Fear, Frustration, and Food Allergies

By Tricia

Hey guys, welcome to the show today. I am so happy to have you here. So today we’re going to spend some time talking about food allergies. I know you’re probably thinking that doesn’t affect me. I’m not going to listen to it, but I really urge you to take a look at him because if you know somebody that has food allergies, some of the things that I’m talking about in this episode might be helpful to you and it might help help you navigate your journey with them. And also, you know, gain a little bit of knowledge about what food allergies is. So take a listen, please. Food allergy, the food allergy world is something that I got thrust into unexpectedly, as I’m sure happens with anybody who has to avoid certain foods. I am a dietician, right? And I am machine to even say that I never really believed in food allergies.
Speaker 1 (01:57):
I never really understood the magnitude of the complications of food allergies or really just like the effect on the family or the child or the person who had food allergies. And I’m just not sure that I ever really took it seriously as serious as I convey. So when we talk about food allergies, we’re talking about any food that is causing some kind of like an immune response when the food has eaten. So the foods will typically be things like, so the top foods, the top eight foods that are common food allergies include eggs, Trina. So this could be Hazel nuts or almonds or cashews, pistachios, or walnuts, or macadamia nuts, basically any nuts, you know, not including peanuts, it could be milk. That’s another allergy peanuts, fish shellfish, which could be crab Hopster shrimp, soybeans, and wheat. That’s what we’re talking about. When we talk about the top, the top eight allergens.
Speaker 1 (03:02):
Typically what happens is that you are someone that just allergic to one of these things. You may have some kind of symptom. Okay. So that could be something like you might be wheezing or coughing, or have some hives or have a runny nose. There’s some of the symptoms that the people who eat things that they can’t have may have, it’s anticipated that about 10% to 11% of the us adults. So this doesn’t include kids have some kind of food allergy and food allergy. Isn’t just an intolerance tends to be, it’s not the same as an empowerment and a food intolerance is when a person has difficulty digesting a food, but there’s no immune response there. When you have a food allergy, you’re actually going to have some kind of, you’re going to have some kind of like adverse health effect, arising from the, whatever is in that food.
Speaker 1 (03:57):
And a food allergy will typically cause a reaction every time that particular food that the person’s allergic to is eaten. So how I got thrust into this food allergy world was I have a kid who, when he was, you know, I would probably say when he was able to start eating foods, as I was introducing foods to him, when he was little, you know, I thought that I was doing everything the way that I was supposed to be. You know, some of the recommendations are to introduce your kids to foods pretty early on so that they can have the exposure and therefore decrease their food allergy of risk. So I had been giving my kid this, like, there’s like bamboo chips. They’re like those cheese curls that are peanut flavored. And so I had me giving them to him. So I just assumed that when I gave him peanut butter, peanut butter jelly sandwich, that he would be able to tolerate it because he didn’t seem to have a reaction when it comes to consuming those chips.
Speaker 1 (04:53):
Now, in hindsight, I probably wasn’t giving him those chips pretty consistently because I don’t really know he was too little and I don’t really know that he was really eating them anyway. So my sister was, you know, we were over at my sister’s house and we were giving him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and he vomited, and I didn’t know that it was a food allergy that was this time. So he broke out in hives, he vomited and he was just spent for the rest of the day. Like he was just so tired. So I wasn’t sure if it was related to the food, because I was really confused, like, Oh my gosh, I’ve given him these, these, these chips before they have peanut butter in them. And I honestly didn’t know enough about food allergies. I just didn’t have that education to know that that was a food allergy.
Speaker 1 (05:36):
So I didn’t even talk to her. I think I just, we just gave him a bath and then I just, you know, he didn’t seem right. And so I just took him home. Then a couple of days later, I had been thinking about it and I was like, I wonder if he has a food allergy. So I had to thought decided it would be really great if I exposed him to the allergy again, which of course wasn’t great. And he ended up having food allergies. So we ended up in urgent care that night. So why I’m telling you all, this is kind of, I want you to understand that journey of somebody who has food allergies and, you know, I think sometimes we make it look pretty, you know, like we’re trying to, as food allergy, people are parents. So I’m speaking from the parent perspective, you’re trying to get your, your kid, you know, as normal and their life is so normal, but just trying to make it like a seamless for them while also educating them.
Speaker 1 (06:29):
And while also the concern is not to really inconvenience, I think from my perspective, anyway, a lot of people. And so when it comes to food allergies with my son, he ended up being diagnosed with multiple food allergies, not including, you know, any of the environmental allergies that the kids have too. I think when I originally, you know, I didn’t have enough knowledge, you know, with food allergies were. And I think that I had no idea what this journey was going to look like. And I had no idea how hard it was going to be to try to navigate the whole industry of food allergies. It’s really hard. And I’m sure a lot of your food allergy, friends or parents of food allergy kids, or even if you’re somebody who’s trying to avoid a restrict food, as you go through that process, you see how hard it really is, but I know that you’re making it look so easy.
