With work parties, Christmas treats, social occasions filling up our calendars – the festive season can be a stressful month for those suffering from food allergies and intolerances. More thought and planning ahead is required for this time of year, but don’t let it stop you from making the most of the festive season and having fun. We have shared our top tips to enjoy this joyful season with minimal stress.
Enhance digestion with enzymatic fruits
These enzymes aid in the breakdown of foods and help to reduce inflammation within the digestive tract. Try snacking on papaya, kiwi fruit, fresh pineapple or squeezing fresh lemon/lime into your water.
It’s good to be bitter
Bitter foods increase gastric secretions and prepare the body for chemical digestion. This can be beneficial when there is the chance of overindulging. Start with a fresh rocket salad, have a shot of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice in water before meals, add a good splash of good quality apple cider vinegar to dress your salads.
Do your research
Always read the ingredients list and packaging thoroughly to ensure a product is safe from a particular allergen. Don’t forget to check for food chemicals (E-numbers) to ensure minimal artificial colours/ preservatives/flavour enhancers or preservative – as these additives often trigger allergic-type reactions.
Avoid leaving it to the last minute
Communicate any known allergies or intolerances with guests ahead of time. Lists specifying special dietary requirements or acceptable foods are effective tools to share with guests/hosts for any special event. If you are travelling to someone else’s house, offer to prepare food for yourself or your child if you don’t want the host to alter their menu.
Stock up on snacks
It may be a while before you came across appropriate food at a party or event, so pack appropriate snacks to allow you to indulge along with the rest of the guests. Fresh fruit, nuts, bliss balls or raw vegetables and a protein dip are easy to pack in small containers (we like steel and glass containers best). Hummus or a green-tahini are delicious dairy-free dips.
Don’t forget about drinks!
Many festive drinks such as eggnog or alcoholic beverages contain allergens including egg or yeast. Remember to bring along your delicious alternatives so you can enjoy the celebrations with the other guests.
Recipe Suggestions & alternatives:
Alternative festive season recipes for food allergies and intolerances:
- Stuffing alternatives: quinoa, rice, polenta, oats, nuts/nut meals
- Christmas pudding/sweet treats: Almond/hazelnut meal based