Hi, my name is Stephanie and I am allergic to peanuts/tree nuts
With Christmas just around the corner, many workplaces are organizing Christmas/holiday parties. Whether you are an employee or a volunteer, you may be planning to attend these functions to celebrate the holidays and get to know your co-workers a little better..
Often, these types of parties may be a ‘potluck’ style where everyone brings a certain dish. Don’t worry! I know dining out and informing one chef of your allergies can be challenging, but attending a potluck with many cooks, cooking in many kitchens does not have to be a nightmare for the allergic teen! The key is information, awareness and early communication!
Here are some good tips for getting ready for a work holiday party:
1. Get in touch with the organizer as soon as possible! When the invitations are sent out, the organizer can specify that any dishes brought to the event should avoid a particular allergen if possible. People will usually be more than willing to bring foods that are safe for everyone so all can enjoy.
2. Help plan the party yourself! Ask to be a part of your workplace’s social committee and contribute ideas to make the party allergy-safe. Help with labelling food, setting up the event and creating the invitations. Ensure each dish has any allergens labelled and has its own serving utensils so that no one cross-contaminates. That way you will be able to stick to your ‘safe foods’ if there are foods at the party that contain your allergy.
3. Bring your own dish/food to share! Bringing your favourite recipe will help ensure that you not only have something to eat while at the party, but you will also have a great, safe recipe to share! You can even increase awareness about allergies by telling people about what’s in your dish and why it is safe for people with particular food allergies. Let it be a conversation starter!
Have a safe holiday season!