Erin Malawer is a food allergy management expert who serves on the Food Allergy Task Force at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington DC. Erin advises pharmaceutical companies, tech start-ups, restaurants, camps, food services as well as families and individuals on food allergies.
Erin was featured on the Discovery Chanel documentary, “Emerging Epidemic: Food Allergies in America.” In addition, Erin has consulted and contributed to a variety of media sources including those programs and articles featured on CBS Radio, Politico, Healthline, Fox 5 DC, and CBS News. Erin is also the food allergy columnist and medical editor for the publication, Allergy & Asthma Today.
With ten years experience training school administrators, teachers and staff about food allergy management, Erin thoroughly enjoys spending time in the classroom educating children about living with food allergies.
Among her many areas of interest are food allergy innovation, education, psychosocial implications of living with food allergy, as well as advocacy. Through her organization, AllergyStrong, Erin is focused on helping the at-risk and underserved community living with food allergies.
Erin is a former U.S. diplomat with experience in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and South America. She’s worked with foreign governments to counter narcotrafficking, terrorism, and foster international peace. She loves languages and is an avid cook.
Born a severely allergic child, my son first reacted to milk at six months old and was officially diagnosed with a wide array of food allergies by fifteen months. I was overwhelmed. Like many parents, I didn’t grow up with food allergies (nor did anyone I knew). Throughout my pregnancy I had imagined that we’d one day make cookies together, maybe sneak in a bite of pizza. But with milk, egg, soy, wheat, peanut, tree nut, corn and sesame seed allergies (nevermind his allergy to my two dogs!), those dreams felt impossible. I deeply mourned the loss of these hopes and visions until my husband helped me regain perspective, reminding me that there MUST be a way around all of it.
My husband’s voice of reason echoed in my head and I soon began researching and speaking with other parents. It took time, but we figured out that way around – a way that works for our family. My personal philosophy on food allergies was born out of necessity: Not only did the allergies mean that I had to look out for our son physically, but I was worried about him psychologically. I wanted him to understand the dangers of his allergies and take them seriously, but not live in fear of the world around him. It was important to me that he didn’t feel “different” because he had food allergies. We underscore the fact that everyone’s body is unique; his just can’t have certain foods. So, he and I are vigilant about keeping safe, but we shrug it off when he can’t eat something.
In short: Allergy, shmallergy! Living safely with food allergies doesn’t slow us down and I hope this blog makes it easier for you and your family as well!
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**It goes without saying: please talk to your doctor about all allergy-related issues. These suggestions are just tips and information our family has gleaned to make living with food allergies simpler.**
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