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Kids Christmas food allergies

 
Is your little one prone to food allergies or food intolerances or do they have a friend who is? At Christmas time with the never-ending series of lunches, dinners and distractions, it can be hard to keep an eye on what toddlers and pre-schoolers are eating. Check out these helpful tips on foods you might like to avoid.
Is your little one prone to food allergies or food intolerances or do they have a friend who is?

At Christmas time with the never-ending series of lunches, dinners and distractions, it can be hard to keep an eye on what toddlers and pre-schoolers are eating.

Whether you’re the host or visiting someone else’s house, try to ensure that you don't accidentally put a child with allergies at risk.

Check out these helpful tips on foods you might want to avoid.
 

5 Christmas foods to avoid

 

1. Christmas cakes

Not all Christmas cakes contain nuts, but even those that don't can be a problem for kids with nut allergies because dried fruits can be exposed to nuts during processing and storage.

If you're buying a Christmas cake, make sure that it's clearly labelled nut-free.

If you're making one at home, pay close attention to all of your ingredients to ensure that they are all nut-free products too.

Remember that marzipan is also a nut-based ingredient that presents a risk to kids with nut allergies and egg-based icing should also be avoided if you have guests with egg allergies.
 

2. Chocolates

We all love chocolate, especially at this time of year, but chocolates are considered a high-risk food for kids with peanut and tree nut allergies.

Even chocolates that don't contain nuts are vulnerable to cross-contamination in the factory where they're produced.

If you’re unsure, keep the packet handy so your guests can read the label for themselves to check whether or not it's safe for their child.

Otherwise avoid offering chocolates altogether. Lollies, preferably wrapped lollies which are less likely to be accidentally contaminated, may be a safer alternative.
 

3. Gingerbread houses

Decorated gingerbread houses often use an egg-based icing to hold the pieces in place.

The egg-based icing can be dangerous for children with egg allergies.

One solution is to use an egg-substitute in the icing.

Another is to replace the gingerbread houses with simple gingerbread biscuits in the shape of gingerbread Christmas trees, santas or stars.

If you’re decorating the biscuits, remember to use a non-egg icing.
 

4. Nuts

Having a bowl of mixed nuts to hand is a Christmas standard but it can be a genuine danger for kids with nut-allergies.

Placing the nuts out of reach of children is an option, but kids with severe allergies are still at risk of cross-contamination from adults who have handled the nuts.

Try to go without the nuts altogether if allergies are an issue, and if you want to be absolutely sure that you're not putting anyone at risk, offer home-made popcorn instead.

Also remember to use canola oil rather than peanut oil when cooking anything.
 

5. Potato chips

Potato chips and corn chips aren't usually a problem in themselves, but can be prone to cross-contamination in the factory where they're made.

Before serving, read the packaging and ingredients list.

Some will carry a warning that the product may contain allergens or be contaminated by allergens such as tree nuts, peanuts, egg or milk.
 

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