Holiday Tips

Preparing for Holidays with Food Allergies

Holiday gatherings are usually filled with family, friends – and food. Here are some tips from FAACT for traveling during any 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 during the holidays:

  • 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.

Wishing you safe and Happy Holidays all year through!