5 Ways to Navigate Food Allergies During the Holidays
Have you ever hosted a holiday feast and genuinely enjoyed the gathering as much as your guests did? It can be a reality — with a little help from your friends. During the holidays, many of the top food allergens — especially gluten, dairy, eggs and tree nuts — appear throughout the meal. This year, we’re turning the tables on guests and preparing them with these five easy tips to make this season’s holiday feast fun, and safe from allergies, for everyone.
Avoid anxiety by giving the host a heads-up about any food allergies or intolerances the moment you receive the invitation. Ask if you can bring your favorite dish or dessert. It’s an opportunity to share not only the gift of food, but also your personal food memories and family traditions.
If you approach the gathering from a place of gratitude rather than just focusing on the food, your experience will shift. How often do you get the chance to be with those you love or meet charming new people? Think of everyone you get to spend time with, the laughter and the all-too-rare, real-life interactions. Invaluable.
You can always find something to eat if you’re open to expanding your food horizons. First, talk with the host and look around the table to identify the food-allergy-friendly options, then make an effort to move beyond your comfort zone by trying a new dish or tasting a new ingredient.
Besides hosting your own party, another way to take charge of your health and manage any food allergy is, of course, to eat before you go. You’ll be ready to enjoy the event without feeling stressed that (well-meaning) guests or hosts forgot to tell you the complete list of ingredients in each dish.
Holiday entertaining can be a pressure-filled, three-ring circus, which is why if you’re the guest, it’s good to refocus your thinking. After all, you haven’t been frantically prepping the feast or setting up holiday decor for days. Instead, be grateful that you get to walk into a beautiful gathering of friends and family.