Be aware of what foods to avoid. You can do this by reading the ingredient list on food labels. Keep a running list of foods that are safe to eat. Bring this list to the grocery store and add to it as you shop. Plan for extra time at the grocery store, but realize you will get faster at shopping as your list grows.
Balancing everyday life and food allergies can be challenging and stressful. It is ok to feel overwhelmed at first as you are trying to make lifestyle changes. Look for resources in the community and online that can make things easier. You are not alone.
Challenge yourself to be creative and prepare food at home, and come up with your own recipes. Start simple by using fresh foods. Usually processed foods, that come in a box or package, have more ingredients and are more likely to have something in them that you should avoid. Starting recipes from scratch may take some time and getting used to, but remember you can prepare ahead of time and freeze certain foods for later on.
Find a registered dietitian who can help you find safe foods to eat, and help you recognize hidden ingredients. They can also make sure your child is getting a balanced diet with all the nutrients they need. (www.eatright.org)
Continue to learn more about food allergies, and make sure your child learns why it is important for them to avoid certain foods. Don’t be afraid to ask your healthcare professional if there is something you don’t understand or want to know more about.
Special thanks to Jessiann Andrus for her assistance in preparing this material.
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