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'Tis the Season to Give...Without Food

Posted Dec 14 2009 3:30am

Do the visions of sugar plums dancing in your child's head this holiday season send shivers down your spine? After all, what's in those "sugar plums" and what else was processed in the facility near them?

Having a child with a life-threatening food allergy can be down right scary during the holiday season. Christmas parties pose dangers that can steal any joy the season promises to offer.

This year, instead of a food-focused holiday, why not look to the true meaning of the season: giving to others?

Here are a few suggestions to keep the focus where it should be this holiday season while keeping children with food allergies safe:

Find a peanut-free food kitchen in which to serve.

Feeding the needy is such a rewarding experience; even young children can feel the joy. Even though your family or group will most likely not be eating the food, inquire about the meal before serving to ensure it does not pose any hazards to your child.

Find a service project to involve the whole family in.

Contact a local service agency or church to see if there is a project, such as making cards for the troops or quilts for the needy. Pick a project that appeals specifically to your food allergic child (as well as your entire group) and show them they can make a difference, regardless of what life-threatening food allergies they might have.

Adopt a needy family.

Families in need can be found a variety of ways, including angel trees at the local mall or at a church. Put the emphasis on providing for the needs of the family and the joy that it brings, rather than trying all the limits that the holiday brings. Helping others can take the focus off of the dangers the holidays present and all the joys that it can brings.

Sing Christmas carols at your local nursing home.

This can be done with a few members of your family or a group of children. Nothing lights up the face of an elderly person like young lungs belting out Christmas tunes! Contact the management of your local home and I think you will find they are more than willing to let your group sing to their hearts' content.

photo credit flickr

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