Speaker 1 (07:19):
So probably others don’t know the struggle that’s involved in that. And so that’s what I wanted to talk a little bit about is like how we can be a bit more supportive of, you know, parents that have kids with food allergies and to see that it’s something that’s real. And that it’s, even though it may seem really inconvenient to you, it might be something that the parent or the person with food allergies is just so grateful that you are doing anything to make their life a tiny bit easier. I know that I will be, and I always am the easiest way to know if, you know, if some food has your particular food allergy in it is to read the label. So most of the top eight allergens that we’ve discussed it should be on the label. So it should say in the ingredient list, what foods are in there, but what’s hard to navigate is there is this little line underneath of it that says made in a facility that may also process blah, blah, blah.
Speaker 1 (08:20):
And so the parent or whoever has the food allergy person can decide, okay, I know that my kid can have these products, even though they were navigated or produce in a facility that also contains their allergen. Okay. But that label is voluntary. So food companies don’t have to put that on there. They can put it in their ingredients, but they don’t actually have to put it on there. And so I think that’s first, just so that you know, that it’s a voluntary label. So when you’re actually picking out food for somebody who has food allergies, you don’t want to just look, see if it has that, you know, that warning because the warning isn’t always there. Some manufacturers are really good at putting it on there and some manufacturers aren’t. So for them, they don’t really have to warn if there’s an allergy or multiple allergies in that remember even a trees yeah.
Speaker 1 (09:14):
Amount of an allergen can cause a life-threatening reaction. So that’s just the important thing to really understand. So, you know, it doesn’t take very much in terms of quality for your, for you, for somebody who has to avoid that food, to consume it, to actually have a reaction. It’s just the time it can just be a tiny amount. And the reaction may change might not be the same all the time. So maybe one time or one particular food allergies, food, maybe one time when you’ve eaten something, you get hives, but you could eat the same food another time and have, have to be epi. So that’s the really confusing part with food allergies. Is that the reaction isn’t always the same. Sometimes the reaction can be severe and sometimes the reaction of eating the food can be really bad. And so that’s what I want you to understand in this, that I know that I probably seems really inconvenient to try to bring, you know, food and snacks to your kid’s class, but that aren’t, that don’t have those allergies in it.
Speaker 1 (10:12):
But I can assure you that the parent of that child is just so grateful that you were able to acknowledge and have that kid be a participant in that particular activity because you conclude at them. And that just means the world terms for any person that has food allergies. So first thing on the food label, it’s just checking the ingredients. What we’ve just talked about is that that label underneath that says that it may be produced in a facility with, or without your allergen is completely valid. And so sometimes on the labels, it could be conflicting, right? So this is one of the challenges. So it could be not in the ingredient, lead’s list that it’s in there, but then it might be on the may contain label. So I’ve actually seen labels where it will not say it in the ingredient, but it will say that it may contain or vice versa.
Speaker 1 (11:03):
So it just gets to be a little bit using another thing is, is that if you have somebody, if like a kid that’s little like my kid, it’s really hard a to know if your child is having a reaction, but then also it’s hard. Yeah. Navigate because you’re always packing food for your child based on what you know they’ve had before. So when you go to family parties, you have to probably most likely bring something because you’ve made it and you know, it’s safe for them. And if there’s parties at school where there’s going to be cupcakes, you know, we are the one making the cupcakes as a parent. You’re making sure that you’re because you want your kids to be included. The other thing to think about is that when there’s play dates and things like that, anytime you’re with your child or as with a person who has food allergies, you know, as an adult, it’s a lot easier you can say, Oh, my throat really hurts.
Speaker 1 (11:56):
Or I feel like I’m going to throw up. Maybe I ate an Apple or something that I’m allergic to. But as a kid, you have to then train, whoever is watching your trial to know that, okay, this is my kid’s food allergies. This is the symptoms that you have to look for. And this is how you have to epi my child. If, if, if the reaction is severe. So it’s a lot to put on somebody and to feel like you’re imposing on somebody to, to drop your kid off and be like, okay, here you go. This is what he look for. And here’s the EpiPen and wait, this is how you use it. So if you have a kid who, you’re your kid’s friends with that has food allergies always kind of know that kind of stuff. Like we know what they’re allergic to, whether it be pen is that kind of stuff.
Speaker 1 (12:39):
But it’s just, I’m just trying to kind of give you some context of what it’s like in the life of a food allergy, parent, and anybody who has to avoid certain food restrictions. That’s a big one. And then it’s also another challenge is really like knowing what foods are safe. So there’s a lot of times where you have to read the ingredient list all the time, essentially, because at any point in time that manufacturer of a food that was always safe, may all of a sudden not be safe because they may have added products or add a line in it. So like, so for instance, some of the products that may always have been safe products for kid, all of a sudden, they may add a new line that a new line of food to their product lists that might have, you know, an allergen in it.
