• Planner's Pocket Dictionary: Food Allergies

    FROM THE Winter 2019 ISSUE

    Understanding the dietary needs of your attendees is paramount to creating safe and inclusive food and beverage for events. Consider this your go-to guide.


Milk or dairy allergy » Avoid milk, yogurt, cheese, ice cream, cream, curd, butter, whey, casein

Soy allergy » Avoid soy, seitan, tamari, tofu, shoyu, edamame, miso, natto, tempeh, textured vegetable protein 

Egg allergy » Avoid egg, albumin, whites, livetin, mayonnaise, meringue, ovalbumin, ovoglobulin, surimi, marzipan

Tree nut allergy » Avoid almond, beechnut, Brazil nut, butternut, cashews, chestnut, hazelnut, macadamia, pecan, walnut, pine nut; also pesto, marzipan, Nutella, filbert, praline, natural extracts, nut oils

Wheat allergy » Avoid wheat and all forms of it—bulgur, couscous, farro, durum, einkorn, kamut, semolina, spelt, triticale

Fish allergy » Avoid all fish (e.g., anchovies, trout, mahi mahi, tuna, salmon, perch, grouper) and items made with fish (wine, sauces, imitation crab)

Shellfish allergy » Avoid barnacle, crab, crawfish, krill, lobster, prawns, shrimp; some may also avoid mollusks (clams, oysters, octopus, mussels, scallops, squid)

Peanut allergy » Avoid peanuts, artificial nuts, peanut flour, peanut butter


Lactose intolerance » Cannot tolerate milk sugar (lactose) so must avoid all foods containing or made with milk

Diabetic » Chronic disease that occurs when the body doesn’t produce any or enough insulin, leading to an excess of sugar in the blood; avoids foods with excess sodium and sugar, high carbohydrates or fried foods. Enjoys foods with natural fibers and sugars

Celiac disease » A genetic autoimmune disease where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine; can cause long-term digestive problems and keep one from getting needed nutrients; must maintain a strict gluten-free diet

Nonceliac gluten sensitivity » This medical condition refers to individuals who cannot stomach gluten because they experience symptoms similar to those seen of celiac disease, yet testing for celiac disease and food allergies are negative. Must maintain a strict gluten-free diet.

Gluten free » Individuals who abstain from eating gluten as a lifestyle choice but have not been diagnosed as having a wheat allergy, celiac disease or nonceliac gluten sensitivity; avoidance of gluten is not medically necessary

Ketogenic (keto) » Very low-carb (lowsugar and starch) diet based on real foods; allowed are unprocessed meats, fish and seafood, eggs, natural fat-sauces, vegetables grown above ground, berries, nuts and high-fat milk products

FODMAP » An elimination diet that removes high FODMAP foods (carbohydrates and sugar alcohols found in certain foods) that can cause digestive symptoms, pain and bloating

Paleo » Eats grass-fed beef and chicken, wild-caught fish, fruit, nonstarchy vegetables, nuts and seeds; avoids sugar, milk, all grains, legumes, potatoes and processed foods

Vegetarian » Avoids beef, poultry, seafood and game; eats eggs, honey and dairy products

Ovo-vegetarian » Avoids beef, poultry, seafood, game and any milk (dairy) products; does consume eggs and honey

Lacto-vegetarian » Abstains from beef, poultry, seafood and eggs; consumes honey and milk/dairy products

Pescatarian » Avoids meat from land animals, but does eat seafood, eggs, honey and milk

Vegan » Refrains from eating anything made from or with meat, skin or products of land or sea animals, including insects, honey, eggs and milk.

Raw » Only eats foods heated to temperatures less than 113 degrees.

Kosher » Jewish dietary laws dictate what is kosher (fit for consumption). Permitted foods include Kosher-certified meat, poultry, fish and milk products as well as parve fruits, vegetables, eggs, fish, cereal products, nuts and grains. Forbidden are shellfish, pork, eating milk and meat together, and any noncertified meat, poultry or fish. Jewish holidays have food traditions and additional dietary restrictions.

Halal » Term defined by Islamic dietary laws for what is permitted to be eaten by Muslims. Forbidden foods and beverages (haram) include anything containing alcohol, pork or pork products (gelatin, bacon), birds of prey, carnivorous animals or blood. To be halal, animals must be slaughtered in the name of Allah. 


Tracy Stuckrath is a professional speaker, published author, award-winning meeting industry consultant and food allergy expert. Contact her at tracy@thrivemeetings.com

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