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There’s nothing as enjoyable as settling in front of a fireplace with a warm mug of hot cocoa and a sugar cooking with frosting to put you in the holiday spirit. Unless, of course, you are intolerance to cocoa or sugar. All too often, those living with food intolerances have to be picky and even miss out on the holiday cheer because they are trying to avoid a reaction. The holidays can be a tricky time for those with food intolerances, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can enjoy the holiday all the same!

How to enjoy the holidays with food intolerances

A lot of people who are used to doing things a certain way don’t understand that they can find alternatives that don’t require them to miss out on the holiday treats and meals entirely. Here are some ways to make it work for you.

  • Consider bringing your own treats: The easiest way to make sure that you can eat at least one treat on the treat table is to bring your own. Not only will the host appreciate another treat to offer guests, but it also gives other people the reminder that you have special dietary concerns and that holiday treats can still taste as great as other kinds of treats.
  • Enjoy just a nibble of intolerant foods: If you know for sure that something has “bad” food ingredients in it, but you really, really want to have some, just monitor your amount. Remember, eating something that you are intolerant to will not hurt you. It will just make you feel uncomfortable. Basing the amount on the severity of the intolerance, enjoy a few nibbles of your favourite treat and feel the relief that you are craving!
  • Let people know about your intolerances: Another way to make sure that your needs are met as much as possible is to tell those around you that you have them. Not only can they take that into account when making food and treats, but they’ll also be more than likely to let you know in advance what does or doesn’t have intolerant ingredients in it.

 Be wary of hidden food intolerances

Since the holiday often brings unknown foods and even alternate recipes to your table, you’ll want to take a moment to consider any food intolerant ingredients that may be present. If possible, ask the person who made it. If not, consider bringing along your favourite dietary aids that usually help in case of unplanned symptoms. If you really don’t want to deal with a reaction, just avoid anything you aren’t entirely sure about or have a tiny little sample of it first to see.

The holidays don’t have to be a time of avoidance or missing out even if you are someone who is living with food intolerances. Just try to be careful when you can and always make sure you are prepared for symptoms even from foods you normally would be able to eat problem-free. Bring on the alternative sugar cookies and hot cocoa!