Eating During the Holidays 

Having atopic dermatitis means that there may be some food allergies lurking beneath the surface. If you have problems with gluten, or any other autoimmune difficulties, eating during the holidays may leave you less than jolly.

Tips for eating during the holidays:

Whether you are home for the holidays or dining out, you can be prepared with a few festive foods that are guaranteed to bring Yuletide joy for everyone. Eating with our family has always meant a lot of different dishes being served. One is onion free, another is dairy free or gluten free. I’ve got ideas for you that can spread peace, love, and harmony for all, even those with allergies or atopic dermatitis.

Family gatherings

Most families are well acquainted with each other’s mealtime habits, and tastes, however, during the holiday season, many want to get out the traditional recipes and fix them the good old-fashioned way. If you are dairy, or gluten-free, that may mean avoiding the hot rolls and mashed potatoes.

Extra dishes

I learned early on to prepare an extra dish of any vegetables before seasoning. That made it easy, and special, for my granddaughter to be able to enjoy a dairy free version of mashed, and sweet potatoes, or green beans, and even pumpkin pie.

Bring your own dish

If you are visiting friends or relatives who are not aware, you can offer to bring your own small meals that are pre-cooked and ready to heat. Our little one snacked on the family turkey with home cooked sweet potatoes covered in marshmallows. She never noticed the difference. By offering to bring your own dish, the host or hostess gets a break too!

Share a recipe

It can be a great way of sharing healthy versions of family favorites when you offer to make your substituted recipes for others. For example, one holiday favorite is a Waldorf Salad, It can be made by substituting mayonnaise with coconut oil type salad dressing. Everyone loves our version that is whipped up with almond milk to coat the apples, raisins, and walnuts in.

Office parties

It can be so tempting to enjoy the spread at the annual office holiday party. But no one wants to go home only to start itching or swelling the morning after. A food allergen hangover can be worse than an alcohol hangover, especially if it creates a headache or stomach troubles.

Be prepared

It’s best to whip out snack items from your desk or scour the table for something you can eat. It’s usually easy to find a veggie tray on any buffet. Watch out for the dressing if you are eating dairy free. Best to munch on a plain carrot than to be queasy or sneezy.

Enjoy the holiday

If you are just beginning an elimination diet, it may be a learning time for everyone. If you don’t want a lot of attention drawn to the fact that you are eating different, just keep it on the down low. We all want our time together to be filled with joy and cheer. You don’t have to be a Grinch when avoiding certain foods. If you bring your own dish, share recipes, or avoid allergens while eating during the holidays, you are sure to be on everyone’s nice list.

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