It’s Not All About the Food

How one Food Allergy Family Celebrates Through the Season of Eating.

November is when we all take the time to give thanks, and it is my favorite holiday. Which surprises many people as food is such a big part of the day. However, the food is only a small part of what we focus on. Don’t worry, throughout this month we will share tips on how to navigate some of the complicated issues that arise when managing food allergies and holidays, but for today I want to share with you how my family celebrates Thanksgiving.

Ten years ago, when my husband and I were new to the world of food allergies with a baby who had just turned one with multiple food allergies, my husband referred to Thanksgiving to Christmas as the eating season. He was not wrong. I come from a big loud family who loves to eat. We gather around giant plates of food, everyone trying “a bite” of each other’s plates, and until I saw food as something that could kill my child, I always found this endearing. So, we changed our approach to the holiday season while still enjoying all the food and family events.

A New Tradition

Every November, we make or buy a small wreath (We have used this one for the last few years) to write one thing a day that we are thankful for. This is a great activity that puts everyone in the mindset for gratitude. It helps everyone slow down and focus not on what we have and want, but what and who we have to be grateful for. I personally enjoy how we take conscious moments each day to push aside the message of need and want that gets pushed at us by retail earlier and earlier each year. (Anyone else sees Christmas decorations in the store in September?!)

When I pull out the past wreath, we all get to reflect, laugh, and share about what was grateful for in years passed. Somethings have changed like Elmo is no longer top of our boys’ list, but Mom and Dad are. I encourage you to start a tradition that fits with your family that celebrates the holidays in a way that focuses on the season or reason and not just the food.


P.S. If you are looking for a few great and easy recipes check out my favorite allergy-friendly recipes at AllerCusine

The Food Allergy Institute