SCFAI Blog

How to Have an Allergy-Safe Thanksgiving
Holidays are a stressful time for anyone, especially those with food allergies. Food plays a central role in Thanksgiving traditions, and with these tips and tricks, everyone at your table will have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

Prep For Success


Before you make your grocery list and begin your Thanksgiving meal prep, add the following to your prep list:

  • Communicate with your guests in advance for any dietary restrictions
  • Keep packaging or snap a photo of the ingredients label so guests can double-check themselves
  • Create labels with allergens for each dish
  • Encourage allergic guests to bring a dish to share that is safe for them to enjoy
  • Ask your guests with allergies if they have any allergy-friendly recipes for Thanksgiving you can make
  • Learn simple swaps to make favorite dishes allergy-free (e.g., no cream or butter, no nuts in stuffing or desserts)

How to Avoid Cross-Contamination

We're regularly cleaning these days, but when cooking for guests with food allergies, you need to be extra careful to avoid any possible cross-contamination. Thoroughly clean your kitchen and cooking equipment before making any dish that will be eaten by a guest with food allergies. If you aren't making your meal entirely allergen-free, then make sure to cook the allergy-friendly dishes to avoid any cross-contamination. A helpful tip to also consider is to serve yourself first! If you are attending a party that is not at your home, it is very easy for cross-contamination to occur throughout the meal and as people confuse and start mixing the utensils.

Common Thanksgiving Foods That Contain Allergens

Review this list and triple-check your recipes and ingredients to make sure your food is allergy-friendly.

  • Turkey (dairy, soy, and wheat in the brine; natural is safest)
  • Stuffing (wheat)
  • Mashed potatoes (milk and wheat)
  • Gravy (wheat, dairy, and soy; avoid pre-made packets and make your own with pan drippings)
  • Pumpkin pie (dairy and wheat)

Attending a Gathering Away From Home

Gathering together for Thanksgiving is such a wonderful way to spend the holidays. A helpful tip to consider when celebrating away from home is to serve yourself dinner first. If you are attending a party, it is very easy for cross-contamination to occur throughout the meal and as people confuse and start mixing the utensils. Serving yourself first prevents any cross-contamination from occurring.

Offer to help your host by planning the menu and shopping for ingredients that are allergen-safe. You can also discuss labeling certain dishes that are allergen-free and safe to eat. Communication is key when planning on attending a gathering away from home.

If you are going to someone else's home, speak with the host to plan on bringing a special dish and/or dessert. Bringing your own dishes and dessert is a good way on staying safe from a reaction this Thanksgiving. Make sure you label them so everyone with a food allergy knows that it is safe to eat.

Food Allergy Treatment

Living with food anaphylaxis is tough, but it doesn't have to be! With a 99% success rate, the Tolerance Induction Program (TIP™) has helped over 12,000 children achieve food freedom - the ability to eat whatever they want, whenever they want, without fear of reaction. Learn more about our program to find out if it's right for you.

Related Article

Understanding Food Allergy Treatment Options: TIP™ vs OIT