The other day we were out at a Christmas brunch with our family, and I found myself repeatedly apologizing for being a pain in the butt about Mason's food allergies. And in my head, I was reprimanding myself for apologizing because it's not like it's my fault he has allergies. I'm just doing my parental job by making sure the hot chocolate is safe, and double-checking that the foods are, too. But there I was: full-on stress mode, and also being utterly too Canadian in my constant apologetic state.
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This made me realize that for many, especially those fairly new to the food allergy world, being an advocate is really ... stressful. And awkward. And when you're already someone who loathes speaking up, it can be downright embarrassing. But it's also the way we protect the allergic people we love and how we spread awareness.
Declining invitations does nobody any good - we don't have to miss out just because of food allergies! We just need everyone to know how to handle them, and know how to communicate these needs. So I've got these helpful tips for navigating social waters this holiday season for those who deal with food allergies.
Sloane Miller, of Allergic Girl, is one of the most incredible food allergy advocates around. She's such an amazing source of information so I was delighted when she responded to me on Twitter when I asked, "Hey #foodallergy folks, if you could give ONE piece of advice for handling food allergies over the holidays, what would it be?". Here's what @allergicgirl replied:
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Twitter user @deevinesunshine hosted an entirely gluten- and dairy-free Thanksgiving dinner that everyone loved, and she offered up a very helpful tip, too:
My friend Lisa (who is @BlueRaveFinn on Twitter) also suggests:
If you have some helpful tips for managing food allergies during the holidays, please share them! I love hearing from all of you.
Image Source: Julemiddag on Flickr
Alexandria writes at YummyMummyClub on her blog Irritated by Allergies.