. Check out the recipe section from Kids With Food Allergies for new ideas and inspiration! We hope this helps you find ways to make Thanksgiving and food allergies work together.
If you’d like to talk to Dr. Hallett about treatment options for food allergies, contact us! We’d love to help.