Food plays a central role in many holiday events. If you have a food allergy, these functions can be difficult to navigate. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a concerned parent tell me that their mother or father-in-law doesn’t believe that the child has a food allergy”, says Dr. Daniel Soteres of Asthma & Allergy Associates in Colorado Spring and Pueblo. People who live without food allergies and sensitivities are often not aware of the kind of emotional pain and physical danger that the holidays can bring. “I’ve always enjoyed a Thanksgiving plate that has a little bit of everything mixed together. My favorite bites are usually at the end of the meal with some turkey, dressing, cranberry, sweet potato, gravy and green bean all on one fork. It’s delicious! But it could be quite threatening for a family who is dealing with food allergies,” adds Dr. Soteres.
Here are Asthma & Allergy Associates (AACOS) rules to manage the holiday season with food allergies:
1. Be clear with friends and families BEFORE you agree to come to a food-based function. It may be better to show up after the meal, bring your own desert and enjoy that time together.
2. If you go, be sure to ask about the ingredients used to make each dish.
3. Be aware that cross-contamination can occur during preparation. Even the most well-meaning friend/relative may not be aware of your daily rigor avoiding allergen exposure.
4. If you think the foods served pose too much risk, or if you just don’t feel comfortable eating foods provided by others, you don’t have to. Bring your own snacks or eat before you arrive.
5. Even if you take every precaution, there’s still a slim chance of an allergic reaction. Be sure to have your autoinjectable epinephrine at-hand just in case.
If you are worried about your upcoming holiday season with family, please give Dr. Soteres and the Asthma and Allergy Associates food allergy doctors a call today! They can provide a better treatment plan or offer more helpful advice for you and your specific food allergies. Be prepared so you can still enjoy the holiday season without any issues. Contact us today before all the family comes to town!