Allergies : Safe and Happy Holidays

We're entering the season that revolves around family, friends, fun -- and of course, food. The holidays can be a stressful time for all of us, and for families dealing with food allergies, they pose an extra challenge. Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) offers some tips to help you have a safe and fun holiday season.

1. Stockpile recipes. Having a variety of go-to, allergen-free recipes (appetizers, make-ahead meals, desserts, etc.) can help ease the stress of cooking. When a friend or family member asks what they can bring to your party or dinner, offer a few safe recipes for them to choose from.

2. Take a refresher course on cross-contact. There's lots of cooking and baking going on in the kitchen this time of year, so it's not uncommon to make a mistake when it comes to cross-contact. Take a few minutes to review FARE's information on safely preparing food and eliminating cross-contact.

3. Plan ahead. Contact friends and family to see who is planning to host events so there are fewer surprises. This is also a great time to remind any hosts or visitors about any food allergies in your family.

4. Have an emergency plan. Remember to take epinephrine auto-injectors wherever you go! Review your emergency care plan with visiting family members who could be called upon to help in an emergency.

5. Laugh about it! Keeping your spirits up and a sense of humor can help you stay in the holiday spirit.

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