Food Allergy Resources

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for those with food allergies!

My Silver Lining of Food Allergies:
A healthier diet.
Becoming a vigilant label reader made me aware of  what we are eating, or should I say made me aware that I really had no clue about what we were eating. All the ingredients with a 8 syllables and twenty ingredients I knew nothing about, took me hours to read in the grocery store. I have cut back on processed foods, cook more and overall believe we eat much healthier since we were forced to look so closely at what we eat.  

The diagnosis of a life-threatening food allergy can be overwhelming. I would not be honest if I said your life will not change…it will! It will challenge you, stretch you and in many ways force you to pay attention to things you may have taken for granted, if you were not always on guard for the next bite of food. So while yes, I would give anything to take this fear away from our family, there have been some things that I coin “My Silver Lining of Food Allergies”.

Quickly identify those who are “good–willed”. While this area can be considered the “pain of the advocacy” it can also be considered a “silver lining”.  I never thought the “cupcake parents” I read about would exist in my world. I thought surely if you tell someone a food can kill your child they would not want to risk putting your child’s life in danger. Much to my surprise the passion of parents to have celebrations that included cupcakes or other unsafe candy over rode the safety of a child. The truth is you will come across the “nay sayers” along your journey. With enough time, energy and education you might move the pendulum and be able to bring some along, but don’t be discouraged, there are those who will never be open to understanding. After Ryan’s diagnosis my husband said “we are going to make friends and we are going to lose some”. That was very insightful and could not have been more correct, but those who are in your life even though it may be fewer, can fully be trusted with your children in a way others wouldn’t even want to take on the responsibility. I have often said that if empathy were a disease that was studied, we would find it has genetic components. This is because you will be surprised by those you thought would understand and have compassion, that don't, to others you never imagined could be so caring. The silver lining, you will learn these lessons quickly. I recently read a quote “THEY ARE NOT YOUR FRIENDS,UNTIL THEY HAVE DEFENDED YOU IN YOUR ABSENCE”. I think about this with food allergies and am grateful for the strong, good-willed people that food allergies have quickly helped me identify in my life.

Smart responsible children. I can never truly understand the fear my children live with which makes me sad. How it feels to bring their own snacks to parties, sit at peanut free tables, wear epi-belts and worry and wonder about cross-contamination and safe foods. For that reason our home is peanut free. I want them to have a place where they can relax, go to the refrigerator and pantry and know anything they want is safe. I am so proud of my children and the responsibility they have taken to self-advocate. They always ask questions, and are able to restrain from desserts and party foods the way I wish I could. They know the rule “no epi…not eating”. We have found a staple and safe reward…Krispy Kreme. Anytime they miss out on a party treat or sweet reward, they know it earns a trip Krispy Kreme, and while it might not be the healthiest, I feel it is well deserved if they enjoy it.

A Scary World with Many Silver Linings