Thanksgiving With Food Allergies

Often, Thanksgiving and holidays can be tough for families that have a child with food allergies. 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!

But how do you make Thanksgiving fun for the entire family when you have a child with a food allergy?

First, let’s talk about the school activities:

  1. If your child’s school is having a special Thanksgiving meal, get on the planning committee to make sure that there are at least a few “safe” food for your child on the menu. Replace the foods your child can’t eat, with a “safe” dish you can bring to school that day. It’s always best to be positive and look at what your child “can eat” rather than what he or she “can’t eat”.
  2. Encourage your child’s teachers and administrators to put more focus on giving thanks and less on pigging out. (Not a bad lesson for any kid.) Help them plan a volunteer activity, collect canned goods and blankets for a charity, etc.
  3. Thanksgiving art projects are great, but make sure they don’t involve dangerous products (i.e. egg-based paint or wheat-based modeling clay).

Now, for the family celebrations:

  1. Move the focus of Thanksgiving Day from meal-time to family-time. Embrace your inner-Kennedy and play some football in the back yard. Take a walk together or play some board games. If you’re Super-Mom or Super-Dad, you could even create your own Thanksgiving board game.
  2. Check out your local book store for some food allergy cookbooks. Many of them have great recipes for the Thanksgiving Day table that are safe for everybody to eat. Try using substitutions for the egg, nuts, milk and/or wheat in your favorite holiday recipes (depending upon your child’s allergy).
  3. If you’re traveling to Grandma’s or Aunt Sally’s, offer to help them make a “safe” dish and bring whatever else your child needs along for the trip. View Neocate Recipes for Inspiration.
  4. 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!
  5. View additional Celebrating Holidays with Food Allergy Tips

So, these are a few tips. What about yours? What are you doing to make Thanksgiving fun for everyone? And how about those food allergy cook books – any favorites?

Published: 12/19/2007
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