Thursday, November 3, 2011

Nut Allergies at Thanksgiving: Some Foods to Watch Out For

I know Halloween is still a recent memory, but it's never too early to think about Thanksgiving, arguably the biggest food holiday in the U.S.

Since this is about fall and autumnal foods, tree nuts usually make a strong appearance on many Thanksgiving tables. Just look at any magazine with recipes right now and you'll see things with pecans, walnuts, almonds, etc.

One problem for nut allergy sufferers is that many times, tree nuts are a hidden ingredient in foods.

If you are visiting another home for Thanksgiving, you will want to take the time to discuss the menu early. For example, a turkey stuffed with walnut and bread stuffing will not be safe for a nut-allergic person to eat. Can a different stuffing be used--or baked in another home in a separate dish if it absolutely must be served? These are things to think about and negotiate with your friends and relatives well ahead of the holiday.

Here are just a few popular Thanksgiving foods that will have tree nuts as a hidden ingredient:

Turkey Stuffing

Salad dressings (walnut oil, hazelnut oil)


Cranberry relish--one recipe I saw had ground up walnuts


Pie crust--many recipes I've seen for fall pie crusts have ground up walnuts or pecans as an ingredient.

Thanksgiving is a time to enjoy your food, but also to be super careful about what you serve to anyone with severe allergies. It's a great idea to bring your own foods for your child if you just don't think any safe options are available and too much cross contact risk is an issue. If you can, work with the hosts to provide a menu that makes everyone's tummies happy while also being safe.

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