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5 Ways to Survive the Holidays with a Child with Food Sensitivity


Try these 5 easy steps to make your food-allergic child happy during the holiday season.

PLAN AHEAD

It can be difficult to watch all your friends enjoy a sugary treat. Keep a stash of allergy-friendly goodies in the car or your child’s backpack or classroom. Enjoy Life makes some great choices.
This way, in case a party or last-minute treat pops up, you are prepared to give your child a snack so they do not feel left out. Another good trick is to keep homemade goodies in your freezer, as they can defrost in an hour and you will be in control of what ingredients are in the treats if you are able to make them yourself. Also, know where the closest bakeries and groceries stores are in case of emergency.

SURROUND YOURSELF WITH GOOD SUPPORT

Make sure that family and friends are aware of your child’s food allergies and also be sure to ask what will be served, to help avoid meltdowns. Also, while asking the host what your child is being served may feel awkward, your child will be safe knowing he or she is only eating foods that are healthy. The best bet is surrounding yourself with understanding people who can help manage the food allergy instead.

PICK YOUR BATTLES

Bringing your gluten-intolerant child to a gingerbread-decorating event may be a cause for a major meltdown. It is unfortunate that your child is missing out, but sometimes what he or she doesn’t know won’t hurt him or her. Instead, take your child to tree lightings, movie nights, craft parties, and religious events. If this doesn’t sit well with you, there are allergy-friendly alternatives for most food-guided events.

KNOW YOUR BAKING ALTERNATIVES

When cooking or baking in your kitchen, know what you can use to replace ingredients in any recipe. Cup for Cup Gluten-Free Flour Mix is good for most gluten-sensitivities, and it is one of the better mixes when baking. Here are some other tips:

Use ¼ cup applesauce with 1sp baking powder to replace an egg in any recipe

Try using almond, soy or coconut milk as a non-dairy alternative in any recipe. Most baking oils (sunflower seed or coconut oil) can be used to replace butter for dairy intolerances.

Sunflower or pumpkin seed butters are available on Amazon, Thrive Market and most grocery stores for any nut allergies.

DON’T STRESS

Children have a six sense when it comes to adult stress. They are very tuned in to the adults in their lives, and aware of our stress and conversations, even when we think they are not listening. Saying “I brought you this,” or “you can have this or that (allergy-alternatives)” is VERY different than “no, you can’t have that,” or “that cookie is not good for you.” Teach your children to accept their allergies or intolerances as part of life, instead of stressing about it. If you model this acceptance, they are more likely to accept your alternative and have a good time.

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