Food Allergy Mom’s Advice: Visiting Relatives, It’s a Balancing Act

in Food Allergy
Published: December 16, 2021

In this installment of Allergic Living’s “Megan’s Minute” video series, blogger Megan Lavin takes a compassionate approach to an often tricky situation for families managing food allergies. We all like to visit relatives for big holidays, but how do you or your allergic child stay safe around all the food that accompanies a celebration? 

Megan understands. She knows many of you may have experienced a difficult situation with family over food allergy, or that you may be nervous about upcoming holidays.

As she says in the video, “I feel for you. You’re not alone, and no, you’re not crazy for being worried or concerned. It can feel like a lot trying to keep yourself or a loved one safe with their food allergies, while juggling traditions and expectations.”

As the mom of four kids, including two boys with multiple food allergies, Megan is most familiar with the issues and the balancing act that arises. She shares excellent advice in the video.

Tips for Visiting with Food Allergies:

  1. Start with yourself: In the video, Megan discusses examining how to manage tensions you may be feeling, so the holiday can be a good time. She has advice on avoiding the people-pleasing trap, to make the situation lighter and enjoyable. If that one auntie or cousin thinks your precautions are over the top, can you let go of caring?
  2. How’s your own communication surrounding food allergies? She has tips to improve it to help key family members “get” the food allergies. Plus, Allergic Living has a great poster on the topic: here
  3. Weighing when the visit is worth it. Events and activities can be a hassle, especially with multiple food allergies. If you’ll need to prepare and transport your own food for yourself or an allergic child, is this event worth the bother? This will vary.
  4. When to give an food-allergic child a voice in whether to go and eat differently. Some family relationships, like bonding with cousins at the holidays, are important for a lifetime. But by a certain age, hear why Megan now considers her older son’s point of view as to whether lesser activities will be in his comfort zone.
  5. Modeling for allergic children how to stay safe in differing situations with relatives and friends. These are important skills for life.
  6. How to make peace with your decision on whether to go, or not, to go to family event.

Megan’s Minute Series

Join Allergic Living monthly for a new installment of Megan’s Minute with Megan Lavin, the creator of the Allergy Awesomeness blog, which features great Top-8 free recipes and articles. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

More videos from Megan Lavin:
How to Hire a Babysitter
Creating a School 504 Plan
Soccer, Snacks and Allergy Safety
View the full video series on the Allergic Living YouTube Channel here.

Related Reading:
When Family Doesn’t Get Your Child’s Food Allergies
10 Tips to Help Family “Get” Allergies
7 Ways to Resolve Food Allergy Issues with Family and Friends