Whether we are new to a situation or an old-hand at it, coming across a helpful tip can sometimes make our life a little easier, save us time, or reduce worry.
Here are three living-with-a-food-allergy tips, and maybe one of them will help lighten your load.
1. Shift in Perspective
Living with a food allergy typically involves some unwanted lifestyle changes such as dietary restrictions, using careful cooking techniques, and mandatory label reading. Having to implement these changes may feel burdensome which adds to the difficulty of managing an allergy.
A helpful shift in perspective is obtained by focusing on what an allergic child (or adult) can eat, and on what can be done to keep him or her safe. This opens the mind to what is possible instead of what needs to be eliminated or altered—and our emotions respond more favorably to possibility than to thoughts of limitation.
2. A Frosty Ally
If your child has a severe food allergy, it may be necessary to bring food along when eating out, going to a party, or a picnic. So, make the freezer your allergy ally.
By creating the habit of freezing extra portions of foods prepared at home (e.g., soups, sandwich fillings, sauces, meats, casseroles) there will always be take-along food options available. Or, if parents go out for the day or evening, there will be safe edibles that a babysitter or older child can defrost and heat up for meals.
3. Facts with Food
A difficulty many parents of food allergic children have is educating all their family members and friends about the safety strategies set up for their kids. To consolidate the effort involved in educating everyone, consider having allergy-information parties.
For instance, you might invite a group of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins to an Allergy-Ed Barbecue. Before they enjoy the beans and burgers, your relatives could be given a 20 minute lesson on using an auto-injector, go over the child’s safety plan, or learn how to spot allergens on food labels.
You might need more than one get-together to cover all the allergy bases, since giving too much information at once is counterproductive, but this might save time and energy in the long run. You might even use your creativity to turn learning into a fun game.