Thanksgiving will be upon us in a few weeks. How do you “do” Thanksgiving allergen-free? For us, this is the easiest holiday and the most enjoyable because the food is always fabulous and so easy to make allergen free. We’re thankful that Turkey is not one of our allergens, and that through the years I’ve adjusted most of my family’s favorite recipes to be without the top 8 allergens. Pumpkin pie, apple pie, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, and more. (You won’t see regular potatoes or green beans on our table since both of them are allergens in our household.)

When our child (now a teenager) was young, we spent those early years going to my in-laws home where we would take over their kitchen for half a day and make our safe versions. It required a suitcase full of our safe shelf-stable food, as well as a shopping spree at the local health food store.

As she aged and our in-laws aged as well, we found that staying home for this holiday made for the most enjoyable experiences.

So this year, as you plan for your Thanksgiving Day, if its your first allergen-free or your twentieth, ask yourself, what is going to make my day great for me and my family?

1. You may not want to be with family on Thanksgiving Day, but opt for a visit the following day.

2. You may spend the day with your family, having brought a safe meal for your child, knowing that it is the company and the day that counts the most. If you have a toddler, discuss in advance switching off keeping a watchful eye on them with someone else who will be at the party.

3. You may offer to host family at your house, letting them know that it is not necessary to bring outside food.

Everyone has their own traditions surrounding Thanksgiving. Making a few simple adjustments can make it enjoyable for everyone. Below is what I think I’ll make for Thanksgiving. What I’ve found our meals have a lot less fat and sugar than a regular Thanksgiving meal, but no less satisfying:

– Vegan, Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread (click HERE for recipe)
– Crudite Platter (safe): olive tapenade (click HERE for my post on tapenades), rice crackers, Applegate Farms Deli Turkey, carrots, apples, and cauliflower
– Cranberry Relish (cranberries, sugar, orange juice and zest)
– Sweet Potato Casserole (with safe marshmallows on top)
– Pumpkin Pie (gluten free pie crust with vegan, gluten free filling)
– Apple Pie (same as above)
– Turkey (brined overnight)
– Turkey Gravy (gluten free, using rice / tapioca flour)
– Arugula Salad

I have a few sayings that get me through holidays, and one is, when in doubt, leave it out. The other is more of a philosophy: holidays are not a time to try new foods – remember, Allergists like to celebrate, too and no one wants an ER trip on Thanksgiving.

Have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving.

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2 Responses to Allergy Free Thanksgiving Strategies

  1. Susan H. says:

    This year for Thanksgiving, (we have already celebrated as we live in Canada) my son and I made him an allergy friendly dinner, turkey, stuffing,gravy and garlic mashed potatoes, to take to my sister-in-law’s. The leftovers were dinner the next night. Perfect!

  2. Nice post =) This will be my 3rd Thanksgiving with severe food allergies, but my first not being able to eat the turkey. Since being diagnosed with a severe soy allergy, I can no longer eat commercial meat such as chicken, turkey, pork, (and eggs) because they are almost all fed on a soy diet in the U.S. I have had some pretty bad reactions from these soy fed meats. I have to special order my eggs from soy free chickens in Wisconsin (I live in Michigan). i would suggest that everyone source their meat, and especially their turkey before thanksgiving to avoid any unwanted and accidental reactions. See my blog post on hidden soy in meat here: http://sprinklesandallergies.wordpress.com/2011/10/19/hidden-soy-what-is-your-meat-fed/ Have a safe and happy thanksgiving, Cheers!

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