Food Allergic and Celiac Teens: Advocacy Meets Trending Online

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By:
in Food Allergy
Published: September 11, 2014
Allison Davin_1
Teen blogger and advocate Allison Davin.

In our Teen feature in the Fall 2014 Allergic Living magazine, we introduced several teens who are providing inspiration, support, and resources for food-allergic and celiac peers. Though many teens hesitate to draw attention to anything that makes them different, including food allergies, these young advocates prove that finding your voice is a powerful tool.

Following are examples of creative ways that today’s youth is spreading awareness and resources to help your teen find support and get involved.

Teens Write

For an English class project, Allison Davin decided to share her experience and inner resolve in a poem. Her poetry has become worldwide inspiration for other kids with food allergies, and has even been translated into German. Poem reprinted with permission from Allison’s blog, Allergy Alli.

Never Make Me Cry
Some may say I’m different
Some may say I’m strange
But when I’m standing next to you
We look just the same

Nothing on the outside
Is different, you see
It is something on the inside
That separates you from me

For me it’s like a madness
That cut straight to the core
But when I realized God’s there for me
It was a madness no more

I was constantly careful
I was nervous that the pain,
(If one thing went wrong)
Would start coursing through my veins

Now as I get older
I struggle less and less
I’ve come to understand
God gives the hard stuff to his best

I’ve learned to survive
To flourish, to withstand
Everything this has thrown at me
Especially when unplanned

To you it seems there’s something wrong
Just from what you’ve read
But really I’m living quite strong
In the shadow of what’s ahead

I’m passing on my knowledge
To others just like me
I share my stories with them
And inspire them to believe

Someday it’s presumed
That they’ll simply disappear
But the doctors have been saying this
For a hundred thousand years

With this I was born,
And with this I will die.
But never will I let again
My food allergies make me cry.

 

AL - Super Easy Broccoli Salad
Taylor Miller’s 8-ingredient broccoli salad.

Teens Cook!

Due to celiac disease and a severe adrenal disorder, Taylor Miller’s diet is quite restricted. To keep his nutrition on track while helping to encourage other teens to cook, he and his mom whip up recipes with 8 ingredients or less, like this one. As someone who typically shuns his greens, Taylor promises that this recipe is very kid-friendly. Recipe and photo reprinted with permission from Taylor’s blog, Gluten Away.

Taylor’s Super Easy Broccoli Salad
Serves 6-8 people

Ingredients:
6 cups broccoli florets, raw
1/2 cup vegan, soy-free mayonnaise
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/8 cup sugar
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup diced red onions, diced
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup bacon crumbles

Directions:
1. Place broccoli florets in large bowl.
2. In a small bowl, whisk vegan mayo, apple cider vinegar, sugar, and salt and pepper, to taste.
3. Add mayo mixture to broccoli and stir to evenly coat.
4. Add red onion, raisins and bacon crumbles and stir well.
5. Refrigerate 1 hour and serve cold.

Teens Produce

Sema Dibooglu of Eat Without Gluten isn’t short on artistic talent. She draws, performs, loves to create videos, and merges these passions whenever possible. To help spread celiac awareness, Sema produced “Draw My Life”, handling all of the narration, drawing, and video editing on her own. This fun yet educational clip has been shared in many celiac and food allergy communities and is an amazing example of what today’s technologically savvy youth are capable of.

See also: 21 Resources for Teens with Food Allergies