The holiday season is upon us once more! Whether seeing friends and family virtually or in-person, whether enjoying at-home celebrations or traveling far and wide for the festivities, it is a great time to relax and enjoy good company. Unfortunately for many of us, the holiday season can lead to added stress due to the constant barrage of food-related festivities. In consideration of this week’s holiday in the US—Thanksgiving—we at the FPIES Foundation have dug up some alternatives to food-laden gatherings. You may have so much fun that no one really misses the food at all!

Get Some Fresh Air!

Head out to a local park or a bit further to a state park and embrace all that the crisp autumn air has to offer! We have always enjoyed outdoor adventures with our kids, even when they were tiny, because we were able to make these outings safe for everyone. If you go for a hike, be sure to search online before you go for any maps you can print or any details about the difficulty of a particular trail.

Get Crafty!

Every age, big and small, can get involved. You could focus on creating decorations for winter holidays to come, creating a group project (like painting or tie-dyeing matching t-shirts), or even hosting a craft exchange or “crafternoon.” Needing a virtual alternative? No worries— lots of crafting websites offer free video classes and tutorials on demand. I found a great class line-up at! Do a little research before your special day to be sure that the craft you choose is accessible for everyone and that you have all of the needed supplies.

Give Back!

Volunteering at a soup kitchen for Thanksgiving is a great way to help out your community, but if you feel a little nervous about your loved one affected by FPIES being around all of that food, don’t worry! There are lots of great alternatives that do not involve food at all! Perhaps your local animal shelter needs someone to visit and walk the dogs, or maybe your community center needs help decorating for upcoming holidays. There are even projects you can complete at home, like building toiletry kits for homeless shelters, writing cards to send to military troops abroad, or making pictures to give to your local assisted living or nursing home. If you need ideas, be sure to call up some of your local charities and ask for ways that you and your family can help!

Team Up!

Make it a game day! Game days are always a blast and super customizable, based on the ages and amount of participants! Design outdoor obstacle courses, have a board game bonanza, or mix and match your favorite games to create a memorable day of food-free fun! Don’t forget to take pictures to commemorate your day!

Create New Traditions!

I once had someone tell me that it was sad that my family didn’t celebrate the “traditional” (her words, not mine!) Thanksgiving, just because we don’t eat the “typical” holiday foods. I laughed to myself about this because, as we have learned after 12 years of living with FPIES, that you can create your own food traditions and still honor whatever holiday you are celebrating. We didn’t find it sad at all! Every year is an interesting adventure in creating new recipes, trying out new food-free activities, and celebrating in a fun AND safe way! Do not hesitate to create your family’s own traditions and when you are ready, don’t hesitate to invite others to share in those new traditions! Those traditions will create special, treasured memories for many years to come, whether you eat a turkey or not.

As always, reach out to us at The FPIES Foundation to share your family’s favorite way to celebrate the holidays in a safe and memorable way! We can’t wait to hear about your experiences!

We wish all of you and your families a very festive, safe and healthy holiday season!

Page Published: 23 November 2021. Copyright 2021, The FPIES Foundation