Taking food allergies into account this holiday season

Nov 18, 2022, 5:32 PM | Updated: 6:18 pm

TOOELE, Utah — As Thanksgiving and other holiday celebrations bring people around the table, Intermountain Healthcare dietitians say it’s crucial to take food allergies into consideration when planning the big meal.

“A response to an allergic reaction can be mild, like itchiness to some can be life-threatening,” explained Carly Alba, clinical dietician at Intermountain Healthcare.

Alba said the big eight most common food allergens are milk, eggs, fish, Crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans.

She said her best advice for big holiday dinners is to label all the food, ask each guest if they have any allergies, and have a lot of options.

“You want it to be a fun and inclusive environment, so having a lot of options will help with that,” Alba said.

Tooele mom, Julieann Prescott, loves to cook with her 15-year-old daughter Eliza.

She says it’s a chance to bond and learn new allergy-friendly meals together.

“When you have to risk your life every time you are eating, three times a day, you want to make sure that you’re safe the whole time,” Prescott said.

Eliza is severely allergic to a number of different ingredients and has been since she was six months old.

“Food allergies is an invisible disease, by looking at her, you would never know that she has food allergies, that she has something that could kill, so people don’t think about it,” she expressed.

For the holidays, the Prescott family tries to make it inclusive and safe for Eliza.

“I let her drive the menu a lot because other people can have all these sides, they can have pie, cheesy mashed potatoes, and she cannot,” Julieann said.

Which Eliza says she appreciates it because sometimes, when it comes to food, she feels left out.

“It’s really hard because this can hurt me, but I also want to try new things and be a part of things, so is it worth the risk,” Eliza said.

Eliza and her mom make allergy-friendly meals and post them on Instagram.

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Taking food allergies into account this holiday season