Since I was determined to stick with breastfeeding for as long as I could, I decided to change my diet—dramatically—overnight.
With the internet’s help, I gave myself a crash course on allergy-friendly eating, learning how to read labels and experimenting with safe alternatives like flax eggs and nutritional yeast (for cheese).
Then came the holidays. I more or less assumed that I wouldn’t be able to eat anything on the menu, except maybe the meat and some butter-less potatoes. My family was incredibly thoughtful and accommodating, but we were all a little out of our league.
Today, I’m no longer breastfeeding (not that son anyway—now it’s his younger, and thankfully allergy-free, brother) and my son is too young to care that his holiday meal doesn’t look like everyone else’s. But I’m already thinking about the day when he might care, and when it will make more sense for me to remove his allergen foods from the meals our entire family eats, rather than always making something special (read: boring) for him.
Luckily, I’ve come a long way since butter-less potatoes. Now I know that there are tons of allergy-friendly options out there, if you’re willing to get comfortable with a few ingredient swaps and, maybe, to rethink what your idea of a “holiday meal” is.
In case anyone else is looking for some help in accommodating food allergies this holiday season, I put together a roundup of recipes that are all free of (or can be easily made free of) the “top 8” most common food allergens:
- Tree nuts
Even if you’re not accommodating food allergies, these recipes are all fabulous, and would make excellent additions to your holiday menu!
Meat-based entrées are often naturally allergy-friendly, or very easy to make allergy-friendly (the most common swap is butter for a dairy/soy-free butter alternative—I use Earth Balance). Here are just a few ideas…
If you have any questions about allergy-friendly cooking, feel free to leave them in the comments!