Got Food Allergies?

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.

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11 thoughts on “Got Food Allergies?

  1. Hi! Love this post!

    Allergies must be difficult to deal with. I actually have a case at work that involves EpiPens. I never knew what they were before, but now I do! It’s so fascinating to me that prior to this medical innovation, the best people could do was go to the ER. And now, they have a life saving device with them. So amazing to me.

  2. I have two daughters who are allergic to the bovine growth hormone. We buy everything that comes from a cow organic (meat and all dairy). When one of them was in Romania a few years ago, a dish was being served that had meat in it, and she wanted to know if it was beef or pork (they eat very little beef, but she wasn’t taking chances half a world away from home). Since she couldn’t communicate in Romanian, she pointed to the meat and asked a woman, “Moo?” The lady laughed and answered, “Snort, snort.”

    You just have to keep laughing about it.

  3. food allergies are dreadful, my daughter used to have milk and wheat allergies, now wheat is over but milk remains. Plus, just recently, we discovered (Painfully) she has allergies to cashews and pistachios.

  4. I not only have food allergies but I’m allergic to food preservatives and additives. And I can’t use the EpiPen because it’s preserved with the very products I’m allergic too. Makes life fun. So we usually either host gatherings where I do a lot of cooking to be sure the food is safe for me to eat. Or I send my husband to family gatherings when they plan on going out to a restaurant. I don’t go because it makes people feel guilty if they are eating and I can’t eat anything offered because of the food preservative issue.

  5. My son is allergic to soybeans. I never realized how pervasive soy is in our culture until I had to read all the labels and realized everything that comes in a box has soy.
    He grew out of his milk allergy, and seems to be growing out of his egg allergy as well.
    He is also allergic to berries!
    Oh and my husband has celiac disease. I am learning to cook in a whole new way, but it’s been hard and sort of un-inspiring.

  6. I have 2 boys who are allergic to dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, and sesame. One is also allergic to eggs. Thanks for the info on the webinar. The allergies make it hard to socialize. I feel we are semi-hermits. People without food allergies don’t seem to understand that they are real.

  7. Oh this sounds good! I will check it out on twitter! I’m @smilinggreenmom and our son has several severe allergies. I was wondering, do you think most allergists should be able to tell what type of nut a child is allergic to? Our allergist was awful and I won’t get into that, but they just told us to avoid all nuts and even coconut??? What are your thoughts? Oh and we have the best book ever by @foodallergymama for desserts! They are so kid friendly and yummy 🙂 I am truly thankful that our son has gotten so much better (he used to have intolerances and eczema too) and his Belly Boost has really been the reason why when our prayers were answered. He still has allergies and we carry his Epi but I am so thankful at how much healthier he is 🙂

    1. I can only tell you my personal experience. My allergist tested for individual nut allergies, but then told us to avoid them all just to be on the safe side.

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