The holiday season is a festive time of year usually spent celebrating with family and friends. There are countless events and parties to attend, eating, shopping and decorating to be done. The list goes on and on. However for those of us that suffer from food allergies, it can be a very trying time.
Even if you do not have any food allergies, it’s probably a safe bet that you know someone who does. Here at AAPRI we know how dangerous food allergies can be. Read on for our survival guide to learn how you can ensure that you navigate safe and sound through this holiday season.
- When it comes to food a major factor is awareness of what ingredients you (and others) are sensitive to.
- Milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts (walnuts, cashews, etc.), shellfish, soy, and wheat are the foods that account for nearly all food allergies.
- Communicate what you are allergic to, especially at get-togethers.
- Make sure to keep your medications on you in case of an emergency.
Many times people often forget that holiday drinks can also be an issue for allergy sufferers. New and holiday inspired drinks may be spiced or flavored. Keep in mind that many drink ingredients can include:
- Sulphites in wine
- Pine nuts in craft beer
- Milk in cream liquors
- Gluten in beers
- Keep dishes that contain allergens separate from allergen-free dishes.
- Label each dish to clearly identify it – Example: Consider using color coded labels to signify what is gluten free.
- Hold on to food labels for any prepared meal so any allergic guests can check the ingredient list.
- Going to a party? Offer to bring foods that you know are safe for you to eat and let your host off the hook.
- If you are hosting at your house, ask guests to bring non-food items such as plates, cups, or napkins instead.
With a little bit of due diligence and careful preparation, you can still enjoy all the various festivities you have planned this year. We hope that you all enjoy the holidays safely no matter where you go.