While working hard to avoid the things that are dangerous for your child, getting acquainted with ingredients that are safe is the most productive and empowering thing a parent can do in daily management of food allergies. The more familiar you are with ingredients, products, cooking methods, and substitutions, the more in control you’ll feel when it comes to feeding your child well and making sure he doesn’t feel alienated. If you can involve your child in cooking, the practice will have the same effect on her. Master a handful of reliable recipes, riff on them safely to your tastes, and sit down to meals that everyone in the family can enjoy together without worry. Excellent cookbooks, magazines, and recipe databases dedicated to food allergies are available to help. Mainstream food publications and websites often include free-of foods for readers with sensitivities or allergies.
Find reliable sources of research, studies on food allergies, and recalls
To supplement conversations with your allergist or pediatrician, seek out ongoing updates from a short list of verifiable news outlets and websites whose purpose is to support the food allergy community. Bookmark these to start.
FARE, Food Allergy Research and Education, is a nonprofit organization aimed at improving the quality of life and health of people with food allergies. Its website offers webinars, research summaries, toolkits, details about laws and regulations, and more.
Kids With Food Allergies is a division of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, a nonprofit that advocates and educates on behalf of food allergy families.
Clinicaltrials.gov is a service of the National Institutes of Health and allows public searches of research studies happening worldwide. It offers a glimpse into the work being done in the food allergy field. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology is a worldwide membership organization of allergists and immunologists. The website serves its members, but offers useful content and links for parents managing and learning about their children’s food allergies
Compile allergy awareness products and materials
Preparation goes a long way in keeping allergy anxiety at bay. Organize an allergy kit complete with an emergency response checklist, medications and instructions, and important phone numbers. Pack it in an easily recognizable bag, like this allergy medicine case from AllerMates, that you, your child, a caregiver, or teacher will remember to keep on hand. Personalized allergy alert labels, bracelets, and tags call attention to your child’s needs and are available online from companies like Mabel’s Labels. Ask your allergist or pediatrician to print out a personalized emergency plan, or create one using FARE’s Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Emergency Care Plan. Food allergy awareness posters are available online and are perfect for classrooms, preschools, and daycare centers. Print one out to share with your child’s teacher or caregiver. You can find several options