Allergy Friendly Holiday Menu Inspiration | Top 8 Free

Two years ago, I found out that my then-six-month-old baby had at least ten serious food allergies, including dairy, egg, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, and several fruits. He hadn’t even tried any of these foods, since he was still mostly exclusively breastfeeding, but he was so sensitive that he’d been dealing with horrible allergy symptoms just from the foods I was eating. (On a scale of 1-100, his sensitivity to several of them was an immeasurable >100!)

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:

  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Soy
  • Wheat
  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts
  • Fish
  • Shellfish

Even if you’re not accommodating food allergies, these recipes are all fabulous, and would make excellent additions to your holiday menu!

Appetizers

Entrées

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…

Sides

Veggies

Desserts

If you have any questions about allergy-friendly cooking, feel free to leave them in the comments!

Kim
Kim grew up in Minnesota, but moved to Madison to attend the UW and fell in love with the city’s spirit and culture. She's married with three sweet kiddos - Mason, Joshua, and Leah. When she’s not racing monster trucks across furniture or pretending to be interested in video games, she’s working on freelance writing projects or teaching strength training classes through her small fitness business, Lioness Fitness. Kim's a food allergy mom, which means she can read a food label like nobody’s business. She's also a sucker for good wine, good sushi, a good book, and ANY beach.

4 COMMENTS

  1. This is great! My twin boys have a protein allergy so I have been dairy, soy and egg free for months since I’m nursing. I’m getting tired of eating the same things so this is great! Thanks!

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