Thanksgiving is one of the most enjoyable holidays for many people. But spending time with family and eating good food can be overshadowed by the dangers of a peanut allergy. Here are some tips for navigating the holidays with a peanut allergy.
Be sure to let your family know early on that you or your child has a peanut allergy and would appreciate it if Thanksgiving dinner was a peanut-free affair. If your family has a traditional peanut dish, offer some peanut-free alternatives to start a new tradition. If you’re hosting the meal at your home, ask your guests to bring only peanut-free dishes.
If not all peanut products be avoided at the meal, you can request to have special utensils and a special place for the peanut dishes. Don’t be afraid to be vocal about your requests; health and safety are much more important than worrying about appearances. If the nut dishes have their own place in the kitchen and during the meal, you can more easily ensure that small children stay away from those plates.
If someone usually brings peanut butter cookies, you can suggest they use a peanut-free substitute, such as sunflower butter. Or, if peanuts are not central to the dish, ask if the chef could leave the peanuts out completely. While some people may not be open to changing a traditional family recipe, you will find that many others are more than happy to adjust their recipes so that everyone can enjoy their cooking.
Peanut-Free Thanksgiving Recipes
With a little bit of planning, you can make a complete Thanksgiving meal fit for someone with a peanut allergy. See these recipes below for ideas:
- Sweet Potato Casserole: A traditional side dish that substitutes oats for pecans
- Sourdough Stuffing with Sausage, Apples, and Golden Raisins: Many stuffing recipes call for some variety of nuts, but this recipe uses raisins instead
- Apple Crumble Pie: No nuts at all in this sweet dessert
- Pumpkin Butter: Because no Thanksgiving is complete without pumpkin!
If All Else Fails…
If, despite your best efforts, you don’t think Thanksgiving dinner will be a peanut-free meal, you can bring a pre-made meal for your peanut-allergy sufferer. Explain to the host that, while the meal tastes wonderful and is beautifully prepared, you’re worried about the sensitivity of peanut allergies. Communication is the key to a happy, healthy, and nut-free Thanksgiving!