For example, what do you think of when I say the word “Thanksgiving?” The turkey that’s never done yet. Grandma’s pumpkin pie. Yoga pants after dinner.
The emergency room.
I know what you’re thinking – the emergency room?! Yep, and I’m not even talking about those guys you see on America’s Funniest Home Videos. You know, the ones who set a backyard shed on fire trying to deep-fry a turkey.
No, I’m thinking of the parents of the nearly 6 million kids nationwide with food allergies. These parents have the challenging task of keeping a kid out of the ER on this most food-laden of holidays. No easy feat when you consider that Thanksgiving is pretty much an allergy extravaganza.
After all, why else would we now have gluten-free turkeys?
With Thanksgiving’s potluck-style fare, the only near-assurance some parents have that the food is safe is preparing every last dish themselves – or cooking a separate meal altogether. And there’s always some hold out, like Aunt Mavis who absolutely refuses to make her award-winning stuffing without walnuts. Or gizzards for that matter.
When it comes to food allergies, eight foods are responsible for nearly 90% of all food allergies. They are crustacean shellfish, eggs, fish, milk, peanuts, soy, tree nuts, and wheat. That rules out nearly every traditional Thanksgiving side dish. Except for maybe cranberry sauce.
Whether you are the parent of a child with food allergies or a hosting family member who wants to put your loved ones at ease, reinventing a few Thanksgiving standbys could actually lead to the discovery of new favorites. Here, I’ve done the leg work for you and revamped three typically allergenic Thanksgiving dishes. They are not only allergy-friendly but also kid-friendly (and adult-friendly!) as well.
Click here to see recipes for:
Creamy, Dairy-Free, Green Bean Casserole
Gluten-Free Quinoa Stuffing
Pumpkin Mousse Parfaits
And sure, you could prepare these alternative options exclusively for those at your dinner table with allergies. But the best part is not only are these recipes allergy-friendly, they’re much healthier than their traditional counterparts too. My bet: you may just catch your guests (sans allergies) going back for seconds.
And you won’t have to bother with those yoga pants.
Michelle Hutchison is a certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist, wife, and mother to two young children. Michelle is also the founder of Oh My Nosh! Nutrition coaching, specializing in plant-based and alternative diets for individuals and families. She has a passion for eating (and eating well!) and shares her zest for healthy living via her blog at ohmynosh.net