The holiday season is a festive time but for those of us with food allergies all of the focus on food can be challenging. Think of all those Christmas cookies, cakes, desserts, and dairy filled dips that you find at parties and dinners. What’s someone with a milk allergy, or any allergy for that matter, to do?
Here are 5 tips for surviving the holidays with a food allergy:
1. Communicate Communicate – Tell the host about your food allergy as soon as you get the invite. Your host may not know you have a food allergy and will need education on what you can and can’t eat, and also how to deal with cross contamination. Think about the education you needed when first diagnosed with your food allergy and use the invite as a teachable moment.
2. Host Your own Holiday Dinners and Parties – It’s much easier to control ingredients and prevent cross contamination if the festivities are held at your home. If a guest insists on bringing something to your dinner/party ask them to bring something non-food related.
3. Share Recipes– If you can’t host the party/dinner then suggest recipes and Brands that are Top 8 Free. Offer to help the host cook food that will be safe for you to eat and delicious for everyone else.
4. Bring Your Own Food – It’s always best to bring a dish specific to your food need. Chances are no one will even know it’s food allergy friendly! It’s also a good idea to eat something before going to the dinner/party so you are not starving when you arrive and possibly eat something containing your allergy.
5. Always Carry Epi – At the holidays especially when you are juggling events it’s easy to forget your Epi device, but don’t! Be sure you have 2 with you at all times and make sure someone at the event knows how to administer Epi in case you can’t. If you are traveling away from home, know where the nearest ER is located and always carry your doctor’s number.
What things do you do to stay safe during the holidays and still enjoy all the fun? Share in our Comments section.