Now that the holidays are upon us, how are you feeling?
Holidays evoke all sorts of feelings, some positive and others negative.
As parents of children with food allergies, we often have the added pressure of balancing our children’s safety while including them in the holiday festivities.
Would you like to :
•Decrease the stress related to the holidays?
•Lower the burden on family and friends?
•Mix in some fun activities?
•Maximize the safety of your children?
Answering these 3 questions will help you to create a safe, inclusive and fun holiday experience for you and your family.
3 ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS
1. What Can We Do In advance of the Event?
Consider hosting the event
- Gives you more control of the food.
- Allows you to make safe substitutions.
- You may decide whether or not to have people contribute to the meal.
Invited guest – if you are eating out at friends or family
- Speak with the host early and alert them of allergies or other food restrictions.
- Ask about potentially safe options.
- Consider bringing your child’s food as well as a safe dish for your child and others.
Take the pulse of the family
- Assess how receptive your family members are to accommodating your child’s food allergies.
- Communicate your wants and needs.
- If the family is unwilling to help create a safe environment for your child, consider making alternative plans such as visiting after dinner or another day while continuing to educate.
Be creative! – Think of alternatives to traditional celebrations
- Attend a concert or sporting event.
- Take a trip to an allergy friendly destination.
- Catch a holiday movie.
2. What Can We Do Before Leaving the House?
- Bring at least 2 epinephrine auto-injectors.
- Have your emergency action plan handy.
- Carry other necessary medications.
- Bring the safe food for your child.
- Bring your safe extra dish for others.
- Feed kids before leaving so they don’t arrive immediately in search of food.
- Use the event as a teachable moment to review safe rules.
- Explain to your children that they can politely decline food.
- Prepare your children for potential questions and answers related to their food allergies.
3. What Can We Do During the Event?
- Arrive early and help with set up.
- Identify potential problem areas.
- Communicate with the host about food situation.
- Remind them to eat their safe food.
- Ask if they can be served first if eating food from the main table to decrease cross contact.
- Enlist help from family members or others to watch your child, if young, for short periods while you socialize with others.
Reflect on the purpose of the holiday.
Focus on the people not food.
- Make new memories while enjoying family and friends!
Need more help?
Attend my FREE 30 minutes mini masterclass on Navigating the Holidays with Children Thursday December 5th where we dive into these 3 questions.
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