'Extend A Little Grace' — Navigating Food Allergies And Sensitivities At Thanksgiving

When one person's treasured family recipe is another person's edible assault weapon, setting the menu for a holiday meal can be a struggle. Here's how to take the stress out of food discussions.
A food allergy, sensitivity, or intolerance can make the difference between passing the mashed potatoes — and passing on them. Source: JGI/Jamie Grill

Out of all the Thanksgiving dishes Kim Yates has helped prepare for her large family over the years, one batch of mashed potatoes stands out clearly in her memory.

About 30 guests were gathered that year, at her sister's home in Palo Alto, Calif., and Yates had made a point of taking on responsibility for the mashed potatoes so that her young daughter Tessa (who was dealing with extreme food allergies to eggs, dairy, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts and shellfish) would have at least one safe side dish to eat.

The kitchen was crowded and chaotic that day, Yates remembers, and she stepped away from the counter for just a moment. That was long enough

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