Thanksgiving During the Pandemic by Looking Beyond Food

If you’re like my family, you’re probably wondering what the holidays will look like in 2020. Celebrating Thanksgiving during the pandemic is already a challenge–and that’s before you factor in raising children with food allergies! I’ve said it before, but Thanksgiving is not all about the food. In a year where many long-standing holiday traditions are either going to be tough or impossible to hold onto, it’s more important than ever that we remember this. My goal is to help families come up with safe strategies for the “new normal.”

Embrace New Traditions

Some people (including my husband and I before entering the world of food allergy) think of the time now through early January 1st as “eating season.” So many of the major holidays coming up incorporate food in a major way, so it’s understandable. But for everyone this year–and for food allergy families every year–the idea of passing food around to one another or even sampling off loved ones’ plates can be a major red flag.

Our family has made a conscious effort to start new non-food-related traditions that focus on the spirit of the holidays to safely celebrate Thanksgiving during the pandemic.

One of our newest traditions encourages our children take the time to write letters to people (family members) that we don’t get to see often. This gets them in the right mindset, as it helps them to stop and think about all of the wonderful people they are thankful to have in their lives. And this gratitude is important – especially in the current environment.

This year, despite all of the craziness, we have so much to be thankful for–like our health during unprecedented times and after some scary moments with food allergies.

Our writing of letters to remote family members is particularly important this year, as it creates a safe way to spread our holiday spirit without anyone taking unnecessary risk.

I would encourage your family to consider adopting similar (or even the same) alternative traditions to make the holidays safer for everyone.

From my family to yours, I hope you have a safe, healthy, and happy Thanksgiving and Holiday Season!


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