People with allergies like nuts and gluten.
When you set out to meet family and friends for Thanksgiving, you can take nut-free chocolate, gluten-free banana bread and containers of stuffing – a nut-free and or a gluten-free version.
This can be a challenge but you can coordinate with your hosts and take some foods that you are certain are allergen free so you or your children can enjoy and be a part of this family celebration.
One in six parents has a teenager who has tried either a vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan or paleo diet within the last two years.
Among those parents whose children followed restricted diets, over half said they thought the diets had a positive impact on their child’s health, while 41 percent believed it had no health impact, and 7 percent thought it was bad for the child’s health.
The poll found that the vegetarian diet was the most popular: 9 percent of teenagers nearly one in 10 had tried it. Six percent had tried a gluten-free diet, 4 percent a vegan diet and 2 percent a paleo diet.
But while 11 percent of parents forbade their child to embark on a special diet, only 17 percent had asked a nutrition expert for advice. Please consult a professional before embarking on a new diet, not only to make sure the child will get all the nutrients needed, but also to discuss the child’s motivations and help screen anyone with an underlying eating disorder whose real motivation is losing weight.
The survey found that teenagers’ reasons for starting restrictive diets varied.
Each diet presents its own set of potential nutritional pitfalls. Vegans need to make sure they get enough protein as well as vitamin B12, iron, calcium and vitamin D, while those following a paleo diet, and may need vitamin D and fiber. And everyone needs to get sufficient calories.
Special diets can be a source of tension during the holidays, the survey found, and over half of parents whose teenagers follow special diets said the diets caused conflict at family gatherings. The teenagers don’t like to be belittled for something that, for them, is a serious choice, and the parents feel judged based on what their kids do.
Developing a strategy in advance may help teenagers feel their choices are respected, and minimize disruption. Teenagers who adopt a special diet are often exploring their identity and declaring their independence, and parents can take advantage of family get-togethers to demonstrate their support for their child’s choices, and carry the food with them that is acceptable to their child.
Most people respect if you are allergic to something but do not feel compelled to accommodate optional choices like being a vegan or a vegetarian.
But keep in mind that rejecting someone’s signature dish may appear insensitive or downright rude. Tensions may be eased if family members are informed of the child’s dietary preference in advance or if a child is willing to compromise and taste a small portion.