As we near the end the month of May, our series on Hidden Food Allergens is wrapping up. Mallory and Nita wrote great entries with tips and ideas on how to best avoid hidden dairy, soy and gluten allergens in food. Usually, there is a long list of items to avoid, so as Mallory mentioned, it’s helpful to print out your own list, laminate it, and take it with you on your grocery trips. It’s nearly impossible to memorize all those potential allergens you need to look out for on the product label. Having a list handy will cut back on the time you spend examining labels and make it easier for you to get what you need from the store and get on with your day!
Always remember, if you are uncertain whether a produce may contain an allergen, call the manufacturers and ask! The more educated you can be, the better.
Belonging to a food allergy social group or network can also allow you to share experiences and learn from other families who are in similar situations. Some groups you can join are the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN), Facebook and/or Twitter groups dedicated to food allergies (including the Neocate Facebook page), Kids with Food Allergies (KWFA), and the Food Allergy Initiative (FAI). For example, if you just found out (from the manufacturer) that a certain food, surprisingly, had some traces of a particular allergen, you could share that information with others and help prevent accidental exposure from happening to another family.
So keep those Hidden Food Allergens lists handy and keep an eye on those labels! What other actions have you done to help avoid those hidden allergens? We always appreciate hearing your advice!