Thanksgiving is a great time of year for many. Being able to spend the holidays with friends and family sharing good food can lead to great times. If you or someone you know has allergies, Thanksgiving can be a time of year to watch out for triggers that could ruin your holiday. If you find yourself at a party where unknown dishes are being served, it can be hard to avoid allergens. Below are a few tips to consider in order to have a great, allergy-free Thanksgiving for yourself and others.
There are eight foods responsible for about 90 percent of the allergic reactions experienced each year. Those foods are extremely common, especially around Thanksgiving when people from all cultures share their dishes. The eight foods include:
- Crustacean shellfish
- Tree nuts
Some people may panic when they see common ingredients like milk, eggs, and wheat on the list of foods to avoid, but don’t worry. Almost every ingredient known to man has a substitute, and most of the time these substitutes can go undetected. Your guests won’t even know a change was made from wheat to almond flour in grandma’s famous potato rolls. A good way to find alternatives for certain ingredients is to look in the vegan/vegetarian section of your grocery store. The only concern there would be watching out for soy products.
If you don’t want to risk substituting an ingredient that may result in a totally different outcome for the dish, you can search for an allergy-free version of whatever you are trying to make. The Internet has a host of websites dedicated to helping you and your loved ones have an allergy-free Thanksgiving.
It Isn’t Just Food
When thinking about allergies and Thanksgiving, the biggest concern is naturally the food. Other allergens may be present, however, and must be taken into consideration. Cats and dogs pose a threat to many people, even if that threat is just itchy eyes and a runny nose. Locking your pet up while guests are over may not be enough, as some people are allergic to pet dander. Warning your guests about the presence of your furry friend will allow them to take symptom-easing medication prior to their visit so they won’t have to worry about sneezing all over the green bean casserole.
Dust mites are also a common trigger for allergies and asthma. Cleaning your house isn’t just a matter of presenting a neat appearance, it can also save your guests from having an allergic reaction. Washing bedding in hot water and dusting can do the trick to eradicate anything that might cause your guests discomfort during Thanksgiving.
If you are having guests over to your house for Thanksgiving this year, take them into consideration. If you are going over to someone else’s house, ask them about any pets beforehand so you can be prepared. From all of us at Bernstein Allergy Group we hope you are able to have a fun and allergy-free Thanksgiving!