How do I live with food allergies?

"What? Food allergies?"

Has this happened to you? The doctor tells you that you, or someone you love, is allergic to peanuts, wheat, milk, eggs, gluten, soy, etc. Keep in mind that although someone may be allergic to food, they could also be allergic to animals, plants, and so much more. 

Often times, someone who has allergies may also have a mixture of food and non-food allergies. 

What do you do now?

I might have a solution for you

After living with someone with multiple diet restrictions, some of which are basic cooking ingredients, I learned how to make recipes differently to cater to special diets. I know how difficult it is to say,"No, we can't have that" when in restaurants or at parties.

It is especially hard to say no to foods when I don't know what ingredients are in the food.  Something, like pizza dough, for example, shouldn't be made with milk.  But, when finding ways to eat out at restaurants (or rather, get delivery), these hidden (and unnecessary) ingredients popped up and caused quite the chaos.

Having fought the battle with choosing "the right foods" for my dear grandsons, I want to help you with the minefield in your kitchen.

Loved ones

Let me introduce Alexander. He is now 10 years old. When we first found out about his allergies to eggs, milk, soy, shellfish and peanuts, I thought "Oh no, he can't eat!"

Special diet

I started to think about what Alexander could eat. He can have all vegetables as long as they are not cooked with butter or peanut oil. He can eat all fruits that aren't breaded or fried. He can have meats that aren't processed or breaded. There are really so many options that wouldn't have crossed my mind.

Allergies run in the family

When Robert was born, Alexander's brother, he was tested earlier because Alexander had allergies. It was probable that Robert would have them, too.  The doctors were right. Robert is allergic to eggs.

Why learn more?

It is important to find out about a food allergy. The reactions to foods can range from a minimal reaction (like a slight rash or redness) to a potentially fatal situation. Preventing reactions is the best way to handle allergies to food.

Reactions can range from slightly itchy skin to breathing issues. There are ways to reduce the reactions, but like you've probably heard before... "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

Several points to consider, such as . . .

  • How do you find out about diet restrictions?
  • How to live with them?
  • What to watch for
  • What if I can't have milk?
  • What food items have eggs in them?
  • How should restaurants handle special diets?
  • What does "food allergies" really mean?