Food allergies can add a layer of complexity to holiday planning, but they need not cramp your holiday spirit.  

Communication is key. Be sure to notify your host in advance, realizing that others may not truly appreciate the importance or risk of even small exposures. Realize that special holiday beverages might even be a risk. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask questions. Fill your plate first to avoid cross-contamination by others. Another option is to bring your own food (BYOF), especially snacks and desserts, since typical baked goods are notorious for common allergens (dairy, egg, wheat, soy and nuts). Be sure to bring your action plan and Epipen/AuviQ. 

Better yet, take control and offer to host yourself! Modify traditional recipes using allergen-free ingredients. A great resource is

As a host, be cognizant that some of your guests may have food allergies. Just ask. Read all ingredient labels and wash hands before handling food to avoid cross-contamination. Designate a separate area to set out allergen-safe foods and label the foods that are allergen-free. Lastly, be careful under the mistletoe! Yes, there have been allergen-transfer reactions from kissing. 

For specific testing and risk-assessment with personalized advice, call our board-certified specialists at Springfield Clinic Peoria Allergy & Asthma at 309.691.5200 for next-day availability.  No referral is necessary. 

Male allergist professional headshot

Stephen Smart, MD

Springfield Clinic Peoria Allergy & Asthma