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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Allergies, Intolerances and Braces - Enjoying Being Together During the Holidays

Holiday Fun With Allergies - S.A.F.E. Tips
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?  Worm gummies?  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 fearThe 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 in 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’. 



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.

Make Crafts for the Holidays - S.A.F.E. Tips 

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!

You probably already have your favorite 'GO-TO' alternatives! Need gluten-free stuffings, breads or tortillas? Rudi's Gluten-Free Bakery has you covered!   Are you egg-free, nut-free and dairy-free?  NO worries!  Rudi's Organic Bakery has breads, tortillas and rolls to meet your needs!  Need dairy-free whipped cream?  There's Rich Whip.  How about an easy dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free pie crust?  There's Pillsbury Pie Crust .

Focus on what you CAN have!  With a little investigating, there is truly hardly anything that will be off limits.  Pies, 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!

ENJOY BEING TOGETHER - Smart Allergy Friendly Education Holiday Tips

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!

Note:  A huge thank you to Rudi's Bakery for sharing my original article, Allergies, Intolerances and Braces - Preparing for Holiday Feasts and Celebrations, and for the opportunity to again blog for them.  If you are living gluten-free, be sure to check out their vast array of products and resources. 


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