“The holiday season brings about special challenges for
families and people with food allergies,” said FAAN founder
and CEO Anne Munoz-Furlong. “Every year we provide advice
and suggestions to encourage everyone with food allergies to continue
to be diligent about their food choices during the holidays, but
also to remember to have fun – getting into the holiday spirit
is important too!”
According to the FAAN, here are a few tips that can help when
traveling to a friend or families house:
- No matter what your holiday plans are, always have your epinephrine
on hand. Make sure to plan ahead when traveling during the holidays
so that family and friends will know of your allergy and the proper
treatment plan in case of a reaction.
- Clearly explain to your host what your food concerns are, and
how you can work with them to make sure there will be no surprise
allergic reactions. Make it clear to your host that you or your
family member can die from an allergic reaction.
- Send your holiday host food label reading information
ahead of time. Many have found FAAN’s “How to Read A Label” useful.
This can help your host make intelligent choices when picking out
the food to serve at your holiday gatherings.
- Suggest some delicious safe menu ideas for the
duration that you’re there, and cook together. Bring your
host a gift of home-made allergy-free treats to show them that
can still be delicious.
- To minimize the impact on the host you can also bring your own
food, or ship special food ahead of time.
- When you arrive, spend some time in the kitchen
ahead of any planned festivities so you can designate an “allergy-free
area” in the kitchen, or prepare some safe foods.
Holiday parties can also pose similar challenges. To help celebrate
the season at social gatherings follow these tips:
- Eat before you get there so you won’t be
hungry or tempted to eat anything with unknown ingredients.
- If you are going to a house party, talk to the host about the
food served and the ingredients used. Bring along some tasty allergen-free
foods to share.
By following these tips and preparing ahead of time for any possibilities,
you can still enjoy a reaction-free holiday season and have some
tasty allergen-free holiday treats to share with friends and family.