Tips for Living with Food Allergies

Hosting Allergic Guests

  • Let your guests know you’re interested in feeding them well, and seek their advice.
  • Ask what they can’t eat, and how cautious you should be about exposure.If their reactions are severe, avoid serving those foods altogether. Tweaking your menu beats a trip to the emergency room.
  • Avoid cross-contamination from earlier food preparation by using clean equipment and surfaces.
  • Use fresh, whole foods when possible.
  • When using packaged foods, read labels carefully for warnings required by the FDA for the 8 common allergens.
  • If theirs is an uncommon allergy, ask for help identifying unexpected ways the ingredient might be listed.
  • Check labels even if you’ve used that food in the past, since ingredients change.
  • If you’re stumped about what to make, ask what they enjoy eating. 

Dining Out with Allergies

  • Let your hosts know in advance specifically what you need to avoid.
  • If it’s appropriate, offer to bring a dish for everyone.
  • Recognize that they may not have the experience cooking without those ingredients.
  • Ask how you can help make it easier to feed you.
  • Accidents can happen, so always bring your medications.

 8 common allergens

  1. milk
  2. wheat
  3. eggs
  4. soy
  5. peanuts
  6. tree nuts
  7. shellfish
  8. fin fish
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