Knowing your guests’ restrictions before they arrive will save you a lot of time, headache, and sometimes lives.


You can’t always see or smell ground nuts, nut milks, or nut oils that are often used in general cooking; but are most often used on Passover when anything made with gluten or legumes is not allowed. Families need to be very vigilant about what they allow nut allergic children to consume. When we go away for Passover, my daughter speaks to the chef in charge to find out the ingredients of everything. Most often, the general kitchen staff will have no idea how things are made. If your child is not only allergic to nuts but also allergic to foods made in a facility where nuts have been used, you are safest bringing in your own packaged baked goods etc. with the Rabbi’s permission. No one wants to use their epi pen!


Whenever I invite people I don’t know well for any meal or whenever I offer to send people food for any variety of reasons ie. celebrations, illnesses, shivas, I always ask if anyone is allergic to anything. Surprisingly, even people with food allergies and vegetarians often don’t tell you their issues until you notice them sitting at the table and not eating. As a hostess, I would much rather be told in advance than have my guests go hungry. My grandson is allergic to nuts and fish, my daughter is vegetarian and my Mother is lactose intolerant; so I have very first hand experience with these issues. Of all these allergies, the nut allergy is the most compelling.