Preparing for Holiday Dining With a Food Allergy
Holiday dining is a tricky time for food allergy sufferers in Atlanta and beyond. While effective care like oral immunotherapy treatment (OIT) is available, most people rely on avoidance strategies to protect themselves. Of course, dealing with a food allergy can make the holiday season challenging. But with the right preparation, it is possible to eat well and stay safe.
7 Tips for a Food Allergy-Friendly Holiday Season
The holiday dining experience will differ for each individual and family. While some people prefer to stay at home, others might like to dine out at restaurants or visit relatives. A child with a food allergy can also be a concern, with the wide availability of treats in many households. Here are some tips to help navigate the holiday season this year.
1. Read Ingredient Labels
Pay close attention to the ingredients in food products, with allergens like peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, milk and eggs present in many goods. If you are visiting family for dinner, ask them to keep any packaging for your peace of mind.
2. Create Allergen-Free Recipes
Many recipes can be modified without losing their great taste. For example, use dairy-free milk or replace eggs with bananas in certain baked goods. You could consider food allergy desensitization for a long-term allergy solution, but recipe modification and avoidance are useful for the immediate future.
3. Take Steps to Avoid Cross-Contamination
Cross-contamination can easily happen if the cleaning and food preparation process is not thorough. Make sure hands are washed regularly, cutting boards are separated and ingredients are kept apart.
4. Have Snacks Available
If you are visiting family or friends this year, consider bringing your own allergen-free snacks. Children with food allergies may be tempted by problem foods they are unlikely to encounter at home.
5. Research Restaurants
If you are dining at a restaurant, remember to check their website in advance and carefully read the menu. If you have any concerns, speak to a waiter and let them know your allergy requirements.
6. Keep Everyone Informed
Communication is important for avoiding allergic reactions during the holidays. Whether you need to speak to friends, family members, restaurants or hotels, be clear about your needs or those of your child.
7. Remember to Bring an Epinephrine Auto-Injector
In the event of a severe allergic reaction, it is important to be equipped with an epinephrine auto-injector. Your allergist will usually recommend an auto-injector after food allergy testing has diagnosed the allergy.
Protect Yourself From Food Allergies During the Holidays
If you have experienced an allergic reaction after eating certain foods, it is important to seek treatment. Chacko Food Allergy Treatment Center helps patients in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Canton, Cumming, Druid Hills, Duluth and Johns Creek. To make an appointment at your nearest location, call (678) 668-4688 or request help online.
Image Credit – Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com