For many people, Thanksgiving is a time to gather with family and friends, give thanks, and enjoy a delicious meal. But if you or someone in your family has food allergies, the holiday can be fraught with anxiety. Will there be safe foods to eat? How will I keep my loved one safe?
At Allergy & Asthma Specialists, we understand how difficult it can be to navigate the holidays with food allergies. That’s why we’re sharing top tips for preparing a safe and delicious Thanksgiving dinner for all your guests enjoy.
1. Talk to Your Guests Ahead of Time
If you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner, one of the best things you can do is reach out to your guests ahead of time to find out if anyone has any dietary restrictions. This will not only help you plan your menu accordingly, but it will also allow you to make your guests feel comfortable and welcome. No one wants to show up to a holiday dinner only to find out there’s nothing safe for them to eat!
2. Make Sure Your Kitchen is Allergen-Free
If you’re cooking for someone with severe allergies, it’s important to take extra precautions in your kitchen. This means thoroughly cleaning all surfaces, utensils, nd cookware that will be used while preparing the allergy-safe foods. You should also have separate cutting boards and knives for different types of food, and make sure all ingredients are stored properly (i.e., away from potential allergens).
3. Plan Your Menu Carefully
When it comes to food allergies, the best defense is a good offense. By planning your menu carefully and taking into consideration all potential allergens, you can avoid any surprises on Thanksgiving Day. When in doubt, err on the side of caution and choose recipes that are naturally free of common allergens like dairy, eggs, wheat/gluten, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish.
4. Be Vigilant About Cross-Contamination
Even if you’re careful about what ingredients you use in your recipes, cross-contamination can still occur if you’re not careful. Again, make sure you’re using separate cutting boards and knives for different types of food, and clean all surfaces thoroughly between uses. You should also avoid using shared serving utensils (like serving spoons) unless they’ve been washed thoroughly between uses.
Thanksgiving is a time to gather with family and friends—not worry about food allergies! By following these simple tips, you can prepare a safe and delicious Thanksgiving feast that everyone in your family can enjoy.
If you are looking for additional help or advice when it comes to preparing a Thanksgiving dinner that is safe for those suffering from food allergies, please do not hesitate to contact Allergy & Asthma Specialists today. A team of experts is more than happy to provide you with tips and suggestions on how to make your holiday meal enjoyable for everyone in attendance, regardless of their dietary restrictions. Happy Thanksgiving!