Well, it doesn’t necessarily go in that order. Often, holidays can be tough for families that have a child with a food allergy. However, if you fall into that category, the holidays don’t have to be a wash! Even though the holidays often revolve around food, you can still make them enjoyable for your allergy prone little one. You just have to prepare!
Here are some tips to help all families have fun without focusing on food:
- Turn the focus from foods to holiday songs, crafts and activities.
- Try using substitutions for the egg, nuts, milk and/or wheat in your favorite holiday recipes (depending upon your child’s allergy).
- Make new holiday traditions that everyone in your family can enjoy, such as taking a walk together or playing a game. For your little one, a new tradition is just as special as an old one!
And, if your child is on a specialized formula, like Neocate, bring it to all holiday functions, even if it’s supposed to only be a short get-together. When family and friends get together, you never know how long the holiday festivities will last!
Recently, I read a great article from Today’s Diet & Nutrition titled “Holidays Safer for People with Allergies” By Carol M. Bareuther, RD. It was a helpful and uplifting article for a family with food allergies.
The article gave some great ideas on how to create a safe allergy environment in and out of your home during the busy holiday season. Here are a few:
- If your family receives an invitation to a holiday party, provide the host with some food tips ahead of time. That way, if your little one isn’t eating, the host knows why!
- Offer to bring your own allergy safe dish.
- ”Revamp grandma’s classics!” Just by changing an ingredient or two, you can create your favorite holiday dish, allergy free!
While holidays are usually filled with laughter and cheer, an allergy scare can turn the festive mood upside-down. We recommend using these tips to make a few simple changes for a happy and safe holiday.
And remember, be prepared for the unexpected! Always bring your child’s medicine or Epipen.
Have a great turkey day! - Christine