This article is published in the November 2016 issue of Good Health Memphis, a health and lifestyle magazine for the Mid-South community. FAAM is posting the article here with permission from the editor and author. Click here to view the entire digital issue and past issues of Good Health Memphis. You can find print copies in your Commercial Appeal newspaper and in stands at select Krogers. Click here to view the article in the Commercial Appeal online.
Most people look forward to Thanksgiving as the kickoff to a food-filled holiday season. The crisp weather and falling leaves make us crave grandma’s dressing and chocolate pie. Then there are those of us with food allergies, up to 15 million Americans according to Food Allergy Research and Education, who may dread the holiday season because of those heirloom recipes and the challenges we face at the dinner table.
Let’s look at the top eight foods that cause 90% of allergic reactions – milk, eggs, soy, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish – and where they may be found in a traditional Thanksgiving meal.
Turkey may contain wheat starch in the broth.
Most pies contain both milk and eggs.
Meringue and marshmallows can contain eggs.
Breads are often made with wheat and eggs.
Depending on the type of gravy, it may contain wheat in the flour, eggs, milk or soy.
Butter is made from milk.
Many desserts and baked goods contain milk, eggs, soy, wheat, peanuts, or tree nuts.
Mayonnaise and ranch dressing are often made with eggs.
Of course, crab, lobster and shrimp are shellfish.
Fish may show up as an ingredient in Worcestershire and barbecue sauces.
These are only a few examples of foods that may contain allergens. Anyone can be allergic to any food, and some individuals have multiple food allergies. You can imagine how difficult that makes navigating a holiday meal.
The good news is there are ways you can help make the holiday less stressful for your allergic guests.
Correction to original article: FAAM is recognized by these national food allergy organizations: Food Allergy Research & Education, Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America (Kids with Food Allergies is a division of the AAFA), and Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Connection Team.
Food for Thought is the blog for the Food Allergy Alliance of the MidSouth. FAAM's mission is to provide food allergy support, education, advocacy, fellowship & fun for Memphis, TN and surrounding areas.
If you have a medical emergency, call 911 immediately and follow up with a physician.