With a holiday upon us that most people celebrate, I want to take a moment to give a few words of advice for keeping yourself and your family healthy and safe. (I know that these are all very obvious tips, but it never hurts to be reminded/encouraged.)
Do your children enjoy coloring Easter eggs, but have an egg allergy? You have a couple of options allowing this time-tested activity to remain fun and safe.
- The boiling process for the egg should kill off any residue egg from the shell, allowing even an egg allergic person to handle and decorate the egg.
- If the egg allergy is too sensitive for even touch after boiling, decorate plastic eggs. Buy candy, fun stickers and glitter glue and let the child have fun filling and decorating a plastic egg. In fact, a child would probably much rather have the candy inside a plastic egg as opposed to the cooked egg inside a real egg.
- Don’t forget to read all candy labels for hidden ingredients, such as albumin (egg), whey or casein (dairy), peanut, etc.
Are you eating away from home for Easter? What are your options for staying safe?
- Of course (and I even find it silly to mention), do not forget your allergy rescue medications (inhaler, Benadryl, epipen, etc.)!
- If eating at a restaurant..
- Try to see if the menu and ingredient information is posted online. If not, call the restaurant to ask if they have an ingredient menu on hand.
- Give server specific instructions on what is/is not allowed. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
- If eating with others, suggest an allergy-friendly restaurant.
- If in doubt, either pack food from home or bring in something from another restaurant. I do this for my son all the time and I have never had anyone say anything about it.
- If eating at someone else’s home…
- Make suggestions for foods that are allowed.
- Ask lots of questions; you do not want to fear cross-contamination. Even a “little” to non-food allergy people can be a “lot” to a food allergy sufferer.
- Offer to bring several “allergy-friendly” dishes.
- Pack your own food.
- Don’t worry about offending someone else by bringing your own food, asking questions or making suggestions. You or your loved ones life is at risk!
- Making an Easter basket for a food allergy child: I don’t think I need to say much about this. Just read all the labels and remember that it’s okay to forgo that 2 ft. tall chocolate Easter bunny.
For those of you who are hosting family with food allergies, I ask that you try to be cautious with your food preparation and accommodating. I have been blessed to already have family members contact me with the menu for Sunday (without my prompting) to make sure all is safe for my boys. I will still probably ask questions, but it means so much to me that they are willing to make adjustments, and not focus on the inconvenience.
Finally, try not to be anxious over a holiday gathering/celebration. Be cautious, but have fun and enjoy your time together.
Do you have any suggestions on how to enjoy a holiday celebration and stay allergy safe? Do you have fun tips for celebrating with food allergy children? Please share with our readers.