Allergy Shmallergy

Simplifying life for families with food allergies.

About December 16, 2010



Erin Malawer is a digital health entrepreneur and food allergy advocate.  She is the co-founder of the Food Allergy Collaborative, a global collaboration of food allergy interest groups.  Erin serves on the Food Allergy Task Force at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington D.C.  She is the founder of AllergyHealth, a company that brings expert guidance and up-to-date information to patients and caregivers.  Erin advises pharmaceutical companies, tech start-ups, food manufacturers, media outlets, restaurants, and others on food allergies.

Erin is an Emmy-award winner for writing and producing “Spell It Out”, a PSA about food allergies.  She and her family were featured on the Discovery Chanel documentary, “Emerging Epidemic: Food Allergies in America.” Additionally, Erin has consulted and contributed to a variety of media sources including those programs and articles featured on CBS Radio, Politico, Bloomberg, Healthline, WebMD, Fox 5, and CBS News. Erin is also the food allergy columnist and medical editor for the publication, Allergy & Asthma Today.

With fifteen 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 advocacy, access to care and treatment, food allergy innovation, education, psychosocial implications of living with food allergy.  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, Europe, and South America.  She’s worked with foreign governments to counter narcotrafficking and terrorism, as well as foster international peace.  She loves languages, plays competitive tennis 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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Website policy/Disclaimer:

The information provided on this site is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her existing physician.

The material on this website was written as a guideline for care and does not constitute medical advice. The authors and Allergy Shmallergy disclaim any responsibility for any adverse effects resulting from the information presented on this website. The information on this site is not designed to take the place of a doctor’s instructions. Patients are urged and encouraged to contact a doctor for specific information regarding guidelines for their individual care. The use or inclusion of brand names  does not imply endorsement by the authors or Allergy Shmallergy.


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15 Responses to “About”

  1. Maria Says:

    Hi! Glad I found your website – or did you find me through Twitter…doesn’t matter but glad to know you are out there! We are in this together – many contacts I will never meet through 5 yrs of food allergy in my daughter but we are like one growing army of Mama Bears that will do anything we can to figure out a new way of life by living with food allergies. Let me know if you are anywhere near Loudoun County, VA and see our website at We had to give up our dogs when Ella was 8 months old. She also has developed asthma. Keep in touch!

  2. JK Says:

    I am a fellow McLean allergy mom and stumbled across your blog. We have also eaten successfully at Endo Sushi, Mclean Pizza and Chicken Out with our son (sesame, egg, peanut, tree nut allergies, among numerous others). Would love to hear about more local places you frequent.

    • malawer Says:

      I will certainly be adding new posts about local eateries and the way in which they handle food allergies.

      In the meantime, follow me on Twitter (@shmallergy). I often tweet about our experiences with food allergies there.

  3. Sharon Says:

    I would love to talk to you about featuring your blog entries on AllergyEats. If your not familiar with the site, its a free, online guide to allergy friendly restaurants. We always are looking to add blog entries on various restaurants so that the users can have more information- whether it’s positive or negative. A person who has food allergies (or a parent of one) can never have to much information.

    I really enjoy your blog and think it would be a great addition to the site!

  4. Jennifer Says:

    Congrats on your top 25 Food Allergy Mom Blog nomination! I’m listed as well (my son has several food allergies) and it’s given me an idea. I’m starting a blog hop for anyone dealing with allergies, eczema, or asthma – adults or parents helping their children. If you’re interested in joining, please visit my page.

    Hopefully we can create a circle of blogs to support each other in battling these conditions.


  5. Linda Brown Says:

    I came across your blog and I wanted to introduce my line to you for infants and toddlers.

    Several years ago I was diagnosed with Dairy and Egg allergies – and most recently added Gluten to my list. I designed these shirts to help kids be safe while allowing their parents some small bit of security hoping to alert others while they may not be around. As an adult it is difficult to choose a meal – but with all the new menus etc out there – it has become increasingly easier – but for a parent of an allergic child – I can’t imagine. That is why Love, Linda Allergy was born to help! Here is a link to our Allergy shirts – Our shirts include Dairy, Egg, Peanut and Gluten.

    Love, Linda also sells a line of shirts for infants and toddlers called “The Art of Reading” licensed artwork from Children’s book illustrators that are currently sold in specialty stores across the country. .

    I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have – hoping that you find some interest in my line that might be of interest to your readers.

    Thank you for your time.

    Linda Brown

  6. Katherine Says:

    I have a soy allergy and really appreciate your posts.

  7. Kelly Yates Says:

    i just found your blog through another allergy site. I so appreciate it. I have a lactose intolerant child and have 3 food allergies myself, one is a life threatening allergy.

  8. Shannon Clay Says:

    Thank you for blogging these allergy-friendly restaurants in the DC area. We plan on visiting in the next few weeks with our PN-TN allergic son. By reading your posts, you just saved me valuable vacation time!

  9. Ladee Moon Says:

    I’m a mother of a toddler with severe multiple food allergies and I recently wrote a book about a girl with food allergies and I’d like to know if you’d be interested in sharing the book with your readers. A portion of the proceeds from each book is going toward the Food Allergy Kids of Atlanta, however our mission is all the same: Raise Awareness and increase inclusion for those with food allergies. Here’s the link: And thanks in advance for your support

  10. Lisa Kane Says:


    My 2.5 year old son is allergic to dairy. I was shocked to learn that the Affordable Care Act does not cover epinephrine injectors, life-saving medication for people with food allergies. I wrote a petition on asking the US Government to mandate that all insurance plans cover epinephrine injectors. Please take a look and consider signing and sharing this petition on your blog with your followers.

    Lisa Kane

    Here’s the link:

  11. mellyhind76 Says:

    Great to find your blog. I’ve entered the blog world in the last little while and I’m enjoying the connections you make through sites like yours. I have three kids who are all anaphylactic to something. Its a tough journey, like you never imagined motherhood with allergies front and center! thanks for you blog. If you get a chance love you to check out mine at Really just trying to provide support and awareness here in australia in regards to allergies! Blessings

  12. Kathy Argel Says:

    Excellent blog site filled with helpful information for all those living with food allergies. I’ve tweeted and shared your site on my facebook. I believe in spreading allergy awareness and supporting our food allergy community. As a mom of two kids with severe allergies to peanut, tree nut, and eggs – I’ve created fun allergy awareness products (tags, bracelets, necklaces) and even wrote a book. My kids love them, and so do their friends.

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