Food Allergy Living Blog

Nutrition Specialist Column

Living Dairy-Free in a Crazy-for-Dairy World

Posted 12.16.14 | Nutrition Specialist

Rachel is a mother of two, and is married to her husband, Brent. Her son has life-threatening allergies to dairy, egg, peanut, carrot, celery, and pumpkin.  She blogs at Mom Vs. Food Allergy, home schools her children, and is a No Nuts Moms Group Support Group Leader.  It is her passion to encourage other mothers and caregivers in their food allergy journey.  Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.  

It seems that the world is crazy for dairy, dairy, and more dairy!  I’ll be the first to admit that I love a delicious slice of cheese. Once my son was diagnosed with a severe, life-threatening dairy allergy at nine months old, sitting down to make that first grocery list post-diagnosis was quite difficult. Four-and-a-half years later, we’re getting used to living and cooking without our beloved dairyladen recipes.

Where is dairy hiding?

Dairy hides in all sorts of products, and not just food products. I polled readers of my blog, Mom Vs. Food Allergy, for places they had found dairy and here’s what they came up with:

•    Allergy medications

•    Asthma inhalers

•    Soap

•    Clothes (yes, this is for real)

•    Hot dogs

•    Bouillon cubes

•    Antibiotics

•    Instant rice

•    Fresh, whole turkey

•    Baby lotion

•    Fresh chopped basil (in squeezable tube)

•    Taco seasoning

•    Salt & vinegar chips

•    Dramamine

•    Wine

•    Deli meat

•    Chicken broth

•    Theater paint

This list is really just the beginning, and is dependent on brands, certain flavors, and where things are processed.It does reveal, though, just how many products that need to be on your radar as someone dealing with a dairy allergy. It’s a perfect reminder to read every label, every time.

How do you avoid dairy?

•    Read every label, every time

•    Use safe substitutions for milk

•    Be on the lookout for words such as “creamy”

•    Know alternative words for dairy such as whey, ghee, and casein. See a more complete list here

•    Don’t eat food that doesn’t have a label

•    Be conscious of cross-contamination

 

What are safe dairy substitutions?

Thankfully, there are many dairy alternatives these days. I’ll never forget when I discovered vegan “cheese”that allowed me to make favorites like Macaroni-n-“Cheese” and Goldfish crackers for my then preschool son. I really thought I’d died and gone to dairy-free heaven. Here are my favorite brands for living a dairy-free life to the fullest:

•    Daiya Foods (frozen pizza, cream cheese style spreads, and shredded, sliced and block “cheese”)

•    So Delicious Dairy Free (ice cream, yogurt, and milks that are coconut based.  They produce some nut products as well, but have a great allergen statement on their website)

•    Silk (milk and yogurt from a variety of dairy free sources.  Read labels if you have other allergies)

•    Tofutti (dairy-free soy based products)

**If you have more than dairy allergies, please read labels carefully and call companies if you are uncertain about cross-contamination

What are some resources for dairy-free living?

•    Kids With Food Allergies

•    Go Dairy Free (book and website)

•    Vegan Cooking & Baking Books

•    The Neocate Food Allergy Cookbook

Living with a dairy allergy can be challenging. If you are diligent, you still can live a healthy life that is full of tasty treats and meals.  My most important tip of all, is to ALWAYS carry your epinephrine (call 911 after administering), asthma medication, and antihistamine. Also, read every label, every time to stay safe while managing your dairy allergy. Lastly, focus on the foods you CAN have to have a positive outlook on living a dairy-free life in a crazy-for-dairy world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


How Children Can Explain Food Allergies

Posted 11.19.14 | Rob McCandlish, RDN

Many parents of children with food allergies figure out over time how to explain the allergies to others. But what happens when your child is on her/his own? How do you prepare your child to explain food allergies to other children?

