Whether you are hosting holiday gatherings at home or traveling abroad, here are 13 tips for reducing food allergy stress and anxiety during the holiday season.
With the holiday season in full swing, keeping our food allergy friends and family safe must be top priority. The risk of cross contamination, forgetfulness and mistakes is at an all time high. Here are some best practices for those managing any kind of food allergy this holiday season!
Entertaining at Home
1. Keep a sign at your front door or entryway notifying guests that any food brought into the house must be allergen free.
2. Kindly ask friends and family members to wash their hands once entering your home.
3. Display an updated copy of your emergency care plan. The Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) group has a printable version here.
4. Remind guests where your Epi-pen’s are kept, how to use them and when to call 911.
Traveling Out of Town
1. Travel with an updated copy of your emergency care plan. Display the plan once you have arrived at your gathering.
2. Always carry your 2 Epi-pen’s! Make sure your friends and family members know where your Epi-pen’s are kept, how to use them and when to call 911.
3. Place food allergy awareness bracelets and identifiers on children.
4. Ask friends and relatives to keep food labels and original boxes so you can read the ingredients.
5. Print off a copy of alternative names for your allergen. Here is the one I utilize for peanuts from Kids with Food Allergies.
6. Assemble and carry a kit that includes Benadryl, anti-itch cream, Wet Ones and Clorox Wipes.
7. Provide your own set of plates, drinking cups, utensils and napkins.
8. Prepare and bring your own food.
9. Identify where the closest medical facility is.
Be sure to pin this post – as most of the scenarios apply to gatherings we attend throughout the year. From birthday parties to summer vacation, holidays like Thanksgiving, 4th of July, New Year’s Eve, Easter, Memorial Day and more!
If all else fails and you feel that family members are not being considerate of your food allergy or your child’s, do not hesitate to leave. A possible reaction is not worth staying in a dangerous environment.
Also, the holiday season is a reminder of who has shown us love throughout the year. It’s a great time to thank those friends, family members and acquaintances who go above and beyond to support the food allergy community.