Becoming a mom opens the door to so many great firsts: first steps, first words, first day of school. But what about those firsts that don’t fill you with joy, like the first time dealing with a food allergy?
If you’re a new mom navigating the world of food allergies, it may feel daunting at first (see what we did there?), but don’t worry – we’ve got your back. Here are six helpful tips for new food allergy moms to ensure the safety of your little ones at home, at school, and everywhere in between.
1. Become an ingredient detective
Learn to decipher food labels like a pro. It’s important to understand food allergen labeling regulations in your country, and remember that “free-from” labels don’t always mean completely free from allergens. Some foods may be processed in a facility that also processes allergenic foods. The rule of thumb? When in doubt, leave it out.
2. Educate everyone
Teach everyone in your child’s life about their allergies – teachers, relatives, friends’ parents, babysitters, etc. Make sure they know what reactions look like and how to respond. A fun way to do this with younger children is through educational games and allergy-awareness storybooks.
3. Prepare for school
Collaborate with your child’s school to create a food allergy management plan. This plan should detail emergency procedures and identify safe snacks and meals. Consider providing a stash of safe treats for your child for surprise birthday celebrations or unplanned events.
Opt for allergy-friendly restaurants and always communicate your child’s allergies to the staff. Ask about food preparation methods to avoid cross-contamination. Be vigilant with buffets and shared dishes, as these can be a minefield of hidden allergens.
5. Grocery shopping
Planning is key. Make a list of safe, go-to foods and stick to it. Explore allergy-friendly brands and options. Remember, fresh fruits, vegetables, and unprocessed meats are naturally allergy-free.
6. Consider immunotherapy
Recent advancements in allergy treatments such as immunotherapy can help reduce allergy symptoms. This involves exposing your child to small amounts of the allergen and gradually increasing overtime to build immunity. Our sublingual allergy drops are effective at treating most common food allergens with just a few painless drops under the tongue each day.
Being a food allergy mom may require an extra set of skills and a few more to-dos, but remember, you’re not alone! Plenty of resources are available to help, from allergy-friendly recipes to support groups to our sublingual allergy drop program. Contact us today to learn more.