7 Tips for a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving with Food Allergies

I can hardly believe Thanksgiving is just a couple of days away! Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays because it is all about spendingThanksgivingfeast time with family, reflecting on everything we have to be grateful for, and of course, enjoying a great meal. Despite all of the warm feelings that the holidays bring, the holidays can also be a little stressful with all of the travel and preparation that goes into pulling off a special get together.  When you add in food allergies, the stress level often gets ratcheted up a notch. The good news is you don’t have to let food allergies stop you from enjoying Thanksgiving.

Here are my top 7 tips for having a safe and happy Thanksgiving:

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It’s Not Too Early to Teach Your Preschooler How to Manage Food Allergies

I had a “proud mom” moment yesterday when I picked up my 4-year old daughter from Pre-K yesterday.  She told me that her class had cucumbers andfantasticallyfreekidswithdough ranch dressing for snack yesterday.  I felt a brief lump in my throat because although my daughters have outgrown their dairy allergies they all have an anaphylactic egg allergy.

To my relief, she also told me that she informed her teacher and her friends that she could not have ranch dressing because she is allergic to egg. Whew!

I was impressed that she remembered that ranch dressing often contains milk and egg ingredients.  I was even more impressed after she told me that her classmate told her that the ranch dressing was okay for her to eat but she insisted that she could not eat it.

That shows a lot of awareness for a young 4-year old, which brings me to my point:  It is never too early to teach your preschooler how to manage food allergies.  They soak things in like a sponge and grasp concepts quickly.  While I would never expect a child to be able to handle food allergies with the same level of maturity and skill as an adult, it is beneficial to teach them how to be their own self-advocates when you are not around.

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