If you’re eating with food allergies, you know that there is much more to it than just avoiding certain foods. If only it were that simple!
Eating with food allergies means reading food labels carefully and knowing where to find hidden allergens. It means trusting that those preparing your food use clean hands, clean surfaces and clean utensils before touching your food.
It means finding substitutions for foods you can no longer have and grocery shopping at specialty stores for ingredients that you have never heard of.
It means cooking food from scratch more and eating out less.
It means planning ahead for every outing and packing lunches and snacks rather than relying on what’s available in the cafeteria or convenience store. It means checking restaurant websites for allergen information and knowing what you can eat before you walk in the door. It means contacting airlines, hotels and resorts before you travel.
It means meeting with school nurses and teachers before school begins and creating plans to keep food allergic kids safe at school. It means choosing child care, summer camps and other activities based on their ability to accommodate you and your child.
It means altering holiday traditions or starting brand new ones. It means painting wooden eggs at Easter and making “allergy free” gingerbread at Christmas time. It means making “safe” and “not-safe” piles after trick-or-treating…or skipping it altogether. It means hosting holiday gatherings so you can control the menu or asking hosts/hostesses what’s on their menu and planning accordingly.
Yes, it means much more than avoiding certain foods. And, yes, it can be a challenge but before you get too depressed about it – don’t!
Believe it or not, you can eat well (and live well) - even with food allergies!
Eating with food allergies also means eating a healthful diet - more whole foods and less junk.
It means seeing the kindness of others who try to find “safe” foods for your child so he won’t feel left out at birthday parties and play dates
It means grandmas bake “allergy free” cookies and search grocery stores for “safe” food finds. It means aunts buy special ingredients to make "safe" mashed potatoes so everyone can be included at a holiday gathering.
It means extended family members read labels more often and wonder if they might have stumbled upon a new and exciting “safe” food find.
My family has been eating with food allergies since 2005. Like you, we have our ups and downs but, all in all, we manage pretty well. I hope to help you do the same!
Wondering Where To Start?
Check out the Allergy Free Recipes Page where most of the recipes are free of the top 8 allergens.
Save time and get your questions answered during a one-on-one food allergy coaching session with me available via phone or web conferencing.