The holiday season is fast approaching and that means more than a month’s worth of family, friends, fun and food. For those who have allergies to food, however, the “fun” part is often dampened with fear and worry. Yes, it’s true that Thanksgiving in particular is chock full of dangerous foods for those who have sensitivity, but this doesn’t need to be the case. Here are some thoughts about how you can enjoy Thanksgiving by using allergen-free foods in Atlanta and elsewhere.
When you have large gatherings of friends and family together, appetizers are a must. They get the palate ready for the feast and build the appetite. When it comes to food allergies, the easiest way to avoid common problems is to go with a basic veggie dip platter, using a soy and dairy-free dip or hummus.
Salads fill much the same role as appetizers, but the roughage helps your digestion and processing the rich foods that will follow. A nice plate of greens and allergen-free dressing like a basic vinaigrette are an excellent option to get things started.
The biggest danger when it comes to turkey is usually the presence of wheat for those with sensitivity to that substance. Often, wheat is added to broth which can be a problem. Look for gluten-free turkey options. They are out there, and often it’s right on the label. When it comes to the gravy, check for recipes that are gluten-free as well.
Side dishes are the all-important part of Thanksgiving. What would the table be without mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole and tons of pie for dessert? The good news is that there are many recipes are out there to save you from allergy dangers. The biggest dangers for allergies are the mashed potatoes, which often contain dairy products like butter and cream, and stuffing which is chock full of wheat. Fear not—with just a little research (like the link above) there are also recipes available for dairy- and gluten-free taters and stuffing!
Dessert is one of the biggest challenges for those with food allergies. From whipped cream to nuts, the dangers are many and multiform. You may want to substitute allergen-free recipes for desserts like cupcakes, sugar cookies and pies with gluten-free crust. There are even allergy-free whipped topping options. In the end, your desserts may not be 100% traditional, but the adjustment will likely go over just fine.
If you have food allergies, every holiday need not be a nightmare of sheepishly asking about ingredients and pushing food aside. With a few basic substitutions, you can have a wonderfully traditional, flavorful and healthy Thanksgiving dinner without the concern of dangerous allergies. Of course, you’ll want to keep your epi-pen handy just in case, but it doesn’t take much to stay safe!
If you are in the Atlanta region and suffer from allergies, Atlanta ENT can help. Read a bit more about food allergies and what treatments are available, then give us a call for an appointment today.