The holiday season is stressful enough without food allergies! To have a smooth holiday season with food allergies you need to be flexible and prepared. And I know that’s one thing food allergy people are good at.
I don’t know about you, but we change the location of Christmas dinner every year between my mom’s siblings. Since I’m the oldest grandchild, everyone has gotten used to my food allergies, which means things like nuts, peanuts, and sesame will not make an appearance at the dining table. The problem lies in the other ingredients that may be used such as a pre-made salad dressing, spice rub, bread (stuffing!), sausages, and so on. Reading every label, when it’s not something you’re used to, and cooking for 20 is not an easy feat. So I let my family off the hook and stick to the mashed potatoes and plain salad.
This being said going 6 hours on prosecco, mashed potatoes, and cookies is not a healthy or smart life choice. Here are a couple of tips I use that get me through the epicness of Holiday dinners.
HOLIDAYS WITH FOOD ALLERGIES – you got this!
1. Bring your own meal or make part of the meal. This year we are in charge of the appetizers, which means they will all be allergy friendly. I will most likely stick to only eating them and mashed potatoes (my aunt makes exquisite mashed potatoes – can you tell I’m looking forward to them :P).
2. Eat a big meal before you go. Most people fast before Christmas dinner, but it’s an excellent idea to eat a healthy filling meal. This will help you feel less tempted by all the mysterious holiday foods.
3. Call to remind the host of your food allergies – for instance; no open nut bowls. This is also an excellent time to ask if you can bring anything (hint hint allergy friendly!).
4. This is not the time to try new things. As much as Aunt so and so’s cookies look to die for, they aren’t! (bad pun I know). But seriously, you don’t know how clean the person’s kitchen was when they made the food or what ingredients they used. Best to eat with your eyes.
5. Watch your alcohol intake – this can lead to bad or relaxed eating choices. Pace yourself. I always like to have a glass of water with me at functions this way you don’t feel pressure to drink. And check all the ingredients in mixed drinks! Here is a list of allergen containing alcohols.
6. Have fun! This one’s a given, but don’t let the stress get to you. As long as you have a couple of allergy friendly foods or snacks with you the night should go along swimmingly!
Do you have any other holiday tips for people with food allergies? I would love to know in the comments below!