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Discovering that your child has food allergies can be overwhelming and scary, I felt very alone on the allergy journey in the beginning but since then I have learnt an awful lot. I share everything I know on this blog to help others and today I want to share some tips for those who are new to this allergy journey or anyone who may be struggling.
Dealing With Food Allergies
Network & Support
There are many online support groups and forums for various allergies, I didn’t discover this until my son was 15 months old and it was literally a turning point for me in how I handled everything. I joined the CMPA Support Charity Facebook Group and suddenly I wasn’t alone, I had thousands of people I could message 24/7 who knew exactly what I was going through and could offer me support. I have since created a support group on Facebook for my readers which you can join here. There are many support groups held in person which are run by various charities. Anaphylaxis Campaign list the dates and areas of their support groups on their website.
Friends & Family
You may find a lot of your friends and family aren’t very supportive and regularly say the wrong things, I’m sure they mean well but some people just struggle to understand food allergies. If you are an allergy parent then chances are you will relate to this letter I wrote to my friends & family, you are welcome to send it to your friends & family so they can try to understand what you are going through.
Food shopping will take much longer now that you are having to read every ingredient list to make sure it is allergy safe, but it is worth spending the time to double check everything. Familiarise yourself with the Free From aisle in your local supermarket but also take the time to look at regular brands or supermarket own brands of foods as sometimes they just happen to be dairy free. Each time I buy a certain food, I check the ingredients regardless of how many times I have bought it before. Manufactures can and do change the ingredients from time to time so it’s important to always read the label. I often produce free from shopping lists for this blog and I have linked to them all here. When my readers find something awesome and dairy free they always post it on my Facebook page so if you don’t already it’s worth ‘liking’ us on Facebook so you don’t miss any great new finds.
Search for new recipes online and have some fun experimenting in the kitchen. You can buy some dairy free cookbooks, I have listed the ones that I currently use here. I often share new recipes on this blog, I do have a recipes page but it isn’t always up to date so if you are looking for a particular recipe you can use the search bar on this blog to find it. There are many recipe groups on Facebook, CMPA Support Charity have a great dairy free recipe and food find group. Google will also throw up hundreds of great recipes too.
Allergy Friendly Cupboard
In my house it is only my son and I, he has cow’s milk protein allergy and is soya and gluten intolerant. I am dairy & wheat intolerant so for us I find it easier to have a dairy, wheat, gluten and soya free kitchen. For those who have various family members in the house with different dietary requirements, I would recommend having an allergy friendly cupboard for yourself or your child. That way you have a go-to cupboard full of safe foods which can also be clearly labelled.
Anywhere my son goes, his antihistamine medicine and inhaler go, there is no ifs or buts it stays with him 24/7 no matter what and I would recommend anyone with food allergies or food intolerances to do the same. If you or your child has an auto injector (epi pen) then absolutely take it everywhere with you, especially when eating out. If possible always carry two auto injectors with you. Not all ambulances in the UK carry epi pens (auto injectors) so if you do find yourself in a position where you are having to phone for an ambulance it’s important that you explain to the person on the phone that you will need an epi pen.
Allergy Books For Children
Allergy books for children are a great way of helping them understand how to deal with their food allergies. I have recently read My Food Allergy Friends Story Books For Children to my son and he loves them, I can’t recommend them enough. Having an interactive and engaging book that I can read to my child has really helped me when starting the discussions that we need to have about his food allergies.
I hope you have found these tips useful
Recently I have received a lot of questions on our Facebook page about the symptoms of cow’s milk protein allergy and I think it would be great if we can share our questions and support each other on this journey. I have created a group on Facebook so we all have somewhere we can discuss and support each other in regards to living with cow’s milk protein allergy. Please take the time to read the group description. It is a closed group so, only members can see and reply to posts.
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