Managing kids with food allergies is among the biggest parenting challenges I hear from moms and dads while engaging in brainstorming with them at work. The local health food store I work at specializes in local organic food as well as food allergy products, so its not uncommon for me to find myself in a conversation about how to manage kids food allergies and what foods are o.k. to eat. Depending on the foods that the child is allergic to, the food choices vary. Knowing ways to avoid reactions is paramount. Here’s some pointers to start with.
Know the Symptoms
Although a serious food allergy will result in symptoms within a few minutes of the allergen food being ingested, you can still experience less serious “intolerance” symptoms. Those types of things usually include gas, bloating, belching, and abdominal discomfort.
Serious symptoms will involve things like wheezing, difficulty breathing, hives, swelling of the inner mouth and tongue.
Detailed Label Reading
It’s imperative to become a super sleuth label reader. Leave no word unturned when you read these documents, you never know when you’ll encounter “wheat starch” or some other type of additive that will be harmful. Anyone with a wheat or gluten problem, won’t want to be involved in eating any type of wheat product and some of them don’t necessarily sound related to wheat, however they are.
I work with so many folks that have food allergies. How do they know they have them? Certainly not by way of testing. As someone who personally has gluten reactions after eating wheat, my own blood work for this problem came out negative. Yet, eating wheat will make me ill, and keep me there unless I clean up my act and make sure ALL the wheat is out of my diet, not just bread.
Trusting your body’s ability to let you know when you’ve eaten something it doesn’t agree with is certainly valid. Pay attention to the gas, bloating, stomach pain and the generally ill type of feelings you encounter when you eat wheat or any wheat by product. Remember there’s wheat starch, modified food starch, maltol, malt, and other types of additives related to wheat that you’ll need to help your kids avoid.
Sources: Jim Dembowiak N.D,(Naturopathic Doctor)–.Natural Resources Health Foods and Whole Health Clinic (my X husband and friend)
December 2011 Issue of Parenting School Years