Food Allergies and Thanksgiving
“Silly Charlie Brown!” Lucy shouted from the other side of the field, “I won’t lift the ball before you kick it. Just run already!”
Charlie Brown rolled his eyes. “Why me,” he sighed before sprinting towards the football, determined to kick it for the very first time. Hope built up in his chest. He focused on the ball coming closer into view. He could feel his shoe hitting the leather. He could imagine the football’s bounce against his toe. But did it come? No, because as always, Lucy yanked the ball away before he could kick it.
“Aaaaaauuuuuugggghhhh!” Charlie Brown tripped over the force of his kick and landed on his back. Dazed, he wondered why he always fell for the same trick.
Living with food allergies in the fall season can feel like quite a similar experience. Stick with me here for a moment – I promise there’s a connection.
The fall season is full of celebrations, parties, and best of all, the tastiest food and treats of the year (just ask anyone). But for someone with life-threatening food allergies, sometimes it feels quite impossible to enjoy those delicious dishes. Milk, eggs, nuts, seasonal fruit, and so many other allergy-heavy foods are key ingredients in these meals. Cinnamon allergies even exist. (The agony!)
When it comes down to it, attending a Halloween party, Thanksgiving dinner, or other fall festivity can leave someone with an empty stomach if they have a common food allergy.
Just like Charlie Brown constantly running towards the football and hoping Lucy won’t trick him, people with food allergies find themselves attending parties, hoping there will be something they can eat.
This is not an article to bash parties or deny social gatherings. Instead, I hope to build confidence in delicious allergy-friendly recipes. There’s a beautiful cyber recipe world out there to explore. AllergicLiving.com, ThePrettyBee.com, EnjoyLifeFoods.com, and RedSneakers.org are just a few of the fantastic sites out there who focus on recipes for those with food allergies.
Everyone should enjoy the season and come home talking about good company and delicious meals, not about the missed football kick that landed them in chiropractic Hades (or the foods they had to pass up because of allergies).
We all deserve to kick that football and, similarly, to find that Great Pumpkin. Delicious, allergy-friendly recipes exist – what better time to enjoy them than autumn?
I feel the need to add this statement as well: Awareness is always key for these occasions. You can’t always expect your host to have a buffet of allergy-friendly food but talking with family and friends will help raise awareness of the situation. They might add an allergy-friendly dish to the menu and, of course, you can always bring your own favorite foods to share.
Happy cooking, baking, eating and creating! And if you experience food allergies, consider supporting allergy research at PlasmaLab.
Lindsee Hasenoehrl Baker is an artist, hobby enthusiast, and freelance writer. Her lifelong experience with difficult allergies and eczema inspires her to learn more about the conditions and to support others with chronic illness.
Football image courtesy of FreePik.com