Food Allergies – Parents, You Are Not Alone!

Food Allergies – Parents, You Are Not Alone!

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.  Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

When parents of food allergic kiddos come to see me, they are looking for guidance with diet and nutrition.  It can be challenging for parents to find safe foods that still meet their child’s needs for continued growth.  I teach them how to identify allergens on ingredient lists, how to prepare and adapt recipes and suggest alternative foods that can fill in the nutrient gaps for the omitted food.

Is That Enough?
Nope.  That will only get them through the ‘feed him for a day’ stage.  My ultimate goal is to teach them how to ‘feed him for a lifetime’ which means parents must continually monitor food products, call food manufacturers whenever they are unsure about ingredients and educate both the child plus all caregivers that come into contact with him about how to keep him safe.

It’s not an easy road.  This can all feel overwhelming to newly diagnosed food allergic parents.

You Are Not Alone
The feeling that you aren’t alone in this is critical-not only for your child’s safety, but also for the support and hope other parents can offer one another.  You learn and share with other moms and dads about foods that were previously safe but have been modified or contain unlabeled allergens, how to handle school staff, what to do when eating out at restaurants (if possible) and much more.

A Word of Caution
If someone is trying to sell something they claim will cure your child (herbal supplements and such), that may be a tip off that it isn’t the best resource.  As with any parent group, trust your gut.  If they recommend helpful products (like these epi-pen belts) or let you know responses they’ve gotten from companies about ingredients in foods, you have only to benefit.

The groups don’t need to be local but that is an added bonus.  It would be so nice to let your kids have playdates with children of parents who truly understand.

By Louise Goldberg, RD, CSP, LD, CNSC

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