1 – Role Play

It may seem simple, but one of the best methods to prepare your child to answer questions is to practice. You can take a turn being the child with food allergies to give your little one a chance to see an example. We got this idea from Linda Cross in her post on the Kids with Food Allergies site: Raising a Well-adjusted Child Who Happens to Have Food Allergies. It’s full of a lot of other great, practical tips!

2 – Read about it

Children love reading from a young age. Why not read a book together about a young boy’s food allergy? Peter Can’t Eat Peanuts was a book Nadine Reilly wrote to help others work through the same experience her family had. We learned about this great book through a blog that Wendy Mondello wrote, that’s full of a lot of other great tips about managing food allergies as a family, especially emotions.

3 – Share a Video

Videos can be great teaching tools, especially for young children. Your child could share this video, narrated by a pair of pediatric allergists, with his/her classroom during ‘Show and Tell’ or could share it with a friend when asked about why certain foods are ‘off-limits.’

What have you found helpful in empowering your child to explain food allergies to other children?   

-Rob

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Four Tips for Celebrating the Holidays with Food Allergies

Posted 11.17.14 | Nutrition Specialist

With the holidays around the corner it is important for families with food allergies to plan ahead.

Below are tips that will help you to have a healthy, happy and allergy-free holiday season:

1. Communication is key:Communication is so vital when dealing with food allergies. It never hurts to remind kids of how to explain their food allergies and be mindful of what they eat. If you’re going to a party with your kids, be sure to educate the host of the food-restrictions for your kids. Discuss the concerns of food allergens, possibility of cross-contact and allergen substitutions.

2.  Festive giveback:If a guest brings food that contains allergens and is well-sealed, consider donating the food to the many organizations that work towards alleviating hunger across cities. If you’re a guest to a party which is hosted by a family with food allergies, you can contribute to the party by not just bringing in food, but also flowers, carnations, cups, dishes and so on…

3. Labels and color-coding:Labels are very helpful that enable vital information regarding different ingredients in the food item. If you’re a host, be sure to label every ingredient in the food item for food-allergic guests. If you’re invited to a gathering, plan ahead and suggest the idea to the host of having food labels. Color-coded utensils can be a great way to alert food items with allergens for individuals with food allergies. For example: A bright red spatula can signify the food containing food allergens.

4. You’ve got this:With every new experience, you will find your own unique way to celebrate holidays with food allergies. We know that you have learnt a lot with numerous family gatherings, parties and birthdays and that’s why we know you’ve got this!

This is a wonderful time of the year and enjoy the holiday season allergy-free with your closest!


Allergy Labels

Posted 11.4.14 | Rob McCandlish, RDN


Every now and then we hear about or stumble on a new product that we feel is worth sharing with our readers. This week we wanted to let you know about various labels for food allergies that are made by a company called 

Name Bubbles. You can view the various food allergy alert labels they make here

We like these labels because they're easy to understand and hard to miss. The larger labels include room for your contact information, and all are waterproof, which a lot of homemade labels are not. That makes them ideal for food storage containers that you send to school, to daycare or on play dates. Not only are typical adhesive labels available, but they also offer wristbands, which are a great idea for small children. While the labels Name Bubbles sells cost more than homemade labels, Name Bubbles has committed 20% of proceeds related to allergy label purchases to FARE this year - pretty impressive!

Aside from stickers and labels, how do you communicate food allergies to friends and/or strangers?

-Rob

 


This Halloween Go Teal

Posted 10.30.14 | Nutrition Specialist

Halloween can be a challenging holiday for families with food allergies. Allowing Little Ones to enjoy the experience without fear of an allergic reaction often keeps families from participating. As a solution, FARE (Food Allergy Research Education) is encouraging families to start a new tradition, the Teal Pumpkin Project, that will make Halloween less scary for children with food allergies.

This campaign encourages people to raise awareness of food allergies by providing non-food treats for trick-or-treaters and painting a pumpkin teal - the color of food allergy awareness - to place in front of their house along with a free printable sign from FARE to indicate they have non-food treats available. 

