Thanksgiving is a time to get together with friends and family, celebrating all that we’re thankful for, and that often includes an abundance of delicious foods. But for those with food allergies, Thanksgiving can be yet another stressful mealtime. Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening threat to those who have food allergies, and even the smallest contamination can end in tragedy.
Allergens can be sneaky, so it’s important to know all the risks.
Did you know that some turkeys are injected with butter (dairy!) and may actually contain gluten?
Not all stuffing is created equal! Some may be cross-contaminated with nuts or peanuts.
And many of our traditional recipes are full of allergens.
So it’s always best to exercise caution. Here are some ways to ensure you have a safe, happy, and allergy-friendly Thanksgiving meal:
Having the meal at your home?
• Ask all your guests about food allergies that they may have
• Inform guests about your own food allergies, so they don’t accidentally bring anything dangerous
• Plan an allergy-friendly Thanksgiving menu to reduce the risk of cross-contamination or accidental exposure
Having dinner away from home?
• Communicate your allergy needs to the host
• Offer to help with the meal preparation
• Be prepared with an emergency allergy plan and always carry an epinephrine auto-injector (or two!)
Celebrate Without Food
Not sure family dinner is a safe option? Opt to get together after the food has been served. Join friends and family for these alternative Thanksgiving activities that may become beloved traditions!
• Have everyone write down what they’re most thankful for on a slip of paper and put them in a bowl. Then let each person draw a random paper from the bowl and read it aloud.
• Plan ahead and do a food drive around your community. Food banks are always in need and this is a great way to demonstrate how thankful you are.
• Sit down and enjoy some great Thanksgiving crafts with the whole gang.
• Take a fall hike. Whether you live in an urban, suburban or country location, taking a walk at this time of year is always fun.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
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