One of the shining characteristics of the winter holiday season, particularly when it comes to Christmas, is the plethora of delicious food, from cookies and cakes to turkey and stuffing. Christmas is quite the indulgent holiday, which is part of the reason why people enjoy it so much. What could be better than relaxing with friends and family while eating sweets and fatty foods?
However, for some, Christmas can also be rife with risks. If you or someone else in your family suffers from food allergies, Christmas time can bring stress and anxiety as unknown ingredients and recipes line the dinner table. Even if your allergies are mild, you may find yourself in a bind if you are not careful and considerate.
Thankfully, there are some simple things you can do to celebrate Christmas safely if you or anyone in your family suffer from food allergies. Make sure Christmas is merry and bright for everyone with these three tips for the holidays.
Take Care at Holiday Parties
Holiday parties are a staple of the Christmas season. The food, classic tunes and festive feelings celebrate the past year and set the mood for the next. Most of us will have at least one holiday party to attend, whether it is at a friend’s house or a work gathering.
Although this can be fun for many, it can also be stressful for those who have to worry about what they eat. The first thing you should do if you are attending a holiday party is to let the host know about your allergies. If you have a severe allergy and cannot be around a particular ingredient or food without putting your health at risk, make sure to let them know.
If you are bringing food to a potluck, consider labelling your dish so that anyone with allergies will know what it contains. If you have an allergy, bring food that you know you can eat and you will be set.
Cook Alternative Recipes
If you or someone in your family is allergic to certain foods or ingredients, the solution is simple: search for alternative recipes. This may mean completely changing your food plan and cooking different meals, or finding substitute ingredients and adapt your existing recipes. For instance, there are dairy alternatives you can use in baking instead of milk or yogurt. You can also find gluten-free flour. Avoiding food allergies over the holidays is simple if you are the one cooking and baking—simply plan your meals ahead of time and make sure you have the necessary substitute ingredients for popular ingredients. There are so many alternative recipes out there - use this as an opportunity to experiment!
Whenever you or someone else handles food, make sure you clean the space well, even if the allergy is only mild. Making sure these spaces are clean minimizes the chances of an unfortunate allergic reaction. Spaces you will want to clean include your kitchen, dining area, living room, and anywhere you eat food. If you eat at your desk in the office, keep some wipes on hand. Watch out for other areas people eat as well. These easy actions can help to prevent a serious reaction that would ruin the Christmas mood.
Overall, the best way to get through Christmas and the rest of the holiday season when you or someone you love suffers from food allergies is to communicate. People cannot help you avoid the triggers if they do not know about them.
Determine what the allergy is and then communicate that allergy to those who will have a hand in preparing the food you will eat throughout the holiday season. This way, everyone can enjoy the holiday season tradition of eating. All it takes is a little extra consideration and the Christmas season is back on track!