discovering that your child has food allergies creates fear, thoughts of “what now?”, and the feelings of being overwhelmed.
At least it did for me when we found out our daughter was allergic to peanuts at 7 months old. I was in complete terror when she had her first sever reaction as any parent would be.
She just happened to reach for my peanut butter and honey sandwich and stick her sticky hands into her mouth before I could catch her. And seconds later she was scratching her nose, face, and eyes spreading peanut butter everywhere. Her face swelled, got bright red and was covered in hives.
I quickly rinsed off her face (which did not help what so ever) and in a complete panic, I rushed her to the hospital.
She was monitored for a few hours and we got sent back home with the number of an allergist to call. We got an appointment set for the next day with an allergist to get tested and sure enough it was confirmed that our sweet, little baby girl was allergic to peanut.
My brain went into complete panic mode! thoughts of “huh?”, ” How did she even get food allergies?”,” Could she be allergic to other foods?” and so many other questions were racing through my mind.
You might have had a similar experience to mine. Going from a completely non-food allergy child to a child who is basically allergic to the world. How do you handle that type of life-changing news as a parent?
I will be honest the first month or two after we discovered our daughter had food allergies we were, I guess what you could call “helicopter parents”. We didn’t know if she was allergic to anything else and because of that, we were nervous to take her anywhere!
We didn’t go out to eat, we rarely went over to family members homes, my day was filled with reading ingredient labels on food at home as well as at the grocery store and, constantly wiping down everything 24/7.
I didn’t think we could live a normal life with a daughter who had food allergies. I felt guilty like I caused my daughter to have food allergies, I felt lost, I felt overwhelmed and truly didn’t know how to run my daily routine.
Are you feeling the same way? I know it can be very overwhelming but the good news is that you don’t have to feel overwhelmed for much longer.
As a parent with a child who is allergic to milk, eggs, peanuts, turkey, dog licks, and possibly more I an ensure that you will become confident in handling life and situations with your child’s food allergies.
Where do you start?
If your child has had a reaction to food and you have not got them tested yet. Go get them tested. It is important to get your child tested because then you will know exactly what they are allergic to so then you can avoid it in the future.
If your child has been tested and confirmed that they are allergic to a certain food. Don’t panic! Take a deep breath and relax everything will be okay.
Now that your child has food allergies it doesn’t mean you have to live in a clean bubble lifestyle. It means that you have to be more prepared and conscious of your surroundings.
- Whatever your child is allergic to either throw it out (we did with the peanut butter we had) or rearrange your pantry, kitchen, and fridge. Which we did as well.
- Wipe down all surfaces with antibacterial wipes or a washcloth with soap and water.
- Make a food allergy free place in your kitchen. We have a basket in our pantry that is a safe food place for our daughter food such as snacks and allergy free safe ingredients for meals.
- She has her own section in the fridge with bins to store leftovers and no other food goes in her section of the fridge. And to limit the risk of cross-contact we have a drawer that are only her utensils and spatulas for preparing her food.
If you have other children that do not have food allergies explain to them that they also need to be conscious.
Little tip: have a designated place at the dinner table for your food allergy child. No one else can sit there except them.
One of my favorite websites that have so much information on food allergies is foodallergy.org. I am constantly on this website. It gives you tips on traveling with food allergies, eating out, preparing meals etc.
Once you have done your research on food allergies and how to help your child you have now help yourself and your child to be more confident about handling food allergies.
What is life like with a child with food allergies?
At first, life was not easy. Like I have said before I was scared frustrated, guilty and overwhelmed which are probably a lot of feelings you are feeling now.
So how do you become confident and in control?
By doing your research. I become more confident in going out to restaurants, family members homes and running life when I did my research.
We make sure people wash their hands and mouth before coming around our daughter, we wipe down toys, and ask family members that whenever we come over to wipe down their house and put everything away that our daughter is allergic to before coming over.
It does take more time to prepare when going places. If we go out to eat I call the restaurant beforehand letting them know when we are coming, what their procedure is when dealing with food allergies and I bring a chef card to the restaurant to help remind the chef of my daughter’s food allergies.
Now that it has been a while since finding out our daughter has food allergies life is still the same but with a few more precautions. Take the time to do your research and prepare so that you and your child don’t have to live in fear.
But that you can go about living your normal life with confidence!
What can my child eat?
This was my biggest question when we first found out about our daughter’s food allergies. Since she is allergic to milk and eggs that are basically in almost all foods I was stressed about have food our daughter could eat.
She does eat a very healthy diet full of fruit and vegetables but one of my go-to websites for finding food allergy free recipes is kidswithfoodallergies.org. I love this website mainly because you can select what foods your child is allergic to and then you can find a TON of recipes you can make!
You are super mom!
You no longer need to be stressed and live in fear because your child has food allergies. Becuase you are now SUPER MOM! Remeber accidents will happen but because you are now super mom you are more confident in handling accident situations.
Make sure you or your child always carries around their Epi-pen. I always have our daughters Epi-pen and Benadryl. And if your child is old enough sit down with your child and discuss the epi-pen plan as I call it.
It basically means what symptoms need to occur before administering the epi-pen. For us, if our daughter has more then two symptoms she is given her epi-pen ONLY if we know she consumed something.
If she touched something that contains her food allergies or someone touched her she is only given Benadryl. I am going to say it again. DO YOUR RESEARCH! this way you will always be prepared and feel like SUPER MOM 24/7!
If you have any questions about food allergies or want to share your story I would love to hear it! So comment below!