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Preventing Allergies during the holidays

Holidays such as Thanksgiving revolve solely around food; therefore, it can truly be challenging for families and restaurant managers especially when small children and food allergies are brought into the equation.  The traditional meal for a family can present numerous allergy risks and the risks can be even greater if the food items are not prepared in the home, but outsourced to a catering company or restaurant Chef.  Is there any way around the stress and pressure of a holiday known for allergen-laden foods?  Can foods be prepared and handled in a way to keep them safe for your food-allergic kids?  The answer is yes! Below are a few simple and helpful tips on how to make this year’s Thanksgiving meal a raging success without the additional worries.

  • ·         Invite your children to help make his/her own special Thanksgiving dish with allergen-free ingredients.
  • ·         Separate the dishes that contain allergens from allergen-free dishes. Label each of them in a way that clearly identifies it.
  • ·         If using a catering company, restaurant, or private chef to prepare your Thanksgiving meal, clearly communicate your children’s food allergies to the person in charge.
  • ·         Consider incorporating fun activities for you and your family to enjoy together in order to take focus off of the individuals with allergens. Food is an important aspect of Thanksgiving, but does not have to be the only focal point of the occasion.
  • ·         Be sure you fully communicate your allergy to the chef, however let that communication be the end of it. Avoid constantly bringing it up during dinner and instead focus on the glory and feast of the day
  • ·         Consult with your allergist for recipes and ideas on how you can best approach the holidays.
  • ·         When traveling to someone else’s house, let the host know that you don’t want the chef to alter the menu (if that could pose a problem) and that you are happy to bring your own food. Find out where you can reheat dishes and maintain your food during the celebration.
  • ·         Don't forget about drinks especially specialty drinks during the holidays. Some (like eggnog) have certain elements that you are allergic to but may not be overtly obvious.