1. Supervise small children or toddlers with serious food allergies at all times. Without trying to scare you, you need to assume they are vulnerable and could be minutes from serious life threatening reaction to an allergic food. Whether it be food spilt on the floor , a well meaning grandpa trying to kiss them after eating peanuts, a loving great grandmother trying to feed them cake or another toddler smearing ice cream everywhere. Accidents happen and they usually happen away from the familiarity of our safe home environment. You need to be on your toes with your game face on so to speak. Whether it be end of year break up parties or Christmas day, stay alert. Be vigilant!
2. Develop a roster system where you and your partner (friend, family member|) implement a tag team method. While one of you is 'on duty' and supervising the child, the other one has some time out to speak to big people and enjoy some well deserved socialising. You need to be able to relax and know that your child is being supervised. Share the burden with someone you trust.
3. Now is the time to discuss with your host or guests dietary needs. Don't leave it until the last minute when everyone is stressed and busy with preparations. While you may need to avoid dairy and eggs, Uncle Harry may need to avoid gluten and cousin Michelle may have a nut allergy. Consider making or bringing food that everyone can enjoy. Keep in mind that recipes from Easy Allergy Free Christmas
are all free from gluten, peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, eggs, soy, fish and shellfish.
4. Make simple fail proof allergy friendly dishes and allow time to test cook them before the big day, avoiding unnecessary stress of cooking a new recipe on the day.
5. Holidays are the perfect opportunity to display your delicious allergy friendly creations. Most people assume eating allergy friendly or gluten free food is boring and tasteless. It's time to knock their socks off!! Show up with some delicious allergy friendly healthy food which will please all - such as from Easy Allergy Free Christmas
6. If staying with family, go food shopping with your family member so you can make suggestions on easy safe ingredient alternatives. You'll also be able to double check any ingredients on the labels. This is also a perfect opportunity to educate your family member.
7. Sit down with family member/host to discuss the menu for Christmas Day. Suggest alternatives to allergic ingredients so the dish can be enjoyed by all.
8. Create new Christmas traditions that don't involve food. Keep it simple. These are memories that will make Christmas a special time for all.
9. Take an allergy friendly dish to any parties so you know there will be something that you can eat.
10. Ensure your allergy friendly dishes have their own serving utensils so as to avoid cross contamination.
11. If travelling take some home made allergy friendly goodies to eliminate the stress of feeding an allergic child immediately on arrival. Here a few ideas and recipes for you - White Christmas Balls, Apricot Balls, Sunny Bites, Banana and Date Muffins
12. When dining out over
the Christmas period, call ahead and ask lots of questions to see if you feel comfortable eating at that venue. It's not worth the risk to eat somewhere that don't take allergies seriously. More tips for dining out here
13. Inspect ALL gifts for your allergic child for potential allergens. While your loved ones are well meaning, they may still be ignorant about the potential dangers of allergies. After all, they aren't consumed with the fear of food as we are. Remember not all allergens appear only in food, check personal care , cosmetics, bubble baths etc. Check everything. If in doubt, quietly put it aside and bin if necessary.
14. ALWAYS- REMEMBER THE EPIPEN!!!!! No EPIPEN = No EAT!
15. Don't risk anything, If in doubt - go without!
Hope these tips help take some of the stress out of Christmas. You'll find more recipes in
Easy Allergy Free Christmas
eBook - easy cooking - simple ingredients - delicious food!
Lastly, Be kind to yourself! Remember the best memories are of family, friends, laughter and whatever makes your heart smile. Things don't need to be perfect! Remember the reason for the season. Stay safe everybody.
Have a Merry Christmas and a safe holiday
from my family to yours