Seven years ago my son was diagnosed with food allergies, and our lives changed forever. Food was no longer only an enjoyable source of nourishment, but rather something to be feared.
I rapidly learned the difference between peanuts and tree nuts (my son is allergic to the latter, and not the former).
I learned to use an EpiPen and had to face the reality of possibly having to inject my son with a sharp needle if he were to have an anaphylactic reaction to eating tree nuts or sesame.
The word anaphylactic became a household term.
Over the years we’ve adjusted. Accidental exposures to allergens are rare, and my son takes his situation in stride.
The hardest part of living with food allergies is dealing with social gatherings. Desserts are the worst. You don’t always know what the foods contain, and the safest bet is often to abstain, but what child wants to be told he can’t have brownies or cookies when everyone else is enjoying them? Often we bring our own dessert, but I confess to not always thinking ahead to do that.
I’ve been asked by the fabulous ladies of The Motherhood to participate in a webinar this Tuesday, February 1, at 5PM EST with with Holly Robinson Peete to discuss how to handle food allergies in social situations.
Super Bowl Sunday (which is just around the corner) is the second biggest eating day of the year after Thanksgiving, and according to a recent Nielsen survey, nine out of 10 people say they will be attending a Super Bowl viewing party this year. Since severe allergic reactions to food send 90,000 people to the emergency room annually, it’s important to arm yourself with knowledge on how to handle potential food allergy dangers. Join TV personality Holly Robinson Peete of CBS’s The Talk (who is married to former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete and has four kids with food allergies) for a live video webinar about managing food allergies at gatherings like Super Bowl parties.
A few days ago, I asked on Twitter what questions people had, and I submitted them so that Holly can respond during the webinar. If you deal with food allergies in your family, you won’t want to miss this.