Fall has begun here in Naples, Florida. Which for us southwest Floridians means we can model our winter scarfs while still wearing shorts and sandals. It also means we begin gearing up for the holiday season. Nothing says Happy Thanksgiving like a bite of that classic family meal, no matter what that meal may be.
However, when you or one of your holiday guest’s experience food allergies, they are often forced to avoid those great traditional meals. To that end, we’ve gathered together a list of common Thanksgiving meals known to contain common allergens, as well as link to some great recipes that are free of the most common allergies.
Common Thanksgiving Meals that contain allergens
The Suspect: The Turkey
The Allergen: While the turkey itself does not include the 8 most common allergens (milk, fish, eggs, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts, crustacean, & soybeans) a self-basting turkey (and the included dairy) may include dairy, soy, and wheat.
The Alternative: Turkey is a Thanksgiving classic, purchase a natural turkey and keep an eye on the ingredients and you should be in the clear.
The Suspect: Stuffing
The Allergen: Wheat
The Alternative: If one or more of your Thanksgiving guests are allergic to wheat, there are wheat-free stuffing options. Kidswithfoodallergies.org has two delicious sounding options for stuffing.
The Suspect: Mashed Potatoes
The Allergen: Mashed potatoes can be a repeat offender as it often contains milk and wheat.
The Alternative: We understand that mashed potatoes are a must-have for most thanksgiving gatherings. Instead of milk, try substituting chicken broth and rice milk. Butter? Margarine. As for gravy, follow the link to an allergy free gravy.
The Suspect: Pumpkin Pie
The Allergen: Gluten and dairy.
The Alternative: If pumpkin pie is a must, there is a cornucopia of options for gluten-free, vegan pumpkin pie recipes. Here’s one we’re really excited to try!
It’s not just food allergies you need to look out for on Thanksgiving
While food allergies are often the main concern when it comes to holiday allergy triggers, environmental triggers can also come into play. If you are expecting an allergy prone guest this holiday season, consider the following:
- Does your guest soap contain fragrances that may cause an allergic reaction?
- Do you have pets? If yes, simply keeping them locked in a back bedroom will not stop your guest from experiencing a reaction.
- How long has it been since you gave your home a good dusting?
Dust mites are a very common allergy and asthma trigger.Luckily, if you or one of your holiday dinner guests experience allergy or asthma attacks due to environmental factors there are steps you can take to reduce the effects. If your allergies are activated by grandma’s perfume you may be able to take an otc pill, but be aware that your allergy relief will only be temporary. If you want to try the method that is closest to a cure for allergies speak with your allergist about beginning an allergy shot treatment.
And in the holiday spirit, here are Even More Recipies for an Allergy Free Holiday
*Always be sure to read the ingredients carefully before determining if a food is allergy free