How do you cope with Food Allergies during the holidays?
What are the most important thing a host/hostess can know when it comes to preparing food? What are good substitutes for people with food allergies?
1. Focus on what you can eat!
It’s amazing how a little change in perspective can open up endless possibilities and turn an overwhelming situation into a fun challenge. Eat what you already eat. An example, if you eat lots of meat and veg,eat more of these types of meals, rather than fiddling around with gluten-free pastas and the like (whatever you are alergic to).
Exploring new vegetables and cuts of meat. Much more empowering than feeling limited and deprived of so many foods.
2. Learn some simple substitutes
Develop a list of options for substitutions to suit different allergies with each recipe. And the thing is that there’s pretty much always a substitute that will work. It’s surprising how most things work out.
3. Be proactive
While most people will go out of their way to be as accommodating as possible for people with allergies, the more notice you can give, the easier it is for everyone. So make sure you remind your friends if they’re cooking for you, or call the restaurant in advance.
Enjoy the holidays!
I rather skip those food or starve myself than get allergies!
I can't have eggs, dairy or gluten so the holidays can be a challenge. If I am heading over to somebody's home for dinner, I let them know of the allergy and offer to bring something. As a host/hostess, don't be embarrassed to ask the allergic to bring an item that you may have difficulty substituting. I often bring bread or a dessert and I don't mind. Otherwise, read labels and ask questions. I would rather be asked if I am okay with an ingredient then become ill because the host felt awkward about it. There are a ton of resources for substitutions out there - Try Allergic Living Magazine or Living Without.
My toddler has some serious food intolerances. I would never expect a host/hostess to cater to his needs, and I don't think I'm alone in that. But I think it is very sweet of you to want to make everyone feel welcome.
I think your best bet is to have a variety of simple options. That way you are sure to hit something all your friends can eat. Some examples would be a fruit and veggie tray or with sauce or dip on the side, or a bowl of plain nuts in addition to whatever regular dishes you were planning to serve.
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