December 14, 2022
Allergy Friendly Gift Guides for the Holidays
The winter holidays are many people’s favorite time of the year, and it’s not hard to see why. All the twinkling lights and decorations hanging in homes and city streets make every place feel like a winter wonderland. Families and friends gather from all around to celebrate together, enjoy meals, and exchange gifts. But what if someone you love has allergies? How do you know what the best gift to give is or what to buy for allergies? It may not occur to most that many popular gifts around the holidays can actually trigger those with allergies. That is why Southern California Allergy has put together an allergy-friendly gift guide to take the guess work out of buying something for that special someone in your life!
What kind of allergens are found in candy, and what candies make sweet gifts?
The most common food allergies are peanut, tree nut, soy, wheat, milk, eggs, shellfish, and fish. Unfortunately, many candies are either made with these ingredients or processed in places where they can come into contact with these common food allergies. Some of the most popular candies that can trigger food allergies are:
- Reese’s peanut butter cups
- M&Ms- both regular and peanut
- Snickers bars
- Hershey’s bar
- Kit-Kat bars
- Twizzlers strawberry flavor
- Jolly Ranchers hard candy
Even if a candy seems appropriate, it is very important all ingredients are checked before you consume them. Even if they do not contain allergy triggering ingredients, many labels will alert you if the product was processed in an environment where food allergens are also processed causing cross contamination.
My mom has a sweet tooth and food allergies. What kind of candy is great for allergy-friendly gifting?
If you’re looking for gifts for someone with food allergies, there are many popular candies available that may be appropriate for those with food allergies! Skittles, Smarties, Dum Dum lollipops, Mike and Ike’s, Starbursts, Lifesavers and Lifesaver Gummies, Dots, Swedish Fish, and Airheads are all free from Top 8 food allergens. However, please note that Airheads do contain soybean oil, so consult with your physician first to see if soybean oil triggers a soy allergy.
There are also several vegan and Top-9 friendly candy makers with lovely gift ideas. Keep in mind though many vegan options are nut-based. For some unique offerings, check out:
Purdy’s Chocolatier. Purdy’s offers a full line of vegan chocolates. They use rice powder to create creamy vegan chocolate without any dairy. Shop Purdys Vegan Chocolates | Purdys Chocolatier
No Whey Foods. No Whey has baked goods and candies free from the Top 9 common allergens. They are vegan, all natural, and gluten-free. Amazon.com: No Whey Chocolate
My cousin is allergic to everything! What can I get him this holiday season?
If you have a loved one in your life that that suffers from chronic allergies, there are many amazing gift ideas for them!
Air purifiers are fantastic gifts for asthma suffers and for allergies. Just keep in mind, not all air purifiers are made the same. For the best results, be sure to get an air purifier with HEPA filters. HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters can remove up to at least 99.97% of dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, and any other airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns. This is a wonderful gift for a friend or family member suffering from allergies this holiday season!
Allergy-friendly bedding is available to help those who suffer from dust mite allergies. Mattress covers, pillows, pillowcases, comforters, even travel bedding called sleep sacks are a perfect gift for allergy sufferers.
My dad suffers from seasonal allergies. Is there a neti pot right for him?
Neti pots are a wonderful aid in dealing with seasonal allergies.That being said, not all neti pots are the same. There are ceramic neti pots, squeeze bottle options, navage, and others. What works for one person, may not work for someone else. When it comes to selecting the best option for you or a loved one, there are a few key factors you need to consider. One factor to consider is pressure. It is recommended you start with an option with lower pressure then move on to a more pressurized method. Next you need to consider the method. Do you prefer a neti pot vs a squeeze bottle? Navage vs Neti Pot? The method is going to come down to your own preference and what you feel most comfortable doing. The last is solution. All nasal irrigation methods involve some form of saline solution, but some come with premixed solution packs that require distilled, filtered or boiled water added to them, while others are already prepared.
For the sinus rinse or squeeze bottle, consider NeilMed SinuFlow Ready Rinse. Neti Pots come in many varieties, but the SinuCleanse Soft Tip Neti-Pot Nasal Wash Irrigation System is a classic, gentle design made of plastic. For a porcelain Neti Pot, try NeilMed Classic Porcelain Neti Pot.Navage is a great option for the suction method. And for the little ones in your life, consider NeilMed Sinus Rinse, Pediatric, Complete Saline Nasal Rinse.
Nasal mists are another option and make a great stocking stuffer. Made part of your daily routine, they help moisturize nasal passages and clear nasal congestion so you can breathe more easily. Check out Arm & Hammer Simply Saline Nasal Mist and NeilMed Pedia Mist.
How exactly does a neti pot help with seasonal allergies?
Neti pots are a form for nasal irrigation that uses saline solution to loosen mucus and help push it out of the nasal cavity. The neti pot opening is inserted into one nostril, then the user will tilt their head forward and lean their head to the opposite side of the nostril the neti pot is in. the saline solution will then push the mucus out of one nostril, then the mucus and saline solution will irrigate out of the opened nostril. Occasional use of a neti pot helps to keep mucus and nasal pressure down, as well as helping to clear out bacteria and allergens from the nasal cavity. Saline nasal irrigation has proven to be a safe and effective method in treating chronic rhinosinusitis, viral upper respiratory infections, and allergic rhinitis.
Gifts are very personal, so if you’re struggling to make a feel-good decision, ask your recipient if he or she has any preferences. Consider your options, and your budget, read the reviews, and give a thoughtful allergy-friendly gift to someone you love this holiday. Happy gifting!