Christmas Meal: Beware Of Allergies!
The holiday season is a time to gather around a well-stocked table. However, the traditional Christmas meal can become a headache if one of the guests has food allergies. Here is a practical guide to limit the risk of allergic reactions.
Why is this a risky time?
The holiday season is synonymous with long meals and lots of different foods. But for people with food allergies, it is difficult to enjoy the feast because there are so many risky foods.
Eggs, wheat, milk, shellfish and nuts are traditionally on the menu for the Christmas meal. Therefore, if you suffer from allergies or if you are hosting someone with allergies, the utmost caution is required.
What are the problematic foods?
People with allergies should avoid the food or foods that cause their allergy at all costs. The risk foods vary from person to person, but some products are known to be particularly allergenic.
Here is a list of foods that can trigger reactions:
- Spices (it is advisable to cook them to limit allergies)
- Snails (because even after cooking they cause asthma attacks in people allergic to dust mites by Cross-Allergy)
- gluten present in breads, cakes and cookies
- milk present in cheeses but also in some desserts and some frozen logs
- exotic fruits
- Peanuts and nuts (present in Nougat and chocolates)
- the Sulfites contained in wines, champagne and spirits.
When organizing the Christmas meal, it is therefore essential to ask your guests if they have allergies.
How to limit the risks?
If you or one of your children has multiple food allergies, you can :
- bring a separate meal for the allergic person
- or inform the person receiving you in advance.
You should also:
- be wary of hidden ingredients (such as hazelnuts in praline chocolates)
- Be careful with desserts (which often contain nuts and peanuts...)
- bring an anti-histamine, a bronchodilator and at least two adrenaline auto-injectors to treat any allergic reaction and avoid anaphylactic shock.
If you are hosting multiple guests:
- Find out about any allergies and cross-allergies they may have.
- adapt the meal accordingly
- Beware of Christmas decorations: the Christmas tree, artificial snow sprays and scented candles can cause eye irritation, as well as skin and respiratory reactions (coughing, sneezing).
Keep these tips in mind and all your guests will be able to enjoy a happy holiday season in peace.