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For families who have kids with food allergies, going out during the holidays can create a lot of anxiety because most festivities involve food.

The following tips will help to reduce your children’s exposure to food allergens, as well as the stress on parents, so everyone can enjoy a safe and happy holiday season!

Wear allergy apparel – Consider dressing the little ones in clothing imprinted with a food allergy alert. Food allergy organisations offer colourful t-shirts with food allergy alerts, along with stickers, patches and buttons.

Cover or wash hands – Prevent skin contact with food allergens by covering your baby’s hands with gloves or socks. In addition, young children like to explore using their hands and mouths, so teach and encourage them to wash their hands frequently while attending food filled events.

Role play with children – Prepare children ahead of time on how to say no when offered food and sweet goodies. Practice saying “no, thank you” by role playing the various social situations children may encounter.

Talk to the host – Before attending a party or other holiday celebration, have an in-depth conversation with the host concerning your child’s food allergies.

Bring your own food – Unexpected circumstances often arise, so be prepared by bringing your own allergen-free alternatives when going out for the holidays.

Help prepare the food – Offer to help prepare the cuisine being served at food focused celebrations.

Host the holiday dinner – Invite family and friends to your place for a holiday dinner or get together. Additionally, notify attendees ahead of time concerning foods or ingredients not allowed in the home.

Feed children before going out – Do not let children leave home hungry. Instead, feed them healthy allergen free food prior to going out, which helps them to resist sweet temptations.

Be on the lookout – As difficult as it may be, it is important to always remain alert to snacks, desserts and other food available in unfamiliar surroundings. Likewise, keep an eye on what children with food allergies are doing.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com
  • Good tips.

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  • Wouldn’t this be a nightmare? But I guess its second nature to the parents of allergy sufferers. I think if I had an allergy sufferer, I would be taking my own prepared meals out and about. You just can’t be too careful with your kids health

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  • This was an interesting mini article. Thanks for posting!

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  • I think I would be so stressed if I had to eat out with a kid with severe food allergies. You just can’t control what happens In the kitchens!

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  • great tips. it must be so hard around christmas and easter when a lot of things revolve around food.

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  • sounds awesome and looks great

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  • Food allergies are just so hard to control with hidden ingredients in everything nowadays!

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  • Thanks for tips :) very helpful

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  • All good suggestions. I think parents should encourage their children to ask about allergens in foods from an early day. Parents need to prepare their children from day one to take responsibility for their allergy and under their loving guidance it will hopefully become second nature.


    • How about educating the child about what they can or can’t have, if they’re old enough?

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  • Thanks for sharing. Some great tips.

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  • Thanks for the good advice! Luckily for me my kids are just picky with no food allergies (at this time anyways).

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  • If you are inviting anybody to a party or meal of any type it is a good idea to ask if anybody has any food allergies. Some are so highly allergic to nuts that if they even inhale the smell of it they can be seriously ill. Unfortunately sad but true! That is one of the reasons why a lot of schools are “nut free” and have signs up on the office and all the classroom doors. Well, I know one school that definitely does. I noticed it the first time I went there. It is very difficult when you have a relative who is highly allergic both to gluten and dairy foods. I am always nervous cooking for that family. Just dairy free isn’t as bad as you can buy lactose free bread, cream, milk, icecream, yoghurt. It is surprising how many foods have milk in them, including biscuits. I have a friend whose 2 daughters are both lactose intolerant which is in cows milk. Gluten is a whole new ball game. Gluten is in products containing wheat, rye and barley. Some people also react to oats as they have a similar protein in them. Even a lot of confectionery has gluten in it. What’s more you need to check a product each time you buy it as gluten may have been added to the ingredients since the last time you bought it. I know a guy who bought a small snack size chocolate bar. He forgot to check the label when he bought another one a fortnight later. It had gluten in it. Luckily he hadn’t binned the packaging as within a few hours he started feeling symptoms and had an upset stomach for a few days. He also got caught with another product before that. Now they check every label every time the buy anything. Even some icing sugars have gluten in them. It binds it so that when you add butter or milk, it won[‘t go runny. If they make a gluten free birthday cake for a special occasion they have to make sure they use gluten free icing mixture. It does get a bit easier with “practise”.


    • great comment, cheers Kylie for sharing this post

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  • Great article, thank you for the tips. In today’s world with the allergy as common as is, I’m hoping my LO won’t develop any. We’ll have to wait and see…

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  • great article thanks I grew up with allergies and it was not so hard you just had to know what you could eat and what you could not. there where not all these food bans like there are today. I think that they are a little over the top making it harder for parent with children that are fussy eater when food is banned because people have allergies. I think it is just taking the liability away from the parents teaching the child, thats what my parents had to do.


    • Thats OK when the child is old enough to understand. I very much doubt a child under preschool age is going to understand or remember some of the details when it involves a lot of different food.

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  • Amazing thanks

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