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Be the Best Guest this Holiday Season—Even with Food Allergies

Posted Dec 11 2008 12:00am

If your child has food allergies, or special dietary needs, you can still visit friends and family and share the joy of the holiday season. But when food is involved (and when isn’t it?) it’s always best to come prepared. So here are a few tips to keep in mind:shutterstock_2613846.jpg

  • Call ahead to explain your child’s allergies and offer to bring a safe dish.
  • Ask to serve your child first to make sure that the utensils and foods are not cross contaminated.
  • Remind loved ones not to fuss over what your child is eating. He or she wants to be part of the crowd and not singled out because of his differences.
  • If the host seems not to “get it”, feed your child at home and bring dessert or a snack.
  • Keep an eye out for candy dishes and nut bowls. If your child is very young, ask if they can be moved out of the little one’s reach.
  • Desserts in particular are a common cause of allergic reactions as they are often cross contaminated with peanuts or nuts and most will contain some of the top nine allergens. So, make a special holiday dessert that your child will love and bring enough to share so that she feels part of the celebration.

–Gina Clowes is the Founder of and author of One of the Gang: Nurturing the Souls of Children with Food Allergies

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