Family Matters: Dietary Needs


Here are four tips for parents balancing different dietary needs.

Stock Up
Keep plenty of safe products in your pantry. Invest in a freezer and fill it up with safe choices. Plan meals ahead. Collect recipes that work. Have substitute treats on hand to ward off feelings of deprivation.

Make It Easy
Set up a system that your kids understand and can follow. Label or color-code foods and dishes. Give each child his or her own plate, glass and shelf in the cupboard.

Be Prepared
Have emergency medications in convenient locations for quick access. Make sure meds are up to date and that everyone knows what to do in case of a reaction.

Get Support
Work closely with your doctor and nutritionist. Join a local group to learn managing strategies, to share information and to show your kids how others live with allergies. Take advantage of national experts like the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (, the Food Allergy Initiative ( and the Food Allergy Project (