It’s a question allergy mom Megan Lavin gets all the time: How do you keep food allergens in the home when you have two boys with food allergies? She is especially asked this because her eldest son has a very long list of allergies.
In this installment of the video series “Megan’s Minute,” Megan explains the process that went into deciding to allow allergens like wheat, dairy and egg into her household. She stresses that for her and her husband, this was not an easy decision, but it has proved a positive one.
It’s a Process
Megan said when their highly allergic first-born son was down to only 10 foods, she and her husband realized that it wasn’t sustainable, especially once they had a second baby who was very small on the growth chart. They wanted to provide a varied, healthy diet for their growing family, which today includes two boys and two girls.
“One thing that helped us was taking baby steps,” she says of introducing allergens to the home. The first few times, one of them would take the older child with allergies out of the house while the other parent fed the baby (who would later develop a few allergies as well).
Next, they tried having their eldest, who must carefully avoid his allergens, in the house with those foods present. Then they tried having him in the same room, and then later at the same table. He did not develop symptoms from proximity.
Megan, the blogger, known for her AllergyAwesomeness.com website walks through how she contains food spills with messy toddler siblings. (The younger two girls have no allergies.)
To keep allergens in the home safely, she introduced an “allergy-safe snack shelf,” and got her kids used to using color-coded sippy cups. Plus, the family has handwashing routines down to a science. A side benefit of growing up this way is how allergy-aware all her kids are.
“My girls who don’t have food allergies are such great advocates for those who do have them – because they see it day in and day out.”
And her son with the most food allergies? Megan believes he’s going to be better prepared for college and roommates, since he’s used to having allergens in the home, and keeping his food separate from others. Plus, he is an avid food label reader.
She stresses that allergens in the home may not be for everyone. But this video is a must-watch, giving the allergy community most helpful food for thought.
“It takes care and I have to wash my hands a lot in a day and we go through a good amount of bleach wipes,” says Megan. “But I’ve never regretted being able to have more [diet] options.”
Megan’s Minute Series
Join Allergic Living monthly for a new installment of Megan’s Minute with Megan Lavin, the creator of the Allergy Awesomeness blog, which features great Top-8 free recipes and articles. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook.
More videos from Megan Lavin:
Married with Food Allergies: Relationship video
Going to Birthday Parties
Creating a School 504 Plan
How to Plan Meals with Food Allergies
Hosting and Attending Gatherings with Allergies
View the full video series on the Allergic Living YouTube Channel here.