The Teal Pumpkin Project is designed to promote safety, inclusion and respect of individuals managing food allergies – and to keep Halloween a fun, positive experience for all. 

To learn more about the campaign, visit www.fare.org.

You can download a teal colored pumpkin here.

Have a happy and safe food allergy-free Halloween!

 


Everything You Need to Know About Neocate Nutra

Posted 10.17.14 | Nutrition Specialist

Our latest Neocate product video features everything parents and caregivers need to know about Neocate Nutra.

 

Click on the image below to watch the full video.

 

To learn more about Neocate Nutra, use the following resources:


Everything You Need to Know About Neocate Infant DHA/ARA

Posted 10.8.14 | Nutrition Specialist

At Nutricia we are dedicated to providing families and caregivers with products that offer the most nutritional while managing their little ones' food allergies. We are continuing our series of product videos, which highlights the nutritional and dietetic value of our Neocate products.

Below is our product video on Neocate Infant DHA/ARA. Click the image to play the video.

To learn more about Neocate Infant DHA/ARA please visit the following links:

 

Food Allergy Challenges - Be Prepared!

Posted 10.2.14 | Rob McCandlish, RDN

If you're a parent or caregiver to a child with food allergies, you know that visits to the doctor for food allergy challenges can be overwhelming and time-consuming. If you're new to these visits though, many parents end up at these visits feeling underprepared and unaware that the visit can sometimes last 3 to 4 hours. One food allergy parent we spoke with recently said she was caught off guard and unprepared for how long the visit was. Parents to small children know how difficult it can be to entertain them for 15 minutes, much less several hours!

If you're taking your little one in for food allergy challenges, make sure that you bring some items to entertain them, such as books, crafts, or a handheld game device. This can help you and them to pass the time, as you wait to see if there are any reactions to different amounts of the food being challenged.

For some great additional tips on how to prepare your child for the visit, things you need to do in advance, and topics you might want to discuss with the healthcare team beforehand, see this very helpful guide put out by Kids with Food Allergies.

What have you found helpful in preparing for food allergy challenges?

-Rob

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Everything You Need to Know About Neocate E028 Splash

Posted 9.17.14 | Nutrition Specialist

At Nutricia we are dedicated to providing families and caregivers with products that offer the most nutritional while managing their little ones' food allergies. We know that many of you often have questions about the Neocate family of products, so we've created videos explaining each of the products' ingredients and nutritional value. You can watch our first video on Neocate Junior with Prebiotics, here.

Below is our product video on Neocate Splash E028. Click the image to play the video.

 

 

To learn more about Neocate E028 Splash please visit the following links:

If you have questions feel free to give our medical team a call at 1-800-365-7354. You can also follow us on Twitter @Neocate or like our Facebook page Facebook.com/Neocate.


KFA Mall Walk 2014

Posted 9.5.14 | Nutrition Specialist

On Sunday, September 7, Neocate will be participating in the Kids with Food Allergies (KFA) Strides for Safe Kids Mall Walk. The Mall Walk is an annual fundraising event created to bring awareness to food allergies while working towards finding a cure. This year's walk will take place at Plymouth Meeting Mall in Plymouth Meeting, PA. The Neocate team will be onsite providing free taste samples of Neocate Junior, Strawberry as well as talking with families about their specific food allergy needs and concerns. This year's fundraising is $50,000 and KFA is more than halfway there! With your support, we can help KFA meet their goal.

If you are in the Plymouth Meeting area, we encourage you to attend this great event. There will be exhibitions and free samples.

To learn more about the event and Mall Walks near you please visit, https://secure.kidswithfoodallergies.org/np/clients/kidswfa/event.jsp?event=2&.

We hope to see you there!

Read about our experience at previous Mall Walks here.

 



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About Us

Food Allergy Living is a resource for parents of children with food allergies, brought to you by Nutricia, the makers of Neocate. For more in-depth information about our purpose & authors, see our About Food Allergy Living page.