Food Allergy Living Blog Tagged Results

summer vacation

2016 Unique Summer Activities for the Family

Posted 7.1.16 | Nutrition Specialist

The end of school and start of summer vacation is here! Yippee and oh my! Right?

Summer is a great time for activities for the whole family. You probably already have one or several plans on your summer horizon, but are probably open to suggestions too. Great! Creative activities have my name all over them and I’m happy to share.

But wait- first of all, are you worried about taking on all this fun adventure and keeping track of food allergies? Never fear, Neocate is here with an abundance of resources and tools with your food allergy needs in mind.  For instance, have you seen our NEW Footsteps App? Consider it a go-to anywhere, anytime assistant. Seriously! You can reference a video all about it featured in this blog New Neocate Footsteps App – Support in YOUR Pocket.

One of the app features that is great for allergy kids on the go this summer, is the Allergy Card section. This feature can be used to organize important information about your child’s food allergy and can be taken along or shared with others. No need to memorize. You can even create multiple cards for caregivers, camp counselors, etc. These cards can be shared in multiple ways or simply printed and stashed in your backpack. Allergy cards provide a simple way to present information pertaining to your child’s condition(s), Neocate products used, medication(s), allergen(s) as well as doctor's information. It even includes an option for you to put additional notes, add recipes and links to favorite Neocate resources too. Pretty cool, huh?

Now are you ready for some summer family fun suggestions?  OK, here you go!

Happy 100th Birthday to our National Park Service

The National Park Service is celebrating its centennial birthday on August 25, 2016 and EVERYONE is invited to share in the celebration. Check it out here.

There are some pretty awesome downloadable guides from the National Park download center, here are a few offerings:

  • National Park Owner’s Guide – Filled with detailed maps, travel tips for over 400 parks.
  • Parks are for Play – Meant for parents to help kids enjoy, explore, and have adventures together.
  • Happy Trails – Spanning all levels of expertise, this guide is meant to inspire park wanderlust.
  • Urban Playgrounds – A park list within or close to metropolitan areas for day trip experiences.

You may want to look at our previous post Food Allergy Free Holiday Activities for more on this topic. Sometimes outside fun can happen in your own backyard and we have fun ideas for this too.

Happy Birthday AMERICA!

July 4th will mark the 240th anniversary of when the original thirteen colonies declared their independence from Britain in 1776. Check out your local listing of 4th of July events such as parades and fireworks. Check out our previous posts on this too:

Rainy Day Blues?

No problem! If you’re looking for something relaxing, creative or active, our post Rain Day=Fun Day is full of great ideas.

Whatever you do and wherever you go this summer- ENJOY! And remember to take the Nutricia Footsteps app along with you.

-Jody L. Benitz, MS, RDN

3 Tips to Prepare for Summer Camp with Food Allergies

Posted 7.25.17 | Nutrition Specialist

Step #1: Research

Planning is always the key to success and essential when your little one has food allergies. Let’s discuss some tips and resources to help you research summer camps for your little one to be sure both your child and the camp are properly equipped to successfully manage their food allergies.

Questions that will need answers:

  • What is the camp menu and options for allergy friendly alternatives?
  • Is there a dedicated place for allergy friendly food or snacks to be stored?
  • Is there a dedicated place to store epinephrine at camp?
  • Is your child allowed to bring packed lunches/snacks? What about potential allergens from the other campers that will be attending camp with your little one?
  • Is there a food allergy management plan for the camp?
  • Is there a designated area for little ones with food allergies to eat?
  • What kind of camp staff are available for your child? Is there a healthcare professional on site?
    • If so, what are the healthcare professional’s credentials, responsibilities or capabilities?
    • If not, who is available to assist your child with any medical issues or medications?
  • What is the procedure for emergencies? Where is the nearest hospital or medical center?
  • What activities are offered that might elevate the allergen exposure for your child?

Resources to help you in your research:

Another good resource is the following recording of a webinar featuring Dr. Pistiner and Ms. Polmear-Swendris answering questions about how to choose a camp, what questions to ask of summer camp staff, how to store epinephrine at camp, and a review of basic food allergy management.

Step #2: Advocate

Now that you have done your research, it is time to start advocating for your child. Even if the camp you have chosen is well ahead of the food allergy game, your child is unique and truly one of a kind. It is your job to advocate for your child and make sure everyone is educated and prepared to provide the needed care for your little one specifically. The camp will need education regarding the details of your child’s food allergies, any signs or symptoms they need to be on the lookout for, as well as, what to do if an exposure is either suspected and/or confirmed. Here are the ABC’s of how to advocate for your camper:

  1. Notify everyone possible about your child’s food allergies. This might include:
    • The camp director
    • Staff assigned to work or interact with your child
    • All healthcare professionals available to your child while at camp
    • Anyone assisting in transportation
    • Staff working with food or staffing mealtimes
    • The camp lifeguard
    • And even any camp volunteers, special event or course instructors, or staff subs is that is possible.
  2. If there is no food allergy policy already in place, make sure to outline one that is tailored to your little one’s needs. If a policy exists, then you should still make sure and outline the details of how it will apply to your little one in particular
  3. Prepare an Emergency Care plan and Food Allergy Cards for reference to all who will need this information. Need some guidance to prepare these documents. Check out these resources:

Step #3: Educate

Now that the camp staff are prepared with the knowledge and tools they will need, time to be sure your camper knows how to advocate and care for themselves. After all, your child will be the best and first line of defense to prevent accidental exposure to allergens. If you need assistance, here is a Neocate blog with 3 Easy Steps for Success when Explaining Food Allergies to your Toddler.

Here are some quick items you may want to cover when educating your child to be ready for their summer camp adventure:

  • Discuss their red light and green light foods (or safe and unsafe) and what they can expect while at summer camp
  • Perhaps some reminders for rules when eating, such as not to share food with other campers
  • Their symptoms or reactions to food allergens
  • Who and to whom to tell if they feel funny, or what to do in certain camp situations
    • Not to go off alone if they are not feeling well
    • Where they can receive medical attention if needed
    • Where their important allergy documents are located
    • How to administer their medications, or epinephrine if needed
  • How to read a food label if possible, or who to ask for questions about the food options when at summer camp. Perhaps where their food allergy friendly snacks will be stored


  • If interested, this might be a wonderful time to get your little one a medical alert bracelet. There are many options available, including water proof ones that are perfect for summer!

Time for Summer Camp Fun

Keep in mind, getting ready for camp can be similar to how you get ready for a new school year or traveling. If you need additional tips on how to specifically travel this summer with Neocate, make sure to check-out Helpful Tips and Resources when Traveling with Food Allergies.

Now it is time for your little camper to get out and enjoy the summer camp fun. You have done your research, advocated for your little camper with staff, and educated your little one on how to have fun and stay safe while at camp. Time for the fun to begin.

Do you have any tips or suggestions to share? We would love to hear how you prepare for summer camp with food allergies, and especially how your little Neocate camper did at their summer camp. Please share in the comments below.

-Kristin Crosby MS, RDN, LDN

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.