Speaker 1 (13:26):
So it might have nuts or peanuts or ag or milk or something in it. The manufacturer doesn’t have to notify anybody. It doesn’t have to notify a parent or a person that has food allergies. So it’s like, you’re always reading the labels and trying to figure out, okay, is this safe? Something else that seems to have been prevalent was that during the COVID crisis, that we’re still going through, there is some products that are made now in a facility that maybe perhaps in the past, didn’t also manufacturer nuts and tree nuts, and now they do, but there’s no way to disclose that. Or even to know that and how that usually happens, that you are aware of it is that your son or daughter, or loved one may eat something that has, that they’ve always eaten in the past. And maybe they have a reaction.
Speaker 1 (14:14):
You know, there’s no ingredient on the list that says that there’s an allergy in it, but then chances are, there may have been some kind of cross-contamination because now it might be factor might be in a facility that maybe has some kind of cross-contamination because now they may have particular allergen in there. And so what ends up happening is that there are these wonderful Facebook group communities, full of parents that were trying to protect their kids. And they’re a godsend. So if you’re somebody who is really trying to figure out, you know, what you can do to help out a parent of a food allergy child that has some resources that you can go to, there is also a snack safely site. And that’s really great. It’s basically the link is, let me see if I can find it. I’ll put the link in the show notes, but it’s snacks safely.com.
Speaker 1 (15:03):
And so that’s a really great guide. And so basically it is, it’s just like some it’s guidance. So it’s a resource that you can use as guidance for, for schools and youth sports and parties and play dates. And just kind of like dealing with anybody that has, or especially a kids it’s more focused for its kids, for food allergies or any kind of food restriction. It just kind of gives you some really great guides in there based on what the allergen is that you’re trying to avoid. So what can you do being a parent of a kid who doesn’t have food allergies and how to feel like you’re not so inconvenienced by, you know, not being able to bring things into the school that you may, you know, that you may really want to bring into school. So I think first, it’s just trying to figure out if you have a kid in your class who has a food allergy and what that food allergy is, and then maybe researching somethings that the kid can have and bringing that as a snack into school.
Speaker 1 (16:03):
A lot of times, I think as parents, we want to bring things in that are easy and that are fine. And they tend to be things like cookies and cakes, but a lot of kids that have food allergies can’t really have those things. And so what ends up coming into school is things that maybe aren’t as much fun. They might be like gummy bears or, you know, something else that isn’t as fun as cookies and cakes. There are products out there that have, that are not free. So for instance, when I get into a bind and I haven’t had a chance to make something for my kid, I ended up usually doing like some kind of loft house cookies. They are a little bit more expensive because they have to be in order to account because that bakery where those foods were made, I’ll have to be top allergy free.
Speaker 1 (16:45):
So the products may be more expensive and to maintain the safety standards of that particular bakery probably has some kind of financial costs. And I’m sure it’s probably taken into consideration when you’re actually purchasing the product. But as a parent of someone with food allergies, I can’t tell you how grateful I would feel if my kid was included in something as opposed to the rest of the class, eating the foods that he himself can’t have. And so that just means that, you know, I would just be really grateful. So I’m sure other parents out there of kids with food allergies would make it, I would feel the same way. So just hang in there with us, your non food allergy, parents just hang in there with us and just kind of help us out. We’re all, you know, we all want what’s best with our kids, and we’re all trying to just kind of navigate this.
Speaker 1 (17:33):
And I think having a kid at all and having anybody in your life that has a food allergy, it’s hard to navigate. And so just please have some patience and don’t get so frustrated with not being able to bring some things into the sporting event and just know that like, you know, my kid wants to be included and I’m sure your kid really wants to make sure my kid is really included. So that’s all I have for today. And thanks for listening. I feel like, you know, I have a forum to kind of talk about food allergies and I feel like it’s kind of my responsibility to just provide that information and just to kind of make whomever aware, and maybe this will help you today. And maybe it won’t, but regardless, like just thank you so much for taking the time and listening and so far. And I really appreciate you listening in, and I’m going to put some helpful food allergy resources in the show notes for you to refer to. And they’re just really pretty great. And if you guys have any questions about food allergies that I can answer, feel free to DM me and Instagram at whole health empower, or, you know, you can always email me at info at Tricia, R D as in registered dietician.com. I’ll see you guys back here next week.
Speaker 1 (18:47):
If you found value in this podcast, please rate, review and subscribe on iTunes. Being a busy woman or mom doesn’t mean that we have to give up on our health wellness or self care together. We can take tiny, imperfect steps towards creating the whole health we desire and deserve. You can find us@wholehealthandpower.com or on Instagram at whole health empower. Thanks for listening. I’ll see you next week.

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