Have Your Cake and Eat It Too: Surviving Holiday Parties with Food Sensitivities

Food and Recipes

The holiday season is fast approaching and that means you’re probably getting invitations to holiday parties left and right. For those with food sensitivities, you may be approaching these holiday parties with equal amounts of anticipation and dread. Having specific dietary requirements or allergies can be especially difficult at this time of the year — particularly when you’re faced with mouth-watering buffets every day. However, to help you cope with the onslaught of holiday parties this coming season, we’ve prepared a handy survival guide catering to those with food sensitivities:

Inform hosts and restaurants beforehand

Although it’s not totally foolproof, giving your hosts a gentle reminder about any food sensitivities or allergies you may have is a polite way to educate them without offending them. Remember, they’ll also want to avoid any incidents during their holiday party so try to inform them well in advance. During this extremely hectic time of year, even close friends and family might forget about your preferences, so it’s always best to remind them too.

Don’t forget to check on (and bring) your auto-injectors and medications

This holiday season is also the perfect time to check that your auto-injectors and rescue medications are up-to-date, according to CNN. Keep in mind that “auto-injectors, in particular, have a relatively short shelf life, and the product visibly starts to deteriorate at or around the expiration date.” It’s always best to remain vigilant in the event of any accidents or potential cross-contamination.

Keep hydrated with water

You’ve probably heard it all before, but water is truly a lifesaver. In the event that something you’re eating is cross-contaminated with one of your trigger foods and you experience diarrhea during a holiday party, Parsley Health recommends ingesting extra fluids to help flush it out of your system. They also suggest other alternatives like “coconut water or bone broth for electrolytes to further boost hydration and support detoxification” in addition to water.

Bring your own safe food

If you’re extremely particular about your food sensitivities and would rather be safe and bring your own food to share with your holiday party, have a look at these ‘10 Recipes to Wow Holiday Guests’. Sharing a plate of Holiday Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes or Zesty Caramelized Carrots will definitely appeal to your fellow guests and give you some peace of mind. This also guarantees that you’ll have something safe to eat — it’s no fun being hungry and seeing mountains of food you can’t have while having to socialize at the same time.

Label everything clearly

Labeling food you bring with a detailed list of all its ingredients is also helpful for other guests who have food sensitivities and allergies. For hosts, Parade advises being considerate and sharing their recipes with guests. “This can be done by printing off online recipes and letting guests know they’re available before dinner or placing a notecard with each dish listing the ingredients.”

Take turns watching the young ones

It can be especially tricky to let loose at a holiday party if you have any children or young siblings with food sensitivities. Food Allergy Research & Education suggests going over “the rules” right before you arrive so that it remains fresh in their minds. Also, coordinating with your partner or another adult to supervise your young ones in shifts can ensure that they avoid any allergens when it’s your turn to mix and mingle.

Now that you’ve got some helpful tips to keep in mind when it comes to attending holiday parties with food sensitivities don’t forget to have fun and enjoy the holiday season. If you’re constantly stressing out about what food to avoid, holiday parties can be more of a chore than a celebration. That’s why it’s always best to let your food sensitivities take the back seat once in a while so you can let loose and remove some of your self-imposed restrictions — don’t forget to have your cake and eat it too!

Author Bio: Andrea Simpson is a dog-lover with a life-long allergy to chocolate and nuts. She loves to cook healthy recipes in her spare time and is currently studying Nutrition Science to develop her own recipes.
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