Being the parents of a child with severe food allergies can be a challenge especially when it comes to preparing meals. You seriously need to become familiar with food labels and ingredients lists when grocery shopping. The most common foods that can create a food allergy reaction are found in:
•milk and milk products like yogurt, cheese and butter
•eggs and food that requires eggs like cake, cookies, mayonnaise and pasta
•peanuts and all foods that use any peanut substance like peanut oil, most Chinese food, candy bars and some pastries
•tree nuts like cashews, peanuts, macadamia nuts, walnuts and almonds which are included in many varieties of crackers or ice-cream that may have nuts in it
•shellfish such as crabs, lobsters, snails, clams, oysters and all the deli meats with fish or shellfish ingredients
You know that you need to be responsible and take your time to cook and bake from scratch at home if your child has severe food allergies. By doing so, you will considerably reduce your child’s risk of having a food allergic reaction. You can easily substitute ingredients and alter recipes to fit your child’s diet. For example, if a recipe calls for milk, you can change it for water, juice or non-dairy milk. If eggs are needed for baking, substitute it with baking powder, water and vinegar. Try checking out recipe books from your local library on food allergies or check them out on the Internet. There are lots of ways that you can bake and cook delicious meals without a fuss from your child or your family.
Nowadays, you can find some prepackaged foods that include some of the most common allergic ingredients clearly labeled. This is only applicable to prepackaged foods labeled after the year of 2006. This makes shopping a little bit easier.
When planning and preparing meals for your child who has food allergies, you need to make sure to wash surfaces and utensils that may have any traces of common allergic food. It is easier if you prepare his meal yourself than having your child eat at school or at the restaurant. You can prepare very healthy and easy meals such as steamed vegetables, baked potatoes and cut meat. You don’t need to be a chef or to complicate your life when preparing meals.
Everyone in the family should eat the same food that you prepare, and stay focused and positive. The family support is extremely necessary when dealing with this type of situation.
Depending on the severity of your child’s allergy, you need to be prepared. Even with all the care you take to prepare meals at home, you always need to have on hand a prescribed medicine such as epinephrine from your pediatrician. In case of a food allergic reaction, you will be ready because you have been taught how to use the injection device and to give the right amount of medicine to treat your child’s symptoms.
It is probably wise that you purchase a medical alert bracelet or a necklace with the food allergies engraved on it for your child to wear. This can save his life someday at school, in public places, at a neighbor’s house or at someone’s home.
Anyone who is in charge of your child should know about his condition and how to deal with it. Let them know the kind of food your child can or cannot eat.
This article is not intended to replace consultation with a licensed medical practitioner.