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Andrew S. Kim, MD
Holiday Food Allergies
Allergy & Asthma Center Of Fairfax
. http://www.allergyasthmadoctors.com/

Holiday Food Allergies

Do you look forward to the holiday season with its bountiful buffets and delectable desserts? Unfortunately, the holidays can prove to be troublesome for people with food allergies. Your chance of accidentally ingesting foods that can cause an allergic reaction increases during the holiday season. It can take only a tiny amount of the offending food to trigger a potentially dangerous reaction.

The most common food allergies include milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish or shellfish. These allergens are often used as ingredients in baked goods and appetizers that are so plentiful throughout the holidays.

Tips for Safe Holiday
Food Consumption

Homemade items do not have ingredient lists and can be contaminated with small amounts of allergenic foods through contact with storage containers, baking sheets and utensils.

If you are highly sensitive to foods, be prepared with self-injectable epinephrine when attending a holiday party where unrecognized food allergens may be hiding.

If you are a parent of a food allergic child, remember to pack a snack for when school classes have holiday parties. This will help ensure your child has something safe to eat.

Try to avoid these holiday party foods if you are allergic to their main ingredients, such as eggs, milk, wheat and nuts





Glazed rolls/bread

Ice cream

Macaroni mixes


Some salad dressings (they could contain hidden sources of fish such as anchovies in Caesar salad)

Mixed nuts

Vegetable/chip dips

Symptoms Of
an Allergic Reaction

Symptoms of an allergic food reaction can include itching or a tingling sensation in the mouth, swelling of the tongue and the throat, difficulty breathing, hives, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, a drop in blood pressure, and loss of consciousness. Symptoms usually appear within minutes or up to two hours after the person has eaten the food. These symptoms could be life-threatening.

The best treatment for a food allergy is strict avoidance of the allergy-causing food. Reading ingredient labels for all foods is the key to maintaining control over the allergy. Make sure family and friends are aware of your condition, and inform them of what to do in case of an emergency.

Fortunately, having a food allergy does not mean you have to go through a holiday without enjoying the holiday foods. You can substitute allergy-free ingredients in your favorite recipes. Happy Holidays!

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