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-   -   I am so overwhelmed! (food allergies) (http://www.diaperswappers.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1388948)

Leighleighbuggy 05-03-2012 08:26 AM

I am so overwhelmed! (food allergies)
 
We have known that ds1 is allergic to eggs since he was one, and luckily it has been easy to avoid. He does fine with baked eggs, so we've just had to avoid regualr eggs, egg noodles and things like that. Now ds2 has been diagnosed with tree nut allergies. Now all these issues of cross contamination come up. I have no idea what to feed my kids. I have been googling for two days and only found one grocery list and all that has is snack foods. I will try to make most from scratch but I just read that some flours are cross contaiminated. I just want to cry. Also, he starts preschool in the fall and I am terrified. Ds1 I don't worry as much because none of the kids in his class are bringing in eggs for a snack, kwim? They both have epipens, but I am still scared someone won't notice his reaction until it's too late. I am completely overwhelmed!

thirdtimemomma 05-03-2012 08:33 AM

Re: I am so overwhelmed! (food allergies)
 
HUGS mama! I feel ya! DS (19mo) has 45 different food allergies we just found out about! Its terrifying.. The best advice that I've been given is to make a list of foods he CAN have. So include flours, snack foods and other products.. Anything that is peanut free. Look on Amazon.com and search peanut free in grocery. That will give you some great ideas. For egg you can substitute flax in baked goods.

Somethings to help you along the way:

Tree nut Safe List;
Wheat Montana wheat and white wheat
GV sugar
Sams powdered milk
Wheat thins
Hersheys chocolate chips
Chex cereal is peanut free but not the honey or the chocolate
PUffs are nut free
Sams brand pasta is nut free


And whole foods has peanut free tags!

And for school, you need to meet with all the teachers, show the practice epi and have a list of foods that are safe and unsafe (I did mine in red and green with stop lights).. I check the menu at daycare (we go occasionally not often) and then pack a comparable lunch if things arent safe for Solomon. Also they sell these stickers where you can list his allergies, and stick it on his shirt. Im making a pin that says "Dont feed me, I have allergies" LOL.

Leighleighbuggy 05-03-2012 09:00 AM

Re: I am so overwhelmed! (food allergies)
 
OMG 45 food allergies! Bless your heart, I don't know what I'd do! I guess I should count my blessings I only have a few to deal with.

Thanks for the list. I am trying to just take this one step at a time. I have been going through our pantry. My biggest concern is those that don't label for cross contamination. We are still waiting on the blood test results to see the exact numbers on his allergy.

jbug_4 05-03-2012 09:15 AM

Re: I am so overwhelmed! (food allergies)
 
Just breath. It will get a lot easier. It is overwhelming in the beginning, but it will get a lot easier. And you have already been broken in with the eggs. Thats the way we looked at- dd has had problem with dairy since birth and at 2 diagnosed with a peanut allergy- which also meant no tree nuts because of cross contamination (she is not allergic to tree nuts but treat them as if she is). Also allergic to cantaloupe, which we suspected but only had her tested for it this year, and coconut- now thats a fun one to avoid, its in most health and beauty products and fruit snacks (except Wal-Mart's brand). Anyway we had plenty of time to learn to work around the milk before the others were added.

There are actually lots of things you can buy that you don't have to worry about. I make stuff from scratch because i like to, but I also buy a lot of Wal-mart brand because they are insane about their labeling. I think they over label, but while frustrating (because I can choose another brand and it not have a warning) it makes me feel much more confident in Wal-Mart products and their labeling practices. Companies don't have to label processed on equip or in facility. Those that do, do so voluntarily. And you can always call their 800 numbers to ask about processing- I have done this several times and have even had people send me certificates of guarantee (I didn't ask, they volunteered). What kind of snacks and stuff do your kids like? I might be able to help you find alternatives- been doing it for 3 years for the nuts, 4 for the milk. Wow-butter (fake peanut butter is actually pretty good- it is made with soy, but it is made in a peanut/tree nut free facility. I have heard Sunbutter is pretty good too- made with sunflower seeds.

Schools are getting more accustom to dealing with food allergies. You will need to talk to the teachers ahead of time. Did your allergist give you an action plan for school? Some of the schools have them that you can fill out or you can print one online. It should have a pic of your LO, what the allergies are, what a reaction looks like and the procedure to follow in case of a reaction. I took my trainer epi with me to orientation for dd, but the teacher was already familiar with use- I did ask her to demonstrate for my sense of security. DD's rule- which the teacher knows- is if it doesn't have a label or didn't come from us she isn't to eat it. Our preschool parents choose snacks from a pre-approved snack list to bring for the whole class. This was something the school does automatically to minimize junk food. I was given the list and marked off things that were no-nos and then they sent the list out after. So there aren't any snacks that the parents will provide that dd can't have- as long as they are not homemade. DD's teacher has a pack of graham crackers in case someone veers of the snack list. Like today someone brought store bought cupcakes that may contain traces of tree nuts. So dd would be having her graham crackers except another parent brought in rice crispie treats. So glad she did. Parents are not actually suppose to bring in treats like cupcakes so I haven't given the school any to keep, but we will next year. I can freeze some and the school can keep them on hand in case of surprises like we had today. DD's school in not nut free, but her classroom is for her (well supposed to be, nothing will ever be unless teachers are checking every bit of food that comes in to the school). The school dd is going to next year is a public charter and we chose it specifically because they currently have kids with multiple severe food allergies. While the school in not peanut or tree nut free- they have several rooms that are and they're policy is insane compared to any of the other local schools. They are accustom to dealing with some pretty extreme food allergies.

Check with your allergist too- our has a RN whose only job is community outreach. She travels to patients schools, work, play groups, whatever to educate on safety. Its something they offer free of charge to their patients- yours might do something like this. They (my docs office) also host support groups so i'd check with yours.


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