If you or a family member has any food allergies, the holidays are even more worrisome for you than everyone else.
You have to worry about offending extended family members you may not know, you’re don’t want to feel like you’re causing extra work for your hosts, and most of all, you don’t want to have an allergic reaction!
Whether you’re going somewhere familiar or to an extended family member’s home twice removed, it’s important to prepare an allergy friendly menu.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates that more than 160 different foods can cause allergic reactions. However, 90% of the reactions can be traced back to 8 different foods:
• Crustacean Shellfish
• Tree Nuts
With an estimated 15 million Americans, 5.9 million of those being children, having food allergies, it’s likely you know someone coming to the Thanksgiving feast with an allergy. And, about 30% of those children with food allergies are allergic to more than one food. So, whether you’re the person with food allergies or you’re hosting someone with a food allergy, there are things you should do to prepare.
If You Have A Food Allergy:
You are probably very familiar with phoning ahead to restaurants, social gatherings, or schools to verify an allergy friendly menu. Thanksgiving is no different. It’s best to be proactive and check ahead of time. You could offer to bring a dish that’s an allergen-friendly dish that can replace a menu item for you if need be. If it’s your child with the allergy, make sure you have a refresher talk with them. It’s going to be difficult to resist things when this holiday in particular
focuses entirely on eating. Always carry two Epi Pens just in case.
If You’re Hosting Someone With an Allergy:
The first thing you can do to ensure no one has a reaction to any of the food items is to check with all the invited guests. You might not even be aware that the person has a food allergy.
Have a menu that’s conscious of food allergens or sensitivities. You want everyone to enjoy the holiday together. Make sure to prepare any children that someone is coming with a food allergy.
This is especially important if it’s a child with the allergy. It can already be something that makes the child feel uncomfortable and you don’t want anyone to say something rude or offensive, even if unintentionally.
When all else fails, there are plenty of allergy-friendly Thanksgiving recipes, ideas, and menus to be found online.