10 Tips to Keeping Safe with Food Allergies
Parenting a child with multiple food allergies is a tough journey. Avoiding allergic foods is crucial when it comes to keeping safe with food allergies. When you have a child with multiple food allergies, it’s important to have strategies already in place to avoid any unnecessary reactions. When you have strategies in place it’s easier for everyone involved.
If you are new to the allergy world be sure you download my FREE eBook Beginners Guide To Eating With Food Allergies at the bottom of this page.
Here are 10 strategies that we implement …
1. PLAN AHEAD.
People with food allergies (or their parents) need to be organised. Gone are the spur of the moment days. If you want to be spontaneous, you also need to be organised. Be prepared for the unexpected!
2. ALWAYS READ THE FOOD LABEL- EVERYTIME!
Even if you have eaten the food before you still should check the ingredients. Sometimes companies change the ingredients listed without any other warning that they have done so. Know what’s in your food and be aware of alternative names that manufacturers may use. Remember- If in doubt – Go without!
3. NO FOOD LABEL OR CLEAR INGREDIENT LIST, DO NOT EAT THE FOOD!
Ask yourself – Are you really prepared to place your life in the hands of someone else who has prepared and cooked food with ingredients that you don’t know? There is also the added risk of cross contamination. When it comes to having a life threatening food allergy, it really isn’t worth taking the risk.
4. IF IN DOUBT ABOUT A FOOD LABEL, CALL THE MANUFACTURER.
There is usually a phone number on the label of product. If in doubt or confused by the label, call them and ask the questions. Keep in mind the person who answers the phone may not be the person who has the correct answer. Be persistent and get the correct information from the right person. If they don’t sound like they know and aren’t confident in assuring you, take it as a warning. Be mindful that you probably won’t get anyone answering the phone outside of business hours, so perhaps try to reach them though social media avenues – Facebook, Twitter.
5. EDUCATE YOUR CHILD ABOUT THEIR ALLERGY!
This is so important and the ultimate goal of an allergy parent. Never underestimate how much your child understands. Use every opportunity to educate and bring awareness to potential dangers that surround them. Use your words wisely so you don’t instil fear. Keep your emotions and personal fears out of it and EDUCATE. Teach them how to keep themselves safe.
6. CHECK PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS FOR THE PRESENCE OF ALLERGENS.
Be aware of what ingredients are in everyday products such as your shampoos, conditioners, cosmetics, moisturisers, medications, cleaning products etc.. Many natural and organic personal care products won’t have the toxic chemicals but may contain nut oils, milk, salicylic acid or other allergens that may cause a reaction. Understand alternative names that some manufacturers e.g. Peanut oil can also be called Arachis oil and often found in zinc cream
7. CHECK PET FOOD FOR POTENTIAL ALLERGENS.
Sometimes allergens are easily overlooked such as the ingredients of pet food. Bird seed may contain nuts or seeds, cat food may contain fish and horse feed may contain oats or grains that could cause reactions. Be mindful of any unusual ingredients.
8. ALWAYS HAVE A SNACK WITH YOU.
By always having something to snack on when you are away from home, you’ll be less inclined to be tempted to buy something that may not be safe.
9. DON’T SHARE!
As parents we raise our kids to think about other people and to share with their siblings and other children. As a food allergy parent, we need to set boundaries to keep our children safe. Make it a strict rule NOT TO SHARE – food, water bottles, utensils, straws, cups or cutlery.
10. ALWAYS HAVE YOUR ADRENALINE!!!
Make it a strict habit that at least one (preferably 2) epipen (or Anapen) is ALWAYS with the allergic person. There are cases where anaphylaxis has occurred hours after ingestion of a food. Always be prepared and have your adrenaline with you.
NO EPIPEN= NO EAT!!
I hope these strategies help you. What other strategies can you recommend? What works in your home?
Beginners Guide to Eating with Food Allergies.
A must have eBook for anyone newly diagnosed with food allergies. Packed with helpful tips and suggestions. Designed to help cut through the overwhelm and navigate your way through eating safely with food allergies without going insane.