Most of my videos for Allergic Living focus on social situations and advanced situations in dealing with food allergies. But recently a follower sent a direct message saying, “Help, my baby was just diagnosed with a food allergy, and I don’t know where to begin!”
Memories flooded back. I remember how life-changing it was when my son, the eldest of my four kids, was diagnosed with food allergies. I left the allergist’s office thinking that my life had changed entirely in the 15 minutes of that skin prick test.
Leaving that office, I was clear on which allergens not to feed my son. Less clear was – what to feed him. I felt unsure and confused about how to keep my son safe.
To help the follower and others like her, I realized it would be helpful to provide a video on the basics of adjusting to life after food allergy diagnosis. So this episode of the Megan’s Minute video series is a primer – consider it “Food Allergy 101” for the newly diagnosed.
I also hope the video serves as a useful refresher for those of you who are experienced food allergy parents.
As followers know, I’m the owner of the recipe website AllergyAwesomeness.com, so with time, I certainly figured out the feeding my family part of food allergy life.
Food Allergy 101, Let’s Crack the Code
Yet, there’s so much more to learn about food allergy management. This condition comes with a big learning curve. In the video, I’ll cover and explain several tips to the Food Allergy 101 basics. These include:
- Getting proper diagnosis. You’ll want to avoid just making assumptions that symptoms are food allergies – do get the allergist’s expert take.
- The safety basics – from what goes into a food allergy emergency care plan to learning about anaphylaxis and carrying epinephrine.
- The grocery store – oh boy, has grocery shopping just changed. Fortunately, the U.S. has legally required Top 9 allergen labeling, which helps a lot. Let me tell you about its good and weak points, and tricks to label reading.
- In the video, I also have tips for finding great food allergy resources and crafting your “allergy elevator pitch”. That’s a snappy way to explain food allergies to others. It’s better to be ready since food is offered – just about everywhere.
- I talk a lot about making the adjustment to food allergy life, and being kind to yourself in doing so.There is a mourning process for life as you knew it. But you will find your way to a new “normal”, and the food allergy community is friendly and supportive.
Once we get up over that hill of the early steps of Food Allergy 101, we turn around and help the next person. That’s just the way of this community. Adapting to life with food allergies will be a process, but trust me – it gets a lot better.
As always, Allergic Living and I welcome your comments on the video, either on their Youtube channel or the video posts on Allergic Living’s Facebook and Instagram.
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-9 free recipes and articles. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook.
More videos from Megan Lavin:
Food Allergy Goals for New Year
Eating Out Safely with Allergies
How Not to Overreact with an Allergic Child
Food Allergies and the Married Couple
Going to Birthday Parties
How to Create a Food Storage Pantry