Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Holidays with Food Allergies and Eosinophilic Esophagitis

Thanksgiving has passed and the winter holidays are quickly approaching.  Many parents who are new to food allergies and restricted diets are undoubtedly panicking, not sure what their kids will be able to eat, if anything at all, and hoping to make the holidays special without focusing on food.  Thankfully, we now have plenty of information at our fingertips.  There are some really good suggestions for dealing with the holidays and any special event, regardless of your dietary needs.  

I just came across a wonderful PDF booklet with allergy-friendly suggestions for celebrating Christmas.  It was put together by Kids With Food Allergies:  Take a look at the recommendations for a food-free holiday as well as the recipes for candy canes, rice nog and gingerbread cookies, to see if they might be safe for your family, or if you can modify them to make them safe.  

There is also a PDF for celebrating Chanukkah:, which includes two latke recipes (white potato and sweet potato).

They have various pamphlets with ideas for dealing with the different holidaysas well as an article with some tips from Psychologist John F. Taylor, Ph.D., author of the book, "Why Can't I Eat That!  Helping Kids Obey Medical Diets."  

Just before Thanksgiving, they also provided the following allergy-friendly recipes:

Just-Sugar Lollipops:

Homemade Candy Canes:

Sugar Sculptures:

Sugar Shapes:

Hokey Pokey or Honeycomb:

You can find lots of wonderful allergy-friendly recipes at: 

Kids With Food Allergies:  (many require membership, which is quite worthwhile, but some are free).

FAAN (Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network) also has plenty of recipes on their site

LivingWithout Magazine (lots of allergy-friendly and gluten-free recipes in their magazine and on their site)

Cybele Pascal's website and cookbooks:

APFED:  Recipes and suggestions and their "Extreme Cooking for Exceptional Diets" cookbook 

I also have some of my personal cookbook recommendations in the EosMom Store.

There are so many more resources; too many to list, but I think this is a good start and hope it will be helpful.  

As for my own family, thanks to swallowed Flovent, my son has been able to eat holiday meals without restriction for the first time since he was 6 years old.   However, some of the things that you would assume would be a hit were foreign to him, and were not automatically welcomed with an open mouth.  He's getting used to them, though.  

My daughter still has to avoid dairy, and I found a really good french toast recipe, which we made on Thanksgiving morning and will again on Christmas.  The recipe is found on the carton of So Delicious Coconut Nog, or you can also find it here, on the manufacturer's website.  It calls for gluten-free bread (use whatever bread is safe for you) and uses bananas in lieu of eggs.  Since we didn't have to avoid eggs or glutens this Thanksgiving, I just used my own recipe and substituted the coconut nog for milk.  It was absolutely AMAZING!!!  After the holidays, my son will discontinue the Flovent and will re-trial bananas to see if they are safe.  If they aren't, I will have to see if I can find another substitution so that I can use this recipe in the future.   

Whichever holiday you are celebrating, I wish everyone a happy, healthy, and peaceful holiday season and all of the best in the coming year. 

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