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Guide to Food Allergies and Special Eating Needs

By EatingWell Editors, "What-they-can-eat cheat sheet," September/October 2007

The 8 most common food allergies and how to eat around them.

Following this guide can help you prepare a meal for someone with food allergies or other special eating needs. Hidden sources are not as elusive as they were before it became mandatory to list, in plain language, ingredients derived from the “Big Eight” allergens. But you still need to read labels. We’ve simplified that job by identifying some foods in which these risky ingredients are common.

We also offer ways to modify favorite dishes so all can enjoy them. Note: The information in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Since allergies and intolerances are quite variable, it’s best to ask your guests about their specific restrictions before you start planning a dinner menu.

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