Don’t just go with the flow during the holidays if you have food allergies. If you have no coping strategy, you’ll just end up paying for it. You need to be the gatekeeper to keep yourself safe when food land mines are lurking all around you.
Your first test will be Thanksgiving. Use this holiday to get your ducks all in row to be ready for the Christmas holidays which will really test your resolve.
Holiday survival tips for food allergy sufferers
•Compile a recipe file for safe versions of your favorite holiday foods. Look for website/blogs authored by individuals with similar allergies. They often have many postings of recipes for the holidays.
•Learn how to alter your favorite recipes to make them allergen free. For instance, stuffing can be made with brown rice instead of bread crumbs. Alternative dairy beverages can be used in pumpkin pie recipes if you are allergic to dairy.
•Eating out? Check ahead with restaurants for their menu before deciding where to eat. Often, restaurants can make adjustments to foods to accommodate your needs.
•Serve Thanksgiving dinner at your house to be totally in control of what does on the table. Ask guests to bring items that you don’t have to worry about such as green salad or vegetables. Or e-mail them recipes for foods to prepare.
•Invited out? Call your host/hostess and discuss your eating issues. Follow up with an e-mail with a list of foods that are taboo and dishes you will bring. Send recipes to your host/hostess if appropriate.
•Have a heart-to-heart talk with yourself before heading into the holidays. Tell yourself you are not being punished by not being able to eat certain foods. There are plenty of delicious substitutes. Even your guests will appreciate being exposed to perhaps healthier and tastier alternatives.
•Remind yourself that you are in control of your health. Stop playing the victim role and take charge. You are in control of what you put into your mouth and how you feel during the holidays.