On Holi, be mindful of what you eat if you have food allergies!

Food allergies can trigger problems if you eat anything and everything during Holi. Here's how to combat food allergies during Holi.
holi food allergy
Here's how to avoid combat food allergies during Holi. Image courtesy: Adobe stock
Published: 22 Mar 2024, 12:00 pm IST
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Holi, the festival of colours, is a vibrant and lively celebration that brings people together to enjoy the spirit of spring. However, for people with food allergies, navigating the festivities can be challenging, as the abundance of traditional Holi sweets and snacks may pose potential risks. Anyone suffering from pre-existing food allergies needs to be extra careful during the festivities. If you are at risk, here are some expert-approved tips from a nutrition perspective on managing food allergies during Holi to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Understanding food allergies

Food allergies occur when the immune system reacts adversely to certain proteins found in specific foods. Common allergens include seeds, dairy, eggs, wheat, peanuts, and soy. Symptoms of food allergies can range from mild to severe, including hives, swelling, breathing difficulties, and in extreme cases, anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction.

benefits of jaggery for respiratory health
People with food allergies should be careful during Holi celebrations. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

How to manage food allergies during Holi?

1. Communicate dietary restrictions

If you or a family member have food allergies, open and clear communication is key. Informing friends, family, and hosts about specific allergies ensures that they are aware of the dietary restrictions and can take necessary precautions when preparing or serving food during Holi celebrations. Imagine a colorful- array of allergen-specific stickers adorning each dish, acting as both a visual feast and a crucial safety measure. These innovative stickers could signify common allergens like nuts, dairy, or gluten

2. Prepare allergen-free foods and drinks

Consider preparing allergy-friendly versions of traditional Holi treats at home. Begin by crafting plant-based sweets using allergy-safe alternatives like coconut flour, almond flour, or gluten free options. You may embrace the joy of nut-free and gluten-free Thandai by blending chia and sunflower with plant-based milk, offering a refreshing beverage that suits various dietary requirements. Experimenting with allergy-friendly recipes ensures that everyone can partake in the joyous occasion without compromising on safety.

3. Label allergen-free delights

When hosting or attending Holi parties, managing food allergies becomes even more crucial. Innovative allergen-free food labeling takes centerstage during this festive season, ensuring that individuals with allergies can enjoy Holi to the fullest. This helps individuals with food allergies identify safe options easily. Ensure that the labels are visible and contain information about the ingredients used in each dish.

4. Know your ingredients

Before consuming any Holi treats, ask about the ingredients used in their preparation. Be vigilant, as some traditional dishes may contain hidden allergens. It’s essential to scrutinise food labels and recipes to identify potential sources of allergens.

5. Spoonful of safety- dedicated utensils

During the vibrant celebration of Holi, where colours and flavours collide, managing food allergies becomes important. One can introduce a thoughtful practise of using separate utensils for individuals with specific allergies. This entails a dedicated set of plates, bowls, and serving spoons, exclusively designated for allergen-free options. By implementing this approach, cross-contamination risks are significantly minimised, providing a safe haven for those with food sensitivities.

6. Keep medicines handy

Individuals with severe food allergies should always carry their prescribed emergency medications, such as antihistamines or any other prescribed medication. This proactive measure empowers individuals to swiftly address allergic reactions, ensuring rapid response in case of accidental exposure to allergens amidst the festivities. Integrating this practise not only prioritises safety but also encourages a sense of self-reliance during the celebration.

Woman holding pills
Keep medicines handy if you have a food allergy. Image courtesy: Freepik

The last word

Celebrating Holi with food allergies requires thoughtful planning and consideration. By communicating dietary restrictions, preparing allergen-free treats, labeling foods, staying informed about ingredients, and encouraging separate serving utensils, individuals with food allergies can enjoy a safe and joyful Holi celebration. Ultimately, prioritising the well-being of everyone involved enhances the inclusivity and warmth of this festive occasion.

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About the Author

Manpreet Kaur Paul is an executive nutritionist at Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Faridabad. She is proficient in creating diet plans for pregnant/ lactating women, weight loss, high cholesterol and obesity during pregnancy, pediatric cases, people with lifestyle modifications and kidney disorders. She aims to ensure holistic nutrition among people of all age groups and help them achieve a healthy mind in a healthy body. ...Read More

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