Thursday, December 26, 2013

Tips from Lori Sandler: Managing Any Holiday Festivity

Because children, such as my son who lives with food allergies, love to enjoy the parties and celebrations just as much as any other kid, I reached out to Lori Sandler, 
the inspirational creator & owner of the scrumptious allergen friendly 
Divvies dessert products. According to +Food Allergy Research & Education FARE, the number of kids with food allergies is on the rise.  Today, one in 13 children (translates into 2 children in every classroom) are affected by allergies to foods such as milk, peanuts and tree nuts, ingredients commonly found in candy. With the holidays just around the corner, more parents, friends, and 
families are challenged with keeping children touched by food allergies 
safe during this festive season.

With careful planning, and vigilance, Lori Sandler, founder of Divvies and 
author of The Divvies Bakery Cookbook says, "by being ultra-prepared and making food-allergen safety a number one priority, holidays can be an inclusive experience for all." 

Lori’s following suggestions can help ensure your child's experience feels 
safe and inclusive.

1) Take care of your child's heart. Remember your child's emotional needs 
and be careful about drawing unnecessary attention to his food allergies.

2) Be available as much as possible. Plan on attending classroom and out-of-school parties in order to check ingredients of all food being served, and to resolve safety concerns. If you can't stay for the entire party, be sure to stay long enough to check all of the food ingredients.

3) Communicate in a positive manner. Make safe-food suggestions to the 
teacher/host well in advance of the party.

4) Donate safe snacks or solicit volunteers. 
Provide the snacks, if necessary, to ensure everything is safe.

5) Be prepared! Be sure to carry your child's emergency medicines with you 
while attending parties at school and at others’ homes.

6) Be 2 steps ahead! 
Bring allergen-safe & delicious meals/desserts that all will enjoy to friends' & families’ homes.

7) Check and re-check all ingredients in all dishes. Remember that familiar foods and brands, made specifically for the holiday season, may have different ingredients or be manufactured on different machinery from their around-the-year counterparts.

8) Of course, we both recommend that you Get @Divvies! Go to www.divvies.com for nut-free, dairy-free, egg-free (some gluten-free, too) chocolates, candies, cookies, cupcakes and gifts to help make your celebrations inclusive for everyone.