Food Allergies: Why They’re ‘Kind of a Big Deal’ and Tips to Cope

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When I think of allergies, I think of the first time I had seasonal allergies after moving to Virginia to take a new teaching position. 

When I think of allergies, I recall a time when I encountered my first elementary school that instituted the “peanut butter table” and the preschool that placed a ban on all things nut-related due to the number of kids who had an allergy in the school. My child was not one of those that had an allergy, and I remember I felt inconvenienced because I couldn't bring those handy-dandy frozen PB&Js (side note: totally healthy, mom-of-the-year option right there.). 

Are allergies a big deal?  The simple answer: Yes. From peanuts to gluten to milk products – food allergies are more prevalent than ever. So, how does one prepare to contribute to a class party or create an allergy-friendly sleepover party menu for a  group of giggling friends? 

When I look at my kids and consider allergies, I recall my oldest daughter, who at age two who was ill with pneumonia and was given a dose of penicillin to fight it, which resulted into head-to-toe large, raised welts.

The ER visit that followed was emotional to say the least.

For us, we're fortunate that this is the only allergy we currently have to deal with when it comes to our children. But, I have come to realize that there are so many others who aren't so lucky. 

More recently, when I think of allergies, I think of the young girl, Natalie Giorgi who took one bite of a krispy treat that happened to be made with peanut butter and it took her life. This was even after three EpiPen doses were given by her dad, a doctor.

Are allergies a big deal?  The simple answer: Yes. From peanuts to gluten to milk products – food allergies are more prevalent than ever. So, how does one prepare to contribute to a class party or create an allergy-friendly sleepover party menu for a group of giggling friends? 

At EverydayFamily, we aim to find information and resources that help you with these questions. Recently, we interviewed dietitian Rachel Brandeis on EFTV, and she shared with us some fantastic treat ideas  that all kids will love, and the bulk of them will be able to enjoy – even with their allergies. They include things like:

  • Cookies and Cream Whoopie Pies
  • Chocolate Dipped Granola Bars
  • Fun Party Mix

Recipes can be found here: www.udisglutenfree.com/backtoschool

Watch our interview below for more tips to meet the needs of your kids, as well as the needs of their BFFs with special dietary needs. Rachel offers some really tasty options as well as some informative details and sound advice regarding specific allergic reactions.  

 

Rachel Brandeis has been a registered dietitian for more than 15 years. Her area of expertise is in women's health, weight management and disease prevention. She has an undergraduate degree from Emory University and graduate degree in nutrition from Georgia State University. 

Rachel is also a past spokesperson for The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, representing more than 60,000 Registered Dietitians to the national media.  

What do you think?

Food Allergies: Why They’re ‘Kind of a Big Deal’ and Tips to Cope

Nicole Hempeck is a mom, military spouse and full-time marketing manager. She spends her days working hard to raise three strong daughters and manage the many ups and downs of life as a military family while also working her marketing magic for amazing family brands. Occasionally, you can still find her writing at her little spaces in the online world – Moments That Define Life and Trending Parent. ... More

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3 comments

  1. LIZ says:

    my sister in law manage this topic very well because she got a kid with allergies this reading is a good start for me to learn,

  2. Phammom says:

    They are a big deal, like how more restaurants and grocery stores are being supportive.

  3. nichole says:

    nice article. i completely agree. while my children have no food allergys (and hopefully my son on the way wont as well), it scares me that at any time i could be helping out in my kids school, and be there to see a child have a horrible reaction to food. being told i cant send in food because of an allergy, while yes it may inconvenience me a little, and would defiantly make me paranoid about the ingredient being in something i didnt think it was, it wouldnt bother me at all, because if it was my kid, i would hope parents would be ok with making sure my child doesnt possibly die because they didnt wan tot read a lable before sending in a class treat.

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