Food Allergy Tips For Teens

Kyle Dine, food allergy advocate, and educator, recently shared some food allergy tips geared specifically for teens. Dine’s tips are worth repeating since adolescence is when the still-developing human brain tends to favor exploration and risk-taking—two traits that can get a food allergic person in trouble.

Teens must also deal with tremendous peer pressure and kids who don’t fit in may find themselves excluded, or bullied. Dine understands these difficult issues first hand since he was, not that long ago, an adolescent with food allergies. His tips reflect his experience.

Dine’s Ten Tips for Teens

  1. Always carry epinephrine. Always carrying epinephrine means always, not usually, because food reactions are always a surprise. If you accidentally leave home without your epinephrine, go back and get it.
  2. Take ingredient lists seriously. When a food label says an item “may contain” this or that allergen, it may actually contain it. Also, remember that product ingredient, and restaurant recipes and suppliers frequently change—what was safe yesterday may not be today.
  3. Be aware of hidden allergens. Never assume that a food is safe: cross-contamination can turn otherwise okay foods into a problem, sharing drinks, cigarettes, or utensils increases your risk of a reaction, and just because foods or sauces look alike does not mean they are made alike.
  4. Know the risks of intimacy. A kiss can pass the proteins (allergens) in saliva from one person to another, and these allergens can remain in saliva for several hours—even after brushing. Ask your intimate friend or partner to avoid eating the foods you are allergic to.
  5. Don’t keep it a secret. Your friends will appreciate knowing about your allergy, what to expect should you have a reaction, and how they can help if you do. Never go off by yourself if you suspect a food reaction.
  6. Wear medical identification. With a severe food reaction, you may not be able to communicate what’s going on to those around you. Find a type or types of medical I.D. that you are comfortable with and always wear one.
  7. Prove you’re responsible. Teens want freedom from parental control, but trust needs to be earned. Show your parents that you are being allergy-responsible by always carrying epinephrine, always wearing a medical I.D., and by managing your allergy proactively. For instance, volunteer to help with meal planning and cooking, or research restaurant/food options for an upcoming vacation, or school field trip.
  8. Own your allergies. Tell your allergy story in your own way. Teach others - if necessary - to speak respectfully with you about it. Remember that your allergy does not define you, and that good self-management is your best ally.
  9. Be a leader, not a victim. You can empower yourself by educating others about food allergy. For instance, consider giving a school presentation, writing to a politician about allergy issues, or talking to restaurant managers about their options for food allergy patrons.
  10. Stay positive. It’s natural to become frustrated at times, but do your best to keep the allergy in perspective. Having an allergy is not a character weakness; you can still pursue your personal interests and enjoy a full, rich life.
  11. Source: YouTube/Kyle Dine
    Photo: Pexels

Community

Latest Post by absfabs Tue, 11/19/2019 - 11:06am
Comments: 171
Latest Post by absfabs Tue, 11/19/2019 - 11:01am
Comments: 478
Latest Post by absfabs Tue, 11/19/2019 - 10:51am
Comments: 3
Latest Post by william robenstein Mon, 11/18/2019 - 10:35am
Comments: 1

More Articles

It’s the time of year when holiday parties, and family gatherings can make allergen avoidance more problematic. Whether you celebrate Christmas,...

When love is in the air we can get caught up in the moment and throw caution to the wind. However, if you have a...

Food allergies and sensitivities are on the rise. Almost everyone knows someone who has problems with at least one food. The most common food...

Peanuts and Nuts Can Trigger An Asthma Attack

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAI), more than 3...

The relationship between anxiety and food or other allergy is a complicated and puzzling one. Research has shown that stress can exacerbate...

More Articles

More Articles

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, over 50 million people in the U.S. have allergies. Today's allergy tests...

The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 (FALCPA) addresses the labeling of packaged food products regulated by the FDA....

For people who suffer from anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction that can result from an allergy to...

Anaphylactic shock (A-nuh-fih-LAK-tik shok): A severe and sometimes life-threatening immune system reaction to an antigen that a person has been...

In 1963 the American Medical Association designed a special symbol that would alert emergency medical personnel of special medical conditions when...

Finding allergy-free foods for an office potluck may seem impossible, but more options are available than you might think. Eating foods prepared...

One of the most difficult things for a parent to do is determine whether his or her toddler has a cold or a...

You no doubt have your own way of teaching people about your child’s food allergy, a way that suits your temperament, and style of communication....

Reliable peanut allergy statistics are not that easy to come by. There is a lot of available research on food allergies in general but not too...

Most people know that to enjoy whatever food safety accommodations an airline offers they need to inform the airline of their allergy prior to...

A 504 plan* documents food allergy accommodations agreed to by parents and their child’s school. Plans are typically created during a 504 meeting...

If there is a child at your children's school allergic to peanuts, the school probably discourages or may not allow peanut products to be brought...

If you are on a budget, but you need to wear some sort of notification that you have a peanut...

Unless we consciously carve out time for self-care, constant food allergy management can slowly erode our sense of well-being. Signs of allergy-...

Peanuts cause more severe food allergic reactions than other foods, followed by shellfish, fish, tree nuts and eggs. Although there is only a...