Kids and Allergies

Gluten-Free Halloween Hacks

Are you haunted by thoughts of Halloween and trick-or-treat? This candy-saturated holiday can spook anyone who has a child with food allergies or celiac disease. There’s no perfect recipe for eliminating all risks but reasonable caution coupled with good information and proper preparation can make this holiday a lot less scary. We asked some seasoned and savvy food-allergy moms for their advice.
Annie's GF Cheddar Bunnies

Annie’s GF Cheddar Bunnies

We’re hopping with excitement about Annie’s new gluten-free Cheddar Bunny Tails. They’re the gluten-free version of popular cheese-flavored goldfish, a favorite with the kiddos.

Back to School with Food Allergies

I only encountered severe food allergies in the classroom within the past few years. Several members of my family have celiac disease, so I approached my first case with confidence. I quickly learned, however, that the food allergies in my classroom are a completely different animal. Ingestion of a food allergen–even a trace amount—can be life threatening. Some children experience a reaction just by contact alone.

Maternal Diet & Allergic Risk

A group of researchers in the UK conducted a systematic data review and found that a mother’s diet can influence her child’s risk of developing allergic disease or autoimmune disease. Among other findings, they reported the positive health benefits of probiotics and fish oil supplementation.

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Holiday Cookie Baking

These gluten-free festive cookies are simple to make, contain no wheat or dairy and can be made egg free. That doesn’t mean good taste has been compromised. Here are delicious recipes that are guaranteed to please.

Pamela’s Products: Always in Good Taste

“I started Pamela’s wanting to do something for the kids who couldn’t eat wheat,” she says. “But I knew that if I didn’t make it taste good enough for everybody to eat and enjoy, what would be the point?” In those days, packaging for natural foods came in muted, earthy hues like brown and gold. Pamela shook that up with bold colors to capture the shopper’s eye. “I like pretty packaging and bright colors—that’s what attracts my attention,” she says. “I really went against the grain of natural foods back in the ’80s with picking bright colors. I wanted people who are gluten-free to feel that it was special food, that it was something more than medicinal.”

Food Allergies in the Classroom

I’m not a food-allergy expert but I play one in my classroom. Like most teachers, I’ve seen an increase in the number of students who have severe food allergies. I don’t know why food-allergy rates are rising, but I do know that it means classrooms and schools are implementing new protocols to ensure the safety of their students. It also means that as an elementary school teacher, I’ve embraced the responsibility of following particular practices to make kids—and their parents—feel safe and ready to learn.

Research Roundup: June/July 2018

Why are milk-allergic kids at risk for growth problems? Dairy constitutes a large part of the American diet, contributing calories and nutrients. In addition, children with milk allergy are more likely to have eczema and asthma, which may contribute negatively to growth rates, Keet noted, adding that additional study is needed. In the meantime, pediatricians and allergists should advise their patients about eating a healthy, nutrient-dense diet and monitor their growth over time.

Food Allergy Bullying

A classmate smeared peanut butter on his locker in middle school. A fifth-grade teacher threatened to give him a zero if he didn’t participate in a science experiment featuring peanut butter. A school parent ambushed him with an ultimatum: either sign a liability waiver in case he experienced anaphylaxis during a high school graduation party or don’t participate.

Food Insecurity

Many food banks are staffed by volunteers and there’s little time, energy or room to provide a dedicated gluten-free or allergy-friendly space. Thankfully, however, people across the country are recognizing the needs of those experiencing food insecurity in the allergy-free community. Several gluten-free and allergy-friendly food banks are now open and serving the public, like these.

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"Oh, how I wish my doctors had told me about the psycho-social impact of celiac disease—social isolation, anxiety, depression. People stop inviting you to potlucks, lunch with friends, dinner celebrations and neighborhood gatherings because they don’t know how to deal with your dietary issues. Gluten Free and More helps me deal with these issues. But it really takes internal fortitude to push through the isolation and step out the front door."
- Kathleen E.