Navigating the holiday season can be a challenge for people like me who experience food sensitivities. We are bombarded daily with colorful ads enticing us to indulge in all of the seasonal goodies on display from Halloween, right through New Year’s Day. But beware, those colorful signs and packages are nothing more than camouflaged sugar ladened, artificially colored, chemically tainted land mines just waiting to explode your immune system.
I’m here to encourage you to muster up the willpower to run far, far away from the sugar and artificial garbage hiding in those enticing packages. They are not worth having an allergic reaction. Here are some tips I keep in mind, when I’m surrounded by a sea of sugary temptation:
- Caution. Holiday specific treats have a greater chance of being made in a different facility from where normal varieties are produced the rest of the year.
Example: Seasonal shaped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are not gluten free but regular Reese’s Cups are.
- Think before you drink. That seasonal beverage might just contain something you shouldn’t have. I never knew potato powder was sometimes added to hot chocolate.
- If you don’t know ask. This applies to both commercial goods and homemade products. Don’t expect your friends and family to remember that you are allergic to something. It’s nice when they do, but that’s not their responsibility it’s yours.
- READ THE LABEL. Even if you have to get out a magnifying glass to do so. If you can’t pronounce it, you probably shouldn’t eat it. And never,ever eat food whose ingredients have numbers in them.
- Don’t be afraid to call the manufacturer. They put their phone number on things for a reason. You have every right to call and ask what is in something.
- Know Your “go-to” brands. These are products you’ve done your homework on, so when temptation arises you know they are safe.
- When in doubt just say, “NO.” No harm will come from walking away from temptation. It’s not always fun, but neither is getting sick or having an allergic reaction.
But, if you want to test your willpower and you can limit yourself to one funsize piece of candy or treat, go ahead and enjoy. Below are a few websites that can help you know exactly what is in that goodie.