I Have Food Allergies, Now What?
If you or your child were recently diagnosed with food allergies, you might be feeling like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. If you are not familiar with food allergies, you may believe some common food allergy myths such as these:
- You will never be able to eat at your favorite restaurant again.
- You will never be able to have guests over for dinner again.
- You are going to have to resort to a life of bland and boring foods.
- Everyone will think there is something wrong with you.
- Grocery shopping will be a huge, impossible challenge.
First and foremost, you should know that none of these statements are true. While they may feel very real to you and are weighing heavily on your mind, you should know that they are false and simply not true. Luckily, food allergies are very common these days, and people in both your social circle and in the food industry are becoming more aware of them and doing everything they can to help.
If you or someone you love was recently diagnosed with food allergies, there are some simple steps you can take to feel more empowered and prepared. But being informed, you can make choices that are better for your health. Don’t let food allergies make you feel like you are trapped and without choices, just take a look below at some simple steps you can take to better prepare yourself for some of the changes you can anticipate.
How to Face Your Food Allergies:
1. Learn to read labels.
Reading labels will be essential when dealing with food allergies as they will inform you of all of the ingredients in a product. Learn where food labels are, what the different ingredients are you should look for, and how to use the labels to find safe food products.
2. Find online support.
There are thousands of online support groups for people dealing with food allergies. A simple Google search or Facebook search will connect you with thousands who are in the same boat as you. These groups can offer support, recipes, shopping tips, medical advice and more. These groups will also be of great support when planning menus for guests or weekly dinners so you can avoid your allergen but still enjoy a healthy and tasty meal all will enjoy.
3. Have a plan.
Should you encounter a food you are allergic to, you will want a plan in place. Is there a medication you should take? Should you seek medical help? Who should you call? Keep a plan in place so when an allergen hits, you are ready. Fill your family in on this plan so everyone is on the same page.
4. Find suitable solutions.
Many food companies are making their products friendlier for those with food allergies. You can find variations of your favorite products that are dairy, gluten, wheat, corn, and rice free. Email or call the consumer hotline of your favorite companies and ask where you might be able to find allergy friendly variations of their products. When you visit your favorite eatery, you can do the same and find some viable solutions that are still fun and tasty.
As you can see, being diagnosed with food allergies does not mean you are destined to a life of boring foods or a condition that no one understands. Food allergies are becoming more common every day, so follow these tips and see how simple it is to enjoy life while still making sure you treat yourself in an effective way for your allergy.