Teal plastic pumpkin filled with Halloween themed toys and surrounded by autumn leaves

How to Have an Allergy-Free Holiday Season

Don’t Let Allergies Bring Down Your Holiday Spirit

The holiday season is meant to be full of joy, family, friends, giving, and endless amounts of treats. This merry season can also fill your schedule with plans, parties, and platters of food. Navigating what to eat during these gatherings can be challenging to avoid an allergic reaction if you have a known food allergy.

Before the season begins, here are some tips to consider when planning your celebrations to alleviate some stress:

Top Food Allergens

Food allergies develop when your immune system sees a particular food as harmful, causing an allergic reaction. While most allergic reactions are mild, some can be extremely severe and even life-threatening.

The most common causes of food allergies are:

  • Milk.
  • Egg.
  • Peanuts and tree nuts.
  • Soy.
  • Wheat.
  • Fish.
  • Shellfish.

Many of these foods are used in treats and dishes during the holiday season and should be avoided if they cause a known reaction.

Avoid a Reaction

There are many tips and tricks to avoid allergic reactions. Whether it is Halloween, Thanksgiving, or another holiday you celebrate, consider these steps to a safe holiday season.

Read the Ingredients Label

Halloween is one of the most common holidays for children to experience a severe allergic reaction, typically to peanuts or tree nuts, as many candies contain them. To avoid an allergy scare, hold the trick-or-treat bag for your child and carefully monitor what goes in it. For every candy they can not have, have a replacement treat to substitute it with. We also recommend having an EpiPen readily available as a precaution as another way to prevent anything spooky from happening.

For all holidays, reading the ingredients label is essential. Companies are known for frequently changing their ingredients, even to foods you once thought were safe. You should be aware of exactly what you are putting in your body before consuming it.

Host at Your Home

One of the easiest ways to manage what is being served is to host holiday parties in the comfort of your own home! By hosting a holiday party, you control the ingredients that get put in each dish. This also allows you to create specific allergen-safe dishes as a courtesy to guests who may also have allergies or sensitivities. Keeping these safe dishes separate also prevents cross-contamination and unexpected reactions.

Attending Gatherings Away From Home

If hosting a holiday party is not an option, there are still various things you can do to ensure your and your children’s safety. Keep these tips in mind as you add celebrations to your calendar:

Serve Yourself First

If you are attending a party that is not in your home, it is very easy for cross-contamination to occur. Often people may mix what serving utensil belongs with what dish, and everything becomes switched around. To avoid this from happening, speak with the host in advance about serving you and your children first. This will prevent any cross-contamination from occurring and keep everyone merry and bright.

Help the Host

Offer to help the host by planning the menu, shopping for ingredients, or cooking allergen-safe dishes. You can also discuss with the host if they are okay with certain dishes having a label to clarify which foods are safe to eat for those guests with concerns. Communicating with the host is the most vital step of a holly and jolly holiday season.

Pack Special Foods

If you are going to someone else’s event, speak with the host to see if they are okay with you bringing meals, snacks, and desserts. In most situations, hosts are incredibly understanding and would not want any holiday ruined for themselves or you.

Packing your food is a way to be sure that everything is safe for you or your child. You can get creative and make the meals, snacks, and desserts festive and holiday-themed to make them feel included in the celebrations. If you are unsure of what to make or need creative ideas, several delicious dairy, gluten, and egg substitutes are available and will make for a very sweet treat!

Helping You Live Allergy Free

Allergy Institute PC is proud to provide exceptional care to patients managing short-term or chronic allergy and asthma conditions. Our team offers treatments railed for you to help you live life allergy-free.

If you suffer from food allergies, we will conduct a food allergy test to determine what is causing your symptoms. Our board-certified allergists provide support for food allergies and will help guide you on the most appropriate course of treatment.

Contact us online or call (515) 619-5179 for additional information regarding our testing and treatments today!