Trick or Treating Safely with Food Allergies

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Your child has a food allergy and all year long you carefully monitor what he eats. He’s careful about checking labels and asking questions about food if he’s not sure. Now it’s October and one of the biggest candy holidays is right around the corner, Halloween. How can you make sure that your child has fun and at the same time is staying safe with all of the candy around? Here are some valuable tips to aid you through the holiday.

• Review with your child all of the precautions you both normally take throughout the year. With all the excitement, it may be easy for your child to forget. Continue reading…

Have Food Allergy; Still Travel

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As I’ve hovered around food allergies all week, I’d like to stay on the topic and offer some tips on traveling with a food allergy. This can be challenging as well as frightening, especially if traveling outside of the country where you may encounter unknown foods or different languages. Hopefully these tips can help you feel more assured and you can enjoy the pleasures of travel without letting your food allergies interfere. Continue reading…

“Arthur” Episode Informative about Peanut Allergies

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Each morning as my children get ready for school, we turn the TV on to PBS to watch the kid shows. Our favorite is Arthur, a show about third graders (though all the character are animals, including Arthur the aardvark) that tackles real life problems in a very realistic manner, including ear infections, head lice, friendships and yes, peanut allergies.

This morning, the show about peanut allergies, “Binky Goes Nuts,” was aired and it reminded of the first time I saw it, about 2 years ago. Continue reading…

Nutrition’s Role in Allergies: Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables

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We often think about what to avoid when it comes to allergies, but are there certain things we can eat that can help us with our allergy symptoms? Nutrition actually plays a large part in our body’s coping with allergy symptoms. It doesn’t just have to be the antihistamines that we ingest to alleviate symptoms, but there are a number of foods and vitamins that experts say may help us through the season.

As we know, an allergic reaction is the body’s way of fighting something that it thinks is a threat but which really isn’t. Continue reading…

Hosting a Food Allergy and Worry Free Party

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Somehow this week has gotten a theme of parties, so in keeping with that, here are some tips on maintaining a food allergy free party. Whether it’s a kid’s birthday party, an engagement shower or a football tailgating party, you can do certain things to keep a safe party for both you and your guests. Allergies are always lurking, whether they be food or environmental. Since I touched on environmental in a previous piece, let’s focus on food. Continue reading…

Dilemmas about Peanut Free Tables at School

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These days when you walk into a school, it is inevitable that somewhere along the halls you will see at least one sign that says “Nut Free Classroom” or “Peanut Free Zone.” Often these areas flow into the lunchroom, and more and more our schools are setting aside peanut free tables in the lunchroom. These are tables where children with peanut allergies can have their lunch with no worries of peanut residue or oils contaminating their food or getting on their hands. Continue reading…

Variety in a Food Allergy Diet

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Our good friend is renowned for his delicious pizzas, everything is homemade, including the crispy crust and an assortment of delectable sauces and mouthwatering toppings. While he was visiting, he wanted to make his famous feta, spinach and pine nut pizza, but we weren’t sure if our daughter could have pine nuts with her tree nut allergy. He quickly suggested substituting toasted pumpkin seeds for the pine nuts, and it certainly was a fantastic pizza with a delicious taste combination. One of the biggest keys to managing food allergies is avoiding the allergen, but that doesn’t mean your diet should suffer, neither in nutrition nor variety. So knowing your options with substitutions can really come in handy. Continue reading…

Oral Allergy Syndrome (Pollen Food Syndrome)

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Have you ever eaten a piece of fruit or a particular vegetable, probably something that you have always eaten before, and your mouth begins to itch? Maybe you bite into a juicy kiwi and suddenly your lips or your tongue begin to itch or perhaps your whole mouth itches after eating your favorite chips with guacamole. This sounds like a food allergy, but instead, it may very well be what is known as Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS). This syndrome actually differs from a food allergy and is very closely connected with pollen and seasonal allergies. Continue reading…

Dining Out With Food Allergies

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There are so many fabulous restaurants around these days, all types of cuisine and styles of food. Food is very “in” right now, from the movies to books to the Food Network. However, when you or someone in your family has a food allergy, a lot of the pleasure goes out of dining out, and it’s most often replaced with worry. However, with a little research and a little explaining, restaurants can be part of your dining repertoire. Continue reading…

Avoidance: What Does it Mean Exactly?

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When my daughter was diagnosed with a food allergy, I did all I could to get a straight answer from the allergist about what foods exactly to avoid. Well, of course, we’d avoid the ones containing tree nuts (her allergy); I know I won’t serve her pecan pie, but what about the foods processed in plants that process nuts, or those that “may contain traces,” or what about restaurants that might have nuts on the menu? Continue reading…

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