Tips for an allergy free Christmas

Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, which is asking for support for allergy research, has some advice for allergy sufferers at Christmas.

ALLERGY sufferers find there are many Christmas treats they have to find substitutes for or avoid altogether.

For example Christmas cakes, stuffing, puddings and other goodies are often loaded with all sorts of nuts.

But Professor Mimi Tang from Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, which is based in Melbourne, said the nuts in many recipes can be avoided by substituting dried fruits such as cranberries and apricots.

Professor Tang there was nothing silly about being a coeliac and Christmas time was another occasion when it could be difficult to keep the gluten gifts away as gluten was in everything from cakes to sausages.

She said thankfully gluten-free snags, flours and cakes were more readily available now than in the past.

“Also, try using buckwheat and quinoa, which are both great alternatives and completely gluten free and other options include legumes, lentils or chickpeas,’’ she said.

While most children are allergic to the egg white rather than the yolk, there’s still no safe way to separate the two.

“The small traces of egg white can trigger an allergic reaction.

“Also, be wary of egg substitutes, many of which contain egg ingredients – instead, look for quality egg replacements.

“Eggs are often used in cooking and baking as a ‘binder’ to combine ingredients together.

“Some possible replacements that work as a ‘binder’ are half a banana, gelatine mix, or a tablespoon of ground flax seed mixed with three tablespoons of warm water.

“One tablespoon of xanthan gum can also be used to bind and add texture.

“If eggs are needed as a leavening agent in a recipe, try using a tablespoon of vegetable oil with one teaspoon of baking powder.’’

She said these days there were plenty of alternatives to lactose, such as soy, rice or almond milk.

She said for hayfever sufferers it was best to start treatment before any symptoms appeared.

“The best treatment for hayfever is a topical nasal steroid spray because it begins as inflammation of the nasal lining.

“As the allergy capital of the world, Australians should act now and continuously through the allergy season.’’

You can help to support MCRI’s allergy research by heading to