Food Sensitivity and Holiday Parties

Solutions to help you enjoy the feasting


It is officially December, which for most means the beginning of the holidays. This time of year is filled with parties and family gatherings, which usually means lots of food and drinks. For anyone with a food sensitivity, these parties can offer up some challenges – especially since many holiday treats contain common offenders that tend to give people trouble. Some people worry they only have two options: eat something they know will bother them, or don’t eat anything at all. Either way, it can lead to less joy at a holiday celebration. Here are a few ways to work around it and still partake in the cheer.

Host a party yourself

Love to entertain? Why not have friends and family at your place this year! This is a great option if multiple people in your household have food sensitivities, as it gives you the most control over the food and drinks served. For a lot of people this can sound daunting, but hosting a holiday celebration doesn’t always have to include a full sit-down dinner; a great option is a cocktail party with a variety of platters and hors d’oeuvres as it allows for the most choice and accommodation.

Bring a dish

If hosting isn’t your thing, suggesting a potluck or offering to help out by bringing a dish is a great option. The host will probably appreciate the help, and you can be at ease knowing there will be something there you can enjoy. It’s also a great opportunity to share a favorite recipe with your friends and family!

Help out with your office party

Celebrations with co-workers can pose issues for people with sensitivities for many reasons. Some people don’t feel comfortable talking about their health with co-workers, and many work places are so big that a small committee organizes the party for hundreds of people. Helping to organize an office party doesn’t have to mean being a part of the committee (unless you want to!). Even offering suggestions about caterers to consider or venues to rent that offer meal choices can be a big help. Depending on how big your company is, chances are someone else will appreciate having some allergen-free options as well.

Eat something before hand

Hunger can override a lot of thought processes – including why you are avoiding something in the first place. Having something to eat before going out will make sure that you aren’t choosing foods purely based on hunger. It can also help relieve any stress you may be having about an event where you have no control over the food available.


You know your body best, including how you react to certain foods and what you can (or feel comfortable) indulging in. Even though this time of year is busy, make sure you stick to your regular routine as much as possible. Keeping up with your regular diet, exercise, and supplement regimen will make sure that you feel great and enjoy this holiday season!

*Originally published December 6, 2016