Thanksgiving is a fun time to spend with loved ones. At least it should be. Those with food allergies can often feel excluded, as the holiday often means unknown foods and ingredients, from people who aren’t used to dealing with allergies. You’ll be happy to hear that having allergies at Thanksgiving doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it like everyone else. You just need to have the right approach to help you along.
Having allergies at Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving means food, often a lot of it. But having allergies at Thanksgiving isn’t particularly convenient unless every single person knows every single ingredient in all of the food being served around the table. And as that isn’t practical, you’ll find it best to make a few small adaptations to help you make the most out of this food-focused holiday.
- Bring your own snacks: Snacks can be riddled with food allergens, so it’s best to make sure that you bring your own allergen-free snacks that you can safely eat while you wait for the main meal. In fact, why not bring along a whole tray of them so that other people with sensitivities or allergies can enjoy them as well!
- Visit places you can trust: If bringing your own snacks or treats just isn’t possible, you could consider limiting your food enjoyment to only those places that are able to cater to allergies. This way, you can eat what everyone else is eating and not have to worry about an unknown or forgotten ingredient that could just give you an allergic reaction.
- Don’t give in to social pressure: One of the things about visiting acquaintances or estranged family is that not all of them will understand or respect the seriousness of a food allergy. They may put pressure on you (as well-intentioned as they may be) to eat something that might contain an allergen. It’s tempting to give in and simply be part of the crowd, but it’s important that you stick to your own needs. Even if your reactions only tend to be mild, it’s not a good idea to tempt one happening that could end up in a medical emergency or, at the very least, an uncomfortable onslaught of symptoms.
- Have medication to hand: With all of that food and people around, mistakes can happen. It’s a good idea to make sure you have extra allergy medication or an EpiPen on you so that you‘re prepared if the worst should happen. Safety first, even during the holidays!
You don’t need to miss out on any of the fun this Thanksgiving. You just need to keep allergies in mind when it comes to the food part of your Thanksgiving. That’ll keep you reaction-free and joining in on the crowd without feeling as though you are being left out. Just how the holidays should be.