Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia

Managing Food Allergies During the Holidays

Managing Food Allergies During the Holidays

Preventing an Allergy Attack During Your Holiday Meal

From minor to undiagnosed food allergies, there's always a risk of reacting to something you eat at a holiday party. It can be difficult for patients with food allergies to navigate your holiday meal without the risk of a reaction. Here are six essential tips to help you manage your festivities from our board-certified specialists at Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia.

1. Bring your medication with you.

Whenever you're eating out or enjoying food that you didn't make yourself, there's always a risk of ingesting an ingredient you have an allergy to. When dining out, be sure to bring your medicine, including allergy drops, inhalers, and most importantly - your EpiPen.

2. Prepare for the unexpected.

Even if you've only had a minor allergic reaction in the past, you still risk having extreme symptoms whenever you ingest a food you're allergic to. Be sure to let your party know about your allergy and let them know what medicine you take in case of an allergic reaction.

3. Ask the host about the ingredients.

Before you agree to attend a meal at a friend or family member's home for the holidays, be sure to let them know you have a food allergy. Additionally, if a guest is bringing a dish to your holiday meal, ask them to avoid a dish that could trigger an allergy attack. Ask your host exactly what's in the dishes they've prepared, so you know what's safe and what to avoid eating.

 

Hosting does give you control over what’s being served and the ability to plan allergen-free safe foods, so ask your guests if there are any allergy concerns. The same holds true for guests who plan on bringing their own foods or items to share.

4. Avoid Cross-Contamination

For people with severe food allergies, cross-contamination can be enough to trigger a dangerous reaction. You can prevent this by washing your hands, utensils, and workstation after eating or handling food.

Prepare safe foods, seal them, and keep them separate before making foods with potential allergens. When serving, use separate utensils and be careful to not mix them. Labeling unsafe foods — such as those containing allergens like nuts, dairy, wheat, or shellfish — and keeping an eye on children with allergies can also help prevent cross-contamination.

5. Track your symptoms.

Many patients experience allergic reactions that progress over time. During your meal, track your symptoms to understand if your condition is worsening. Trouble breathing, widespread hives, and stomach pain are signs you should see your doctor.

Those suffering from severe allergies can sustain extremely harmful side effects or allergy-related attacks if they are not careful about what they eat or what materials they are exposed to on a daily basis.

6. Contact your allergist if you feel sick.

If you experience an allergy attack while eating your holiday meal, use your EpiPen or Benadryl as prescribed and contact one of our board-certified specialists as soon as possible for an appointment.

Alpharetta Food Allergy Diagnosis and Treatment

Schedule your same-day appointment with Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia today to discuss allergy shot treatment options. (770) 285-5200