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Preparing for Holidays with Food Allergies
Holiday gatherings are usually filled with family, friends – and food. Here are some tips from FAACT for traveling this holiday season, as well as dining in/out to help you avoid any potential dangers, so you can have a happy holiday season!
Traveling during holiday seasons:
- Plan your route for traveling and note any allergy-friendly restaurants to stop along the journey.
- Eat a good meal before leaving to help keep everyone full for a longer period of time.
- Bring a cooler full of allergy-friendly snack items. Keep the snacks fun and be sure to include a variety of sweet, salty, crunchy and soft.
Dinner at your house:
- Plan out in advance what others will bring. Assign dishes that are less likely to contain the allergen.
- Are they buying the item or making from scratch? Discuss label reading and recommend certain brands you know are allergen safe.
- Have them take a picture of the label and text or email you if they have any questions.
- Gently, but thoroughly, go over how to avoid cross-contact in the kitchen.
- Be in charge of all the baked goods to reduce any issues and remind them to not bring the allergen as a gift.
Dinner at a family member or friend’s house:
- Contact or have them contact everyone and politely remind them not to bring any unsafe items.
- Offer to go a little early and help clean.
- Offer to help the host cook the food.
- Have your child eat a snack before you go, so they’re less tempted to grab food when you’re not watching.
- Bring separate dishes that you know your child can eat.
Remind your child about not eating anything that you haven’t OK’d first.
Dining out this holiday season:
- Research restaurants to find out if they’re allergy-friendly.
- Call ahead to speak with the chef and/or manager and address any concerns.
- When at the restaurant, let your server know about the allergy. Ask to speak to the manager and/or chef so you have no doubt the kitchen has been made aware.
- Consider eating at a time that is less busy.