Safely Navigating the Holidays with a Food Allergy

This entry was posted on Monday, November 24th, 2014 and is filed under Blog by AENT Associates

The holidays are full of celebration and tradition, many revolving around food. Unfortunately, for those people suffering from food allergies, a holiday feast can turn into a deadly affair. Casseroles, dips, and homemade desserts can be a dangerous food allergy trap.

According the American College of Allergy and Asthma, over 12 million people suffer from food allergies in the United States. Some of the most common offenders include nuts, shellfish, milk, eggs, and soy. While not all food allergies are life threating, they can be extremely serious. Did you know that more than 200,000 emergency room visits every year are food allergy related?

5 Tips for Celebrating the Holidays with a Food Allergy

  1. RSVP early: As soon as you know an event has been scheduled, let the host know about your special dietary issues; giving them time to adjust the menu.       Remember, they too want a joyous, safe holiday meal.
  2. Bring your own ‘safe’ food: Offer to bring a dish that you or your child will be able to safely enjoy. If guests are coming to your home, have them bring drinks or paper goods so that you can regulate all of the food preparation.
  3. Start a new trend. Write up a cute card with the ingredients of each holiday dish you prepare. If all of the ‘cooks’ will do the same, those with food allergies can safely decide what to put on their plate.
  4. Tag-team watching the young ones. It is best to have more than one set of eyes on a child with food allergies. Make sure other adults at the party are aware of your child’s nut allergy, or other dietary no-no, so they are not ‘accidentally’ served an inappropriate item.
  5. Go over the rules before hand. Even if you have talked to your child a hundred times before about their food allergy, take a few minutes to do so again; never assume they are on the look out for dangerous ingredients.       Remind your child what is off limits, and instruct them to run every thing that goes in their mouth by you (or another designated adult) first.

Are you suspicious that you or your loved one might be suffering from a food allergy? The only way to play it safe is to see your allergist for food testing. Either through a quick skin test, or simple blood work, the true trigger of your symptoms can be identified. Your allergist can also arm you with valuable avoidance information and emergency instructions, should an accidental ingestion occur.

Allergy and ENT Associates is Houston’s largest and most respected group of Board Certified allergists. To schedule a food allergy evaluation at the office nearest to you, contact our medical center location at 281-453-4228. Have a safe and happy holiday with the help of Allergy and ENT Associates

Posted in: Allergy

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