Allergy Shmallergy

Simplifying life for families with food allergies.

Put This on Your To Do List Today: Food Allergy Action Plan October 15, 2014

Severe Allergy Action Plan

One of the most helpful food allergy documents I ever received first came, not from our wonderful allergist, but from our  pediatrician.  An Allergy Action Plan is a vital document for you and your family.  It clearly outlines what to do and who to call in a variety of allergic situations.  It spells out how much medication to give and reminds the reader if the patient is asthmatic.

We keep copies of our Allergy Action Plan everywhere.  I have one in our emergency medication basket in the kitchen, one in the car glove compartment, one in our Emergency On-The-Go Kit, one at school, one at religious school, and others at camp.  Now that I’m writing this, I think I should give a copy to my parents and in-laws so that they can familiarize themselves with the right course of action and know where to access this crucial information in case my son is staying with them (even if his On-The-Go Kit also contains one).

To complete your Food Allergy Action Plan today:

1.  First download Allergy Shmallergy’s:  AS – Severe Allergy Action Plan;

2.  Bring to your allergist or pediatrician to fill out.  This is not for a parent/patient to complete;

3.  Make more copies than you think is necessary to display/distribute to anywhere you/your child keeps epinephrine;

4.  Date the document and remember to update it every 12 months.

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Costco’s Getting More Allergy-Friendly September 25, 2012

Need a safe snack to send to school?  Have a class party, soccer team to feed, play group snack to contribute to?  Check out what I found during one recent trip to our local Costco!    Has anyone tried these products?    I can only vouch for the School Safe Banana Chocolate Chip bread snacks which are delicious and perfect for school lunches/snacks.  They are nut-free and freezable (bonus for shelf life!).  My son loved the bread, so naturally I’m curious how the other snacks taste.

 

Note:  The popcorn was gluten-free but made in a facility with nuts.

 

 

Nut-Free Pumpkin Seeds at a Discount! April 23, 2012

Finding nut-free seeds is like finding Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket.  Bizarrely difficult.

 

Enter Gerbs.

 

I’ve already tried the Toasted Onion and Garlic variety (see Found: Nut-Free Seeds).  And, now we can’t stop eating the Touch of Sea Salt.  Gerbs are addictively delicious!  And, a great way to satisfy those nut cravings in our nut-free household.  Plus, they are safe to send to school, camp, and playdates.  Too bad I have to share them with the rest of the fam!

 

If you want to try them, check their website for local retailers -OR- you can order online and receive a 10% discount on your entire order by using the code “SHMALLERGY”.

Let me know if anyone tries the trail mix!  Mmmm…..

 

Playdates: An Interesting Reminder February 20, 2012

Filed under: Preparedness,School — malawer @ 8:30 am
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So, an interesting thing happened the other day…

 

My younger son (4), who has no food allergies himself,  had a playdate with his adorable friend.  While running from one room to the next, they found time to stop just long enough to eat some leftover Valentine’s Day Pez – a fact I didn’t know until the next day.

 

Although the food (and candy) in our house is always nut free and almost always dairy and egg free…  And, although this friend has no food allergies, it is still important that he learn to ask an adult before sharing.

This lesson has been long-ingrained in my older, food allergic son, but I think it will be important for me to re-state this principle with a new angle.  While we’ve been so focused on keeping my big guy safe from his many food allergies, we may not have emphasized enough the need to think of other kids and theirs.

 

Thankfully, it was Pez (sugar, unpronouncables, and dye but no top allergens) and no harm done.   But, we’ll be talking before our next playdate.

 

Play Date, Anyone? Friendship with Food Allergies January 19, 2011

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photo taken by kaboompics via pixabay

I’ll admit it:  when my son was first invited to go on play dates without me, I was nervous.  Okay, I was panicked.   It would be one of the first times my son was being fed outside of my supervision or in the nut-free safety of his preschool.  Our first drop-off play date was at the house of a family with whom we had spent a lot of time.  This was as much to comfort me as it was for my son.  Before dropping him off, I called the mother and discussed my child’s food allergies and was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to set up a carefree play date.

It’s wonderful watching your child grow and develop friendships.  Play dates are an integral part of that experience.  To have a successful play date away from home, I would suggest considering the following:

  • Talk about food choices that you know are safe – and BE BRAND SPECIFIC.  The hostess of our playdate had planned to feed the kids lunch and we discussed a variety of safe meal options. Once decided (we chose chicken nuggets and noodles), I asked if she minded if I emailed her the brand names of the pasta and nuggets that were safe for my son, since some others contained unsafe ingredients.
  • Bring safe snacks for the kids to share.  Consider it a hostess gift!  We brought two of my son’s favorite snacks which were voraciously devoured.  To this day (3 years later) these items are always on-hand at her house for my child or others with similar allergies.
  • Discuss commonly encountered scenarios with the other parent and how to handle them.  You know your child and can predict if he/she will, for example, eat strange objects off the floor, grab food without asking, or throw a fit if certain safe foods aren’t available.   Give them words to handle these encounters.  “I know you can have some kinds of cookies, Billy.  But since I’m not sure these are safe, let’s wait until your mommy comes before I give one to you.”
  • This is a good time to discuss good playdate behavior with your child, especially how THEY should handle food issues.  This includes rules about eating only off your own plate, asking if foods are safe, speaking to the host parent if something doesn’t feel right and general expectations of safe food availability.   “Joey’s house doesn’t have soy milk, so why don’t you drink water while you’re there today and we’ll get a yummy glass of milk when I pick you up.”

My son had a fantastic time on his first play date – and on many more since!  Turns out, most other parents are more tuned in than you think.  I should have been more nervous about my son wetting his pants (which he did! Oops!) than having an allergic reaction.  It’s comforting to know that other parents are just as concerned about your child’s safety as you are.  Keeping your son or daughter safe while independent from you is not only practical, but should be the goal for every parent of a food-allergic child.