My neighbor started a baking business recently, so I ordered a Pumpkin Loaf for our family Thanksgiving feast. First thing she asked was, “Nuts or no nuts?” I figured she was asking because she knows I’m president of AANMA and might have allergy-based dietary restrictions… but no! She said people with food allergies generally don’t wait for her to ask, but people who don’t like the taste of texture of the nuts usually forget to mention it until she’s taking the dessert out of the oven.
I’m also bringing fruit salad, my specialty. (It’s a secret recipe so simple it shouldn’t be secret, but I prefer to keep it a mystery.) However, a family member on my husband’s side has some digestive intolerances (not food allergies) so I make a side dish of the salad without the secret ingredient.
All this Thanksgiving food prep reminds me of the First MA Report newsletter I wrote 24 years ago – and yes, this is my way of saying we are now celebrating 24 years of service! The cover story was about making Thanksgiving a feast to remember take by taking control of the situation and not letting food allergy fears sacrifice any of the spirit of the holiday.
During this time of holiday feasts and treats, parents of children with a history of food-allergy-related anaphylaxis will be on their guard – as they should. So will other family members who can’t eat salt, certain types of fat or artificially sweetened foods.
If you are cooking or bringing food to a celebration, ask family members and guests about dietary issues and be thankful that today we have so many ways to serve healthy and tasty foods that everyone can enjoy. And if you or your child is the one with the allergies, know that mistakes can happen and be prepared in case they do. Then just go and have a great holiday!