Tips for a Safe Thanksgiving with Food Allergies

Thanksgiving is just days away, and while for many that means a day around the dining room table with friends and family giving thanks while devouring on rolls, turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing, this meal-focused holiday can be challenging for those with food allergies.

Don’t let this time of year intimidate you, though! Even though there will be quite a bit of eating going on around you, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the traditions of Thanksgiving just as much as everyone else. Have a plan in place to ensure you or your friends and family members with food allergies are safe, and you’ll be good to go.

Here are some tips to celebrate Thanksgiving safely.

  • If you’re a guest, call the host or hostess in advance to ask about the menu. Be open about your food allergy, and ask about bringing a safe dish for you or your child.
  • Don’t arrive hungry. Eat a hardy breakfast or snack before you host or travel to Thanksgiving dinner. Appetizers often contain nuts, seeds, seafood or other allergens.
  • If you have a child with a food allergy, talk to them about which foods will be safe for them and about avoiding foods that may be at risk for cross-contact (e.g., a buffet-style set-up).
  • When in doubt bring a trusted meal for you or your child. Handled discreetly, this extra step will create peace of mind and allow you to focus on family and friends.
  • Don’t assume that a food contains only traditional ingredients that you know are safe. For example, cranberry sauce could be prepared with pecans, or peanut butter could be added to gravy and many desserts.
  • As always, carry two epinephrine auto-injectors at all times if prescribed.

We hope you all have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving! What are YOUR Thanksgiving tips for those with food allergies? Share with us in the comments!