The holiday season is fast approaching. That means families coming together to eat delicious holiday food. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for those who have food allergies. Food allergies tend to make the holidays more complicated than it already is because the family wants to eat the same food together. The same family members may also not realize how severe a food allergy is, even if someone has it.
To help address the matter, we list six tips to help people with food allergies enjoy the holidays. Read on below to learn more.
#1 – Let Your Host Know of Your Allergies
If you’re hosting a holiday get-together for the family, there won’t be any problem because you’ll make food that you know is safe to eat despite your allergies. However, it will be a different story if you’re going someplace else.
The best way to avoid an allergic reaction is to let the host know about your allergies. You may think that you’re in no position to make demands, but that’s alright because you have an allergy. They might not think to ask about your allergy, so you’ll need to take it upon yourself to enjoy the food.
#2 – Ask Questions about the Food
If you’re going to a restaurant or someone else’s home, ask about the ingredients or preparation methods used in the food. If you have an allergy or sensitivity, make sure to let the server or host know. Also, you should ask for separate utensils to avoid cross-contamination.
#3 – Bring Your Own Food
If the host doesn’t ask about your allergy or forgot to tell them about it, your next best choice is to bring your food. It might be seen as an offensive gesture, but you should let them know upfront about your allergy as soon as you take it out. You’re probably going to pass on delicious food, but your health and safety come first.
#4 – Don’t Eat Something You Don’t Know
It’s better to skip a dish if you don’t know what’s in it. If you like the person and don’t want to offend, but don’t know if they understand your allergy, ask them to take steps to address it. If you receive a food gift, then maybe you can give it to someone without an allergy instead.
#5 – Bring Your Medicine
As an extra precaution, you should bring your medicine with you. After all, holiday meals are often unpredictable, and your host or the restaurant may not have other options. The best medication that you can bring is your EpiPen. Aside from that, you can also get antihistamines such as:
It’s worth noting that antihistamines, while effective, don’t act fast enough. If this happens, use your EpiPen.
#6 – Prepare an Allergy Reaction Plan
The best way to address an allergic reaction is by having an allergy reaction plan. Luckily, the Food Allergy Research Education (FARE) is a not-for-profit organization that can help you develop one. Your plan should spell out what kinds of allergies you have, list the names of the medications you take, and confirm that your healthcare provider has your updated information. It should also spell out what to do in case of an emergency.
No matter how delicious holiday food may be, you must prioritize your safety. If special arrangements don’t work, then maybe you can arrange visits to your home instead. Alternatively, you can also have get-togethers that don’t involve food prone to contain volatile ingredients.
Allergic reactions can sometimes cause breathing problems in the lungs. Thankfully, these emergencies can be avoided with the right primary care doctor. Our team at Garden State Medical Group can help treat these symptoms because they practice multifaceted medicine which focuses on prevention and proper education. If you need a reliable primary care doctor in New Jersey, Contact us today for a consultation!