Finding out your kid has an allergy can be very daunting, and trying to navigate eating times from that point on can be a real challenge. We know what it’s like, so we’ve put together this list of top tips for coping with your kid’s food allergy, to make things a little less stressful.
Cook from scratch and batch
When it comes to allergies, processed and packaged foods are pretty much off the shelf. Even if the allergen isn’t listed in the ingredient list, you can’t always guarantee that the product will be completely free of it, as it is most likely processed in an area that also handles that food item.
The best way to avoid any nasty surprises is to cook from scratch: that way you can be completely in control of what goes into your kid’s food. But goodness knows we haven’t always got the time for that, so a great tip is to cook in big batches, and freeze smaller meals for those days when everyone is tight on time and dinner needs to be on the table fast. It takes a little more prep initially, but pays off well in the end.
Always call ahead
If you’re planning to eat out as a family, be sure to call your chosen restaurant ahead of time to make sure they can cater for your child’s allergy. Most restaurants are completely understanding of these situations, especially when you let them know in advance. You could even go one step better and take a look at the menu beforehand, and let them know what your child would like to eat so that they can be super prepared for your arrival.
The same goes for birthday parties and other social gatherings: let the host-parent know of your kid’s allergy so that they can be catered for, or so they can at least check ingredient lists of certain foods to warn what you should steer clear of.
Always be prepared
Unfortunately, calling ahead isn’t always enough. There’s nothing worse than turning up at the party and realising there’s nothing your child can eat, despite having let them know in advance – the same goes for wherever you go. Be prepared with a few snacks that your child can munch on if necessary.
Do be afraid to educate
You know your child’s needs better than anyone else. Don’t be afraid to stand up if you think something isn’t right. If your child is simply only being given veggies without crackers because of a wheat allergy and you think it’s unfair, don’t be frightened to let their teachers and carers know about alternatives that they could provide your child with.
And don’t be afraid to question when you think something isn’t quite right – your child should never be neglected or left behind because of their allergy. Life should carry on as sweetly as ever!
Allergy-friendly off-the-shelf options
It can be tough for kids to come to terms with their allergy, especially if it means that they don’t get the same treats as other kids. Luckily there are a few really great allergy-safe alternatives that your kids will love just as much!
For a treat your kids can enjoy on a special occasion, try out the Boom Chocco Boom Ricemilk Crunch Chocolate Bar. And for an allergy-friendly fun drink that is also sugar free, try Fangks, an allergy-friendly sugar-free drink mix that comes in chocolate and strawberry flavours, and is 100% natural.
Considering everything, coping with your kid’s allergy can be okay, as long as you stay on top of the game. The more you educate yourself about their allergies, the easier it will be to feel normal with it. The best tip we can give you though? Stay positive. It’s not the end of the world, or even their childhood! With a little careful planning and a little extra control, life can carry on as wonderfully as ever!
What’s been your saviour whilst trying to cope with your kid’s allergies? How has your child adapted to their new way of eating? We’d love to hear all about it, so be sure to leave a comment below!