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The holiday is a fun time to spend with loved ones. Or it should be. Those with food allergies can often feel like they are on the outside of things since the holiday often means unknown foods (and ingredients) from people who aren’t used to dealing with allergies. You’ll be happy to know that dealing with allergies at Thanksgiving isn’t impossible, however. You just need to approach it with the right tips and tricks to help you out.

Living with allergies at Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving means food, as we all know. However, having allergies at Thanksgiving isn’t always convenient unless every single person knows every single ingredient in all of the food being served around the table. Since that isn’t practical, you’ll find it best to make a few adaptations that will help you to make the most out of your food-related holiday.

  • Be prepared to bring your snacks: Since cookies and snacks can often be riddled with food allergens, it’s best to make sure that you bring your own allergen-friendly snacks that you can safely eat while you wait for the meal. In fact, consider bringing along a whole tray of them so that other people with sensitivities or allergies can have a snack as well if they happen to be dealing with the same issue.
  • Visit places (and people) you trust: If bringing your own snacks or treats just isn’t possible due to scheduling or preferences. You can also consider the idea of limiting your food enjoyment to only those places that are aware of your allergy and cater to it — literally, in this case. This way, you’ll be able to 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 the social pressure: One of the things about visiting acquaintances or estranged family is that not all of them will understand or respect the seriousness that is a food allergy. There might be pressures from them (as well-intentioned as they may be) to eat something that could possibly have an allergen. It’s tempting to give in and simply be one of the crowd, but it’s important that you stick to your own needs. Even if your reactions to allergens are 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 grist of reaction symptoms.
  • Have extra medications on-hand: With all of that food and all of the people around, sometimes mistakes happen. It’s probably a good idea to make sure that you have extra allergy medication on you so that you are prepared in case of an unplanned reaction. Safety first, even during the holidays! 

You don’t need to miss out on any of the holiday fun this Thanksgiving. You simply need to keep allergies in mind as much as possible when it comes to the food part of your Thanksgiving. This will keep you reaction-free and joining in on the crowd without feeling as though you are being left out of anything. Just how the holidays should be.