Kid’s Food Allergies-What You Should Know
Did you know that 1 in 13 children in the United States have food allergies?
Guest Post by Char Huskins
I am a “Food Allergy Mom”, with two of my three children having allergies severe enough to require epi-pens at all times. My daughter had her first severe reaction to peanuts at 14 months old, and after a very scary ER trip, we’ve been peanut-free ever since.
My middle son has struggled for years with asthma and colds, but we only recently discovered that his respiratory issues were related to food allergies. He’s actually allergic to more foods than his sister, and it was a shock to find this out. (Talk about Mommy guilt!) Turns out he thought itching skin and itchy eyes and throat was a NORMAL reaction to eating. Poor guy…
Food allergies can be nerve-wracking, inconvenient, and frustrating. We’ve been going through a grieving process with our son, as he’s now giving up a lot of his favorite foods that were actually making him sick. He likes to remind his sister, “It’s a LOT harder on me, because I KNOW what I’m missing… you don’t even remember peanuts”. He’s right. It’s hard. But, we are learning, and he is learning early in life – it is what it is.. and this is what it is.
Tips About Food Allergies:
Teresa has a great post about Food Allergies, and preparing for visits with grandchildren with allergies. I’d like to add a few additional thoughts.
– First – it’s SO much easier to deal with food allergies now than it was even 8 years ago when Martha was diagnosed. Unfortunately, food allergies are on the rise, but because of that, the resources, food options and support is much larger. If you or your family have received a food allergy diagnosis, I recommend the FARE website. Information on EVERY possible aspect of food allergies can be found here, along with support groups.
– Please recognize that food allergies are REAL and SERIOUS. Yes, there are many people who have food sensitivities, but my children have life-threatening food allergies. It’s a matter of life and death for Martha to be exposed to peanuts. That means we can sometimes come across as a bit paranoid.
– You don’t have to give up cooking and baking! My son and daughter LOVE to be in the kitchen. Here is a great resource page on the FARE website for a food substitutions, when baking. Since finding out about my son’s gluten allergy, we’ve discovered just how many options there are for gluten-free baking mixes. Just yesterday, he made a “Funfetti” cake, and he gets to enjoy it all by himself!
– Holidays can be tougher, but they are do-able! I’ll have more about Halloween and baking for the holidays with food allergies in the coming weeks. What are your experiences with kids/grandkids and food allergies? We’d love to hear about it!