Tips For A Safe Holiday Season With Food Allergies

It’s the time of year when holiday parties, and family gatherings can make allergen avoidance more problematic. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or follow no particular tradition here are some suggestions - or reminders - for helping children with food allergies eat well and safely during this season’s festivities:

  • Be The Host. The safest option is to be in charge of what food is served, and in control of how it’s prepared. You might ask guests not to bring any food items, or be specific about what they should bring, or let them know what foods are never allowed in the house. If you’re serving foods that contain allergens, designate a separate table or area for those items.
  • Modify Favorite Recipes. Our favorite holiday recipes can still be included by swapping problematic ingredients for “like items,” such as sunflower seeds or soy nuts for peanuts, or nondairy milk for cow’s milk. The Internet makes it easy to search for substitute ideas. Since ingredient substitutes can change a food’s taste, texture, or baking time it’s a good idea to give altered recipes a trial run before serving them to guests.
  • Cook From Scratch. Making meals from largely whole, unprocessed foods involves more measuring, peeling, and chopping but also cuts down on the presence of allergens.
  • Though prep time might be longer, we eliminate having to scrutinize the ingredient lists on highly processed foods. There are, after all, no allergen surprises in a squash, pear, onion, carrot, or cup of quinoa.
  • Preventing Cross-Contamination. Being the cook, and the host can put your mind at ease about cross-contamination during food preparation and allow you to encourage frequent hand washing.
  • Kid Patrol. If snacks or foods with allergens are served, designated caregivers might take turns keeping an eye on small children with allergies—half-hour shifts work well.
  • Check Every Label. Food formulas can change, so even if a food is familiar and has “always” been allergen-free, read the label.
  • Help The Host. If you’ve been invited to a party or dinner consider offering to help plan the menu, or shop for the ingredients. Or, you can ask the host to keep the ingredient labels so you can check them over. Another option is volunteering to bring the snacks and desserts as they are often the culprits in food allergy reactions.

It’s true that cooking for those with food allergies requires extra planning and cautious preparation, but when “you think in terms of cooking for those with food allergies, you really get to the heart of what cooking is all about - creating meals using wholesome ingredients that you and your loved ones can truly enjoy together.” ~ Jennifer Bruning, MS, RDN, LDN

Source: Eat Right/Rima Kleiner, MS, RD, LDN
Photo: Pexels

Latest Community Discussions

Latest Post by Bogdanhlf Sat, 02/22/2020 - 10:43am
Comments: 0
Latest Post by krisztina Thu, 02/20/2020 - 4:49pm
Comments: 1
Latest Post by carmen22 Thu, 02/20/2020 - 4:46pm
Comments: 0
Latest Post by chicken Thu, 02/20/2020 - 4:45pm
Comments: 3

Peanut Free Store

More Articles

If children begin to eat many different foods at a young age, there is much more of a chance that by the time they are in school, they will eat...

Those with peanut allergies often find that they are unable to enjoy dessert since there's always the...

If you've ever tried to find...

For those with peanut allergies, baked goods present a serious risk. Many baked goods do not appear to contain peanuts, yet were baked in a...

Those who have peanut allergies know to avoid peanut butter cookies, of course – but what about other...

Which candy bars are safe for those with peanut allergies? Those without allergies are accustomed to...

Are you looking for peanut-free candies as a special treat for a child with...

For those who have wondered whether airport x-ray machines negatively affect epinephrine auto-injectors, the folks at Food Allergy Research &...

Molecular allergy component testing identifies the specific food or environmental proteins triggering a person’s allergic reactions. Component...

An epinephrine auto-injector provides an emergency dose of epinephrine (adrenaline) to treat life-threatening allergic reactions. Those who have...

Misunderstanding the significance of food allergy test results can lead to unnecessary anxiety and dietary changes. The three tests used most...

It can be easy to overlook the presence of nut allergens in non-food items because the allergens are often listed by their Latin or scientific...

Tree nuts and peanuts are distinctly different. An allergy to one does not guarantee an allergy to the other. Peanuts are considered legumes and...

Welcome to the complex world of being a Peanut Allergy Parent. Get ready to proofread food labels, get creative with meals, and constantly hold an...

Take control of your food allergies! Get results in ten days and change your life forever! If you are tempted to use a home testing kit...

What can you eat if you can't eat peanut butter? Fortunately for people with a peanut allergy, there...

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, one out of five people in the U.S. has an allergy. Because there is a...

Eliminating peanut butter is the best way to handle a rash caused by this food

If your baby or toddler develops a rash caused by peanut...

Nearly all infants are fussy at times. But how do you know when your baby's crying means something wrong? Some babies are excessively fussy...

For those who don't have experience with peanut allergies, going 'peanut-free' often seems as easy as avoiding peanut butter sandwiches and bags...