Food allergies are a common pediatric issue. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), roughly four million children in the United States (5.8%) have food allergies.
If you have a child with food allergies, you want to make sure the food they are consuming is both allergy-safe and nutritious. One way to do this is by packing their lunches when they go to school or daycare. Let’s go over a few tips to ensure an allergen-free lunch for your child.
Know What is in The Food You Prepare
Avoiding food allergens is the only sure way to prevent an allergic reaction. One of the best ways to do this is by reading labels carefully to know exactly what is going into any food you prepare for your child. Whether shopping at your neighborhood grocery store or picking a few things up at the Alpharetta Farmers Market, make sure you read any packaging and ask about ingredients or look online if you need clarification.
Hit a Variety of Food Groups
Though food allergies can limit your child’s options, there are still plenty of foods they can likely enjoy. While everyone has different allergy triggers, the good news is that fresh fruits and vegetables are often lower on the common allergen lists. Additionally, there are many popular foods that are now made without nuts, soy, dairy or gluten to be more inclusive of those with food allergies.
Talk With Their Teacher and Other Parents at School
School lunch isn’t the only time that food is ever served while your child is in the classroom, and it’s important for teachers, caregivers and other parents to know what your child can and cannot be exposed to, particularly if your child is prone to severe allergic reactions.
Additionally, if you’re making snacks for the class, be sure to check in with other parents and provide an ingredient list of what is in anything you make to ensure that other children with food allergies in class can be safe as well.
Unsure if Your Child Has Allergies?
Allergy symptoms can sometimes mimic symptoms of other conditions. So, it may be hard to know if your child is suffering from food allergies or intolerances or other issues. If you believe they have allergy issues, consider scheduling an appointment with an expert allergist. They can perform allergy testing to identify your child’s triggers, prescribe medication if needed and help you figure out safe meal alternatives.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment, contact ENT of Georgia North today.