As if there isn’t enough to do to get ready for the holidays, preparing your house for visitors can be stressful. And, treading into the unfamiliar territory of food allergies can completely overwhelm hosts.
Well, never fear! Allergy Shmallergy is here to help and get you started to safely hosting a guest with food allergies.
1. Speak with the food allergic guest or parent (if a child has food allergies) and understand the scope of his/her food allergies.
2. Ask for a list of a few foods that would be helpful for the guest to have on hand. For example, my parents always make sure there is soy milk in the fridge and safe cereal for my dairy and nut-allergic son.
3. You may wish to consider keeping a basket or clearing out a small drawer to keep safe snacks and food for your guest. This is especially helpful if your food allergic guest is a child. By knowing where to find safe food, this may reduce the chances that he/she will accidentally reach for something that could cause a reaction.
4. As for the kitchen, if you regularly cook with your guest’s allergen, you’ll want to thoroughly wash the cutlery, cutting boards, counters, pots and pans that you plan on using to prepare food. A run through the dishwasher should sanitize them, but a good scrub in the sink will work as well.
5. Discuss your menu with your food allergic guest. In a perfect world, everything would be safe for him/her, but try to ensure that he/she can make a meal out of what is on the table . Check here for easy substitutions:
And, there are many options for dairy-free margarine and butter in the average supermarket. Look for Smart Balance Organic and Earth’s Balance brands to name a few.
6. Finally, be sure to learn how to use your guest’s emergency medications. You probably won’t need to use them, but you’ll feel much more confident just knowing how.
For more tips on hosting a guest with food allergies, read here: