Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas! Holiday festivities, fun and FOOD! Lots of FOOD!! For many, dining with family and friends is the highlight of their holiday season.
If you’re one of the many living with food allergies and intolerances, this may NOT be your favorite time of year. Increased work and family get togethers often multiplies one’s worries associated with accidental food exposures, ER visits and keeping your loved ones safe. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any more stressful, imagine having to now manage BRACES!
Talk about an added twist to my food allergy world! As homeroom mom for the past three years, I have it down to a science which foods are SAFE so that every egg, nut and dairy allergic kid can enjoy classroom celebrations. Yes, we STILL have food in our classrooms. Now BRACES? No popcorn? Chocolate? Gummy Worms? What? I literally laughed out loud when I was now asked to navigate this food challenge too!
You know what I realized? For those of us navigating a daily journey with dietary restrictions, we are incredibly adept at adjusting. We are well versed in researching, discovering and finding alternatives for our needs. We, personally, know how to enjoy the holidays SAFELY and without fear. The challenge comes when trying to get others to fully understand our needs without feeling as though we are imposing on their world.
Here is my WISH for you this holiday season. That you can convince those closest to you, that with a little positive spirit and willingness to try out new ideas, we ALL can SAFELY share the holiday festivities!
Don’t let your food allergies, intolerances or BRACES overwhelm you because ‘this year you can’t do what you traditionally do’.
BE YOUR OWN TRADITION MAKER.
DO YOU NOT WANT TO HAVE FOOD? Then Don’t!
Have a ‘WISH BOX’ where you, your friends/spouse, and/or children drop in a piece of paper naming an ACTIVITY they would like to do together. Fill up the box. From Christmas till New Years Day pull out one WISH every day. ENJOY BEING TOGETHER.
READ. Go to the second-hand store and buy some books. Pledge every night to read to each other. ENJOY BEING TOGETHER.
CREATE. Make your own gifts and cards. Have cards from throughout the year? Pull them out, cut them up, and have FUN being creative, while making homemade cards for friends, family and teachers. ENJOY BEING TOGETHER.
DO YOU WANT TO HAVE FOOD? Then Start Planning!
For those of us who are Rudi’s Bakery fans already, we know there are many product ideas available for all of us! Need gluten-free stuffing, bread or tortillas? Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery has you covered! Rudi’s Gluten-Free also has a wonderful pantry guide that you can print and or share with your family in preparation for the big holiday meals.
Focus on what you CAN have! Want a pie? Whipped cream? Rolls? Stuffing? No matter what your limitations are, I can almost guarantee there is an alternative out there for you! You just haven’t discovered it yet!
Remember, everyone has their own holiday challenges. Families… food… braces! As we all take the time to navigate our personal food challenges, don’t lose sight of the true meaning of this time of year.
It’s about ENJOYING BEING TOGETHER, with or without food!
Daniella Knell, owner of Smart Allergy~Friendly Education. As a mom of 2 having 6 of the top 8 food allergens, she is actively involved in allergy awareness advocacy within her community. You can find her presenting motivational classes in local schools and hospitals, blogging and offering one-on-one consulting. Looking for allergy~friendly product ideas and positive inspiration? Be sure to follow her via, www.smartallergyallergyfriendlyeducation.com, Facebook, Linked In, Twitter or Pinterest.