Food Allergy Counseling

Food Allergy Counseling
Sloane Miller, Food Allergy Counselor (Picture © Noel Malcolm 2013)

Monday, November 29, 2010

No Nuts / With Nuts

The last few years, I’ve spent Thanksgiving with my first cousin Gregg and his family. Gregg’s wife Lynn coordinates the meal, providing the main dishes and then we all supplement with sides.

She does serve nuts but that’s okay with me; as long as I know where they are, I can avoid them. There’s no fish during our Thanksgiving and wheat is easily avoided as most everything is made from scratch and Lynn can tell me the ingredients.

*If you feel uncomfortable with your allergens even in the room, talk with a food allergy coach about your anxiety and a board certified allergist about the real risks to you.*

Before the day, Lynn and I go over the menu and my food allergy/intolerance needs. I also offer to bring a dish or two. This year Lynn read about the bacon fudge I made over the summer and requested some for dessert. Of course! This time I used some Guittard chocolate samples (Guittard is made in a gluten-free, peanut-free facility. Here’s their allergen statement ) and Applegate organic GF/DF bacon. It was a huge hit. Fudge - so easy to make and so beloved. Who knew.

When I arrived on site, Lynn walked me we go through the dishes that had nuts that I should steer clear of. Usually, there’s one pie with nuts on the dessert table (I don’t eat desserts anyway) and someone brings a sweet potato dish that has nuts. I asked my mom if she would make a safe sweet potato dish for me this year. She did and there were two sweet potato with marshmallow dishes, clearly marked.

With Nuts:


No Nuts:


Everything had its own serving utensil. And I'm the designated first on the buffet line. It was all that simple. And delish.

How was your Thanksgiving? Did it go well? Did you institute any new strategies? Or were there things you’d do differently next year?

4 comments:

Scotty said...

Since I have only had food issues for about 4 yrs. and live a distance from extended family, this is the first year I've had to deal with family visiting. I thought it would be easy with my own kitchen and cooking. I was so wrong. When suddenly dealing with food issues in midlife, its impossible for the elderly parents to understand. They cross-contamaminated everything. Touched everything, utensil issues, food issues, etc. One day I simply gave up eating as it was very necessary to clean counters, fridge handles, ect and would have hurt feelings if I had. Just not as I had imagined.

Dyar Baby Momma said...

This year was the first time I've hosted and the first year we've had to deal with multiple tree nut and peanut allergies for my daughter who is 3. I used to make the pecan pie and just decided I was hosting and no I am not having nuts in my house. Other people's houses - we'll deal, but mine, no nuts. And I got hassled by my father-in-law a little but other than that no one missed it really. She doesn't like desserts anyway so we still enjoyed some pies she can't have that have egg/dairy in them (mild allergies) - but her severe allergies - the nuts -w e didn't have to confront and it made it much more relaxing than other holidays.

subaruthie said...

We had a quiet Thanksgiving in our home with just one guest. I made everything from scratch (except the cranberry sauce from the can... I can't resist!). My husband has been allergic to eggs, milk products, and various fruits since early childhood. In the last year, we discovered that he is now allergic to shellfish and soy (and is even sensitive to lecithin and oil).

I made a milk-, egg-, and soy- free pumpkin pie. We discovered that he must have developed a pumpkin allergy this year (so that's why carving jack-o-lanterns made him itchy!!!). Oh, well. Next year we'll stick to his favorite, blueberry pie!

We're traveling to my parents' next month. They are so accommodating and have done great with his egg and milk allergies. The soy is relatively new, but my Mom came and took over my kitchen when our son was born this summer. She followed my recipes and got used to the alternate products and methods I use (like parchment paper instead of cooking spray). She and I are already working out a meal plan for our stay and deciding what specialty items she can find locally and what I'll have to bring with us.

Jules said...

I have been allergic to nuts for about 15 years. My original allergy was more like an intolerance. However I moved abroad and have had many accidental (including one 6 month continuous with a family member) exposures to nuts. Now I am highly allergic and exposure leads to hospitalization and at least a week of incapacitation. I made every single dish for our Thanksgiving of 18 people due to allergy concerns. However, I was deathly ill hosting because the night before I was forced to attend a work function where I was assured all the food was safe. I have decided NEVER to eat out unless I can talk to the chef with a translator (I live in Turkey.)