TOP TIPS FROM FOOD ALLERGY PARENTS
Coping with a food allergy can be filled with frustration, stress, and anxiety. Everyday activities involve a lot of planning. It can be overwhelming, especially with a new diagnosis, but these tips from food allergy parents can help.
You don’t need to feel alone and confused when facing a food allergy diagnosis.
Rest assured, that many have come before you and here are their food allergy tips that can help in this new situation.
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What are some suggestions for living with a food allergy?
Thank you to our wonderful Facebook community on No Nuts, Please for sharing what you would say to someone new to food allergies. You’re all amazing!
Here are your tips…
Top Tips from Food Allergy Parents
- Don’t let someone pressure you into eating something you’re not comfortable with.
- The cross contamination can be just as bad as if you ingested one of your allergens.
- Read absolutely every label, twice!!
- Ask for help from people who have been dealing with FA longer.
- Always double check. Always read labels.
- Double check EVERYTHING! Ask someone else if they see anything you may have missed. Don’t be afraid to speak up when out to eat or at someone else’s house.
- It seems overwhelming and scary at first, but it gets much easier (to manage) over time and as you learn more. You got this.
- Join online groups with other people, moms, etc…with your food allergies they are so helpful!
- Allergens are like poison. Would you eat food from a kitchen that had poison in it if you’re not sure how it’s all handled?
- Double check everything! For your kids, don’t be afraid to stress how important it is for other caregivers/ friends to watch what they eat before interacting. Always keep allergen free food with you.
- ALWAYS carry your EPI PEN!!
- Always carry your epipens. Triple check. Once at store. Once putting away. Once before eating. It sounds excessive but saved many label reading mistakes. Be a strong advocate for yourself.
- No ingredients to check = don’t eat it.
- You will need a backbone because people will be rude, mean or uneducated and a funny bone, because if you don’t find humor and a community, you will worry and ruminate ❤️ You can do this! One day at a time. You will find your way and adapt. Life continues, it’s just different.
- Read every label, every time. Also, it’s not the end of the world. Once you get the hang of it, there are many alternatives that are just as good or even better.
- Follow the labels and be sure to indicate your allergy when eating out but more importantly: trust your intuition. If you have any hesitation… trust that inner voice
- Don’t eat anything unless you have your epipens with you.
- That you are not alone, don’t let anyone bully you into not doing what’s the best thing for your child or yourself ❤️ love your self and get educated.
- With two little guys 6 and 4 that are allergic to so much between the two of them, we check EVERYTHING. I always pack so much safe food and snacks wherever we go. Have Epi-pens. Very brand loyal. And homemade always tastes better than all that other junk anyways.
- The quote “every label, every time” has saved me from eating things many times that didn’t contain my allergens and then suddenly did. Products I had eaten several times prior that had changed their ingredients but not packaging. Also, never apologize for your allergy!!
- Don’t be scared to ask if something contains your allergen anywhere you go, every time you go if you feel the need. And if you have anxiety associated with it like some of us, learn coping and triggers. Also always check labels on foods!
- There are worse things to have than food allergies. We aren’t homebound. We aren’t in pain. We aren’t hospitalized. We sometimes have to pass on foods others can eat. We need to be more prepared with food backup plans and bring our own snacks. We need to carry epipens at all times. Other than that, life is pretty normal.
- We frequently remind our daughter to keep things in perspective. She’s not sick. She’s not hurt. We’re in it together – if she can’t eat it then neither do we.
- Learn to read labels and opt to make your own food.
- If a food was safe once doesn’t mean it will be safe again. Manufacturers change ingredients ALL the time without warning. ALWAYS read the labels.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If someone gives you attitude about it, politely say “this is a matter of life and death for me, and I’m not being dramatic.” If they can’t get you an answer, politely decline to order anything. (I’ve actually left places that can’t or won’t give me an answer about what’s in the food.) Your health and safety are worth more than anything else in that situation.
- If you’re traveling, do research about where you can eat, and also pack snacks you KNOW you can eat so that you don’t end up without a choice.
- Sometimes people say things like “I’m sorry” when they express that they’re enjoying a piece of pecan pie or whatever. In that case I say something like: “No, please enjoy! I’m not missing anything ?” Because you aren’t! You’re keeping yourself healthy, which is more important than one piece of pie in the grand scheme of things ?
- Double check ingredients on everything. Sometimes foods that were once safe change their formulas. When you go to restaurants, make sure they understand the severity of the food allergies that you’re asking them to stay away from. Always, always, always keep emergency meds with you i.e. Benadryl and an EpiPen. Get comfortable being a pain in the butt at restaurants if need be. Some waitstaff will get annoyed, but that’s too bad. If you’re planning to go to a traditional restaurant where they speak a different language, bring this with you: Food Allergy Chef Cards
- Always carry 2 epi pens.
Familiarize yourself with your allergy action plan. If you don’t have one, get one.
Read every label, every time (even if you’ve eaten it before).
It’s overwhelming at first, but it gets easier over time.
You’re not alone.
Coping with Food Allergies
With these tips from food allergy parents, there’s no need to feel alone and confused when facing a food allergy diagnosis.
Most Common Food Allergies
Although nearly any food can trigger an allergic reaction, there are nine foods that cause the majority of reactions. FARE
While these nine foods cause 90% of all allergic reactions, it is possible to be allergic to any food.
The Top 9 Food Allergens
- Cow’s Milk
- Tree Nuts
- Finned Fish
THE BOTTOM LINE – TIPS FROM FOOD ALLERGY PARENTS
Remember there are others in similar shoes, living this life with food allergies.
Follow some of the tips above that others have taken the time to share. They are sharing their experience to hopefully make your life a little easier.
If you have a tip to share, please add a comment below and help another family.
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