You are here

Tips for an allergy free Christmas

Institute News
Tuesday, December 19, 2017 - 1:30pm
Managing allergies isn’t always easy, particularly at Christmas time when there’s so many Christmas goodies to devour! Thanks to our world-leading allergy research, we’ve put together the ultimate guide for you to enjoy an allergy free Christmas.

Nuts
Christmas treats often include cakes, stuffing, puddings and other goodies which can be loaded with all sorts of nuts. Many recipes can be replaced by substituting nuts for dried fruits like cranberries and apricots.

Gluten
There’s nothing silly about being a coeliac, and Christmas time is another occasion where it can be difficult to keep the gluten gifts away. They’re in everything from cakes to sausages. Thankfully gluten-free snags, flours and cakes are more readily available now than year’s previous. Also, try using buckwheat and quinoa, which are both great alternatives and completely gluten free. Other options include legumes, lentils or chickpeas.

Eggs
While most kids are allergic to the egg white rather than the yolk, there’s still no safe way to separate the two. The small traces of egg white can trigger an allergic reaction. Also, be wary of egg substitutes, many of which contain egg ingredients. Instead, look for quality egg replacements.
Eggs are often used in cooking and baking as a ‘binder’ to combine ingredients together. Some possible replacements that work as a ‘binder’ are half a banana, gelatine mix, or a tablespoon of ground flax seed mixed with three tablespoons of warm water. One tablespoon of xanthan gum can also be used to bind and add texture. If eggs are needed as a leavening agent in a recipe, try using a tablespoon of vegetable oil with one teaspoon of baking powder.

Dairy
Chocolate, ice cream, puddings and other treats are all staples of the silly season. Thankfully there’s plenty of substitutes available.  There’s plenty of alternatives to lactose, such as soy, rice or almond milk.

Hayfever
If you haven’t started taking your hayfever medication yet, it’s a good idea to start as soon as you can. Professor Mimi Tang said that it was best to start treatment before any symptoms appear. “The best treatment for hayfever is a topical nasal steroid spray because it begins as inflammation of the nasal lining,” she said. As the allergy capital of the world, Australians should act now and continuously through the allergy season.

Thunderstorm asthma
A high pollen count and thunder make for a dangerous mix for people with asthma or hay fever. The unique thunderstorm asthma event can happen from October through December, causing severe asthma symptoms that make it difficult to breathe. If you have asthma and develop symptoms such as wheezing and chest tightness, follow your asthma action plan. If you haven’t experienced these symptoms before, see GP and get yourself checked out. Most of all, avoid being outside during a thunderstorm - close your doors and windows!

Click here to help support MCRI’s allergy research this Christmas!