Video: The Holidays and Visiting with Food Allergies, Asthma

in Food Allergy, Managing Allergies
Published: November 7, 2023

Just in time for the 2023 holidays, allergist Dr. David Stukus and Allergic Living Editor Gwen Smith have a video chat about visiting your relatives. 

The holidays are a great time to catch up with grandparents, aunts, uncles and to bond with cousins. When you or your child have food allergies, however, there are a lot of tricky parts – since there is simply so much food! 

In this video, allergist Dr. David Stukus, social media director for the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, and Allergic Living Editor Gwen Smith dive into the hot topics when it comes to holiday visiting. As well, they discuss some of the big triggers for asthma and allergic rhinitis when you are heading to a relative’s home. Dr. Stukus offers medication reminders, to help you prevent symptoms.

The two experts have got great advice for the holidays to share to help those with food and other allergies safe. The topics they cover include:

• How to train relatives on food allergy rules.
• The goodie tray: helping your allergic child to say ‘no’.
• Reduce visiting anxiety; focus on what you can control.
• Reactions can happen: when to use epinephrine.
• Trapped: When relatives offer food allergy advice.
• Asthma, rhinitis: fragrances, diffusers, pets and more.
• Top 9-free holiday recipes.  
• Latest on OIT, SLIT, biologic food allergy treatments.

Visiting Relatives: Hosting Help

With food allergies, Gwen counsels that it helps to interject yourself into holiday food planning early, to help a host with safe menu ideas. She notes that mobile phones are great tools for showing photos of safe food brands. They’re also very useful for texting the specific allergies and re-raising needs like cross-contact avoidance. As someone who lives with multiple food allergies, she always offers to bring the dessert – or another element that’s one of the “minefields” of food allergy avoidance. 

Dr. Stukus, director of the food allergy center and Nationwide Children’s Hospital, reminds that “we want to enjoy this time of year with friends and loved ones. So we want to reduce the anxiety as much as we can.”

Related Reading:
Visiting Relatives, it’s a Balancing Act
10 Tips to Help Relatives Get Food Allergy Rules 

See more of the Talking Food Allergies series on Allergic Living’s Youtube channel or Instagram page.