With holiday season almost there, here's a guide to help you accomodate guests with food allergies.
Posted: Nov 26, 2018
Two kids with food allergies have required Eric Katzman to become creative about holiday meals. Those allergies also have required his extended family to be accommodating as well. The key to keeping the cook from becoming frazzled by too many special requests is to plan ahead, says Katzman, a public relations consultant.
Not using dairy in mashed potatoes, for instance. "We find that oil mixed with some onions in the potatoes forms a sort of casserole that my wife's family calls mashed potato pie," he says.
Chef Brian Schreiber faced the same challenge a few holidays ago when the family Thanksgiving dinner grew larger with the inclusion of his stepmother's family. The first step, he says, is to ask your invited guests about any food allergies. "Food allergies can develop over time, and you may be surprised to learn that even those close to you developed a new allergy over the years," Schreiber says.
It's a good idea to prepare allergy-friendly foods at a separate time to minimize the risk of cross-contact, says Toby Amidor, author of "The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook." She says "preparing for guests with food allergies doesn't mean you need to prepare more food or special dishes. But, you may need to do a little extra homework."
The holidays are a time of inclusion, but no one with food allergies expects anyone to bend over backward for him or her, nor should a host feel like she has to, says certified nutrition coach Jenny Finke, founder of Good for You Gluten Free. "You can now find delicious recipes that are free of some or all or the top eight food allergies," says Amidor, a registered dietitian. Many traditional holiday foods are naturally gluten-free and vegan, says Kerry Clifford, a registered Chicago dietitian for Fresh Thyme Farmers Market.
Specifically, fruits and vegetables such as white potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, corn, cranberry sauce and green beans would fit into most diets, she says. "One tip to easily satisfy someone following a specific diet would be to separate items before you add things to them like butter, sugar or salt," she says. "Someone following a gluten-free diet may also avoid bread products or even gravy or beverages that contain wheat, barley or rye."
Ingredient substitutions are fairly easy to make, according to Schreiber. Milk substitutes: Soy milk, rice milk, almond milk.
Substitutes for cream and/or butter: Margarine, soy yogurt.
Substitutes for eggs: One packet of gelatin and two tablespoons of warm water.
Substitutes for nuts: Any type of seed, dry cereals, sunflower or soy nut butter.
Read more about "Ways to accommodate guests with food allergies" on the Daily Hampshire Gazette.
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Phone: (512) 804-0000
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A well-established institution in Austin and Round Rock, Allergies & Asthma Clinic provides the latest, proven and most up-to- date diagnostic treatment options in allergy and asthma care. The Clinic offers allergy testing, allergy shots, allergy dro