Ah, the holidays. They're meant to be relaxing and enjoyable and for the most part, they can be. But food allergies add another dimension to these joyous times, and most of us find our stress levels on the rise as they approach.
There are a lot of reasons for this but namely it's because the holidays involve so much FOOD! Yes, that's part of the fun but for us it also can cause major stress as we dodge those food allergy bullets that make life so interesting for us all year long. Oh dear, is that pine nuts in the stuffing? Did Aunt Mary make her famous pecan powdered sugar cookies and Oh My Gosh, did you say you're serving the cousins peanut butter at the sleepover??? Like many of you, I'm the one breaking out in hives at the thought of all of this stuff and I don't even have a food allergy myself.
Luckily, we're not alone. I recently received my wonderful FAAN newsletter and they cover all the ins and outs of what parents may be feeling as they get ready to deal with the stuffed turkey and cranberry sauce. So here is Part 1 of their excellent tips for dealing with holiday stress management, by Lisa Provost, M.S. N.C.C., L.M.H.C.
In a section entitled "Anticipating the Expected" she suggests the following tips:
- Role play with you and your child how to handle
any difficult situations you foresee
- Talk to an uncooperative family member
if you fear they won't be diplomatic
- Prepare a favorite allergen-free dish so
you're sure there will be something safe to eat
- Monitor an event at school so you can be
sure your child eats only safe foods
Good advice, all of it! I'll have more to share in future posts. And of course, I'd love to hear from you about your holiday stress tips!