Hudson Valley Parent

HVP November 2018

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 21 of 39

22 Hudson Valley Parent n November 2018 Don't miss out because of food allergies "Having a food allergy shouldn't mean missing out on the fun of the season," says Dahl. "It's important to remember that the holidays are a time to appreciate time with family and friends. Food, although often part of the celebration, shouldn't be the focus. Don't be afraid to accept those invitations for the festivities but communicate with the host so she can be prepared with alternative options. Another option is to let the host know that you will be providing a separate option for your child. If you don't want your child to feel excluded or stand out, make enough for the group to share. Then, every child can partake in your allergen-free tasty dish." Dahl says overall there is more awareness today about individual needs. "I think schools are certainly becoming more aware of food allergies. Many school wellness committees are requiring that classroom celebrations have either limited food options or eliminate food altogether to both encourage healthier habits and limit exposure to food allergens." In addition, Dahl says some school districts recommend parents who wish to bring food in for classroom celebrations do so through the school's food service department to ensure those foods are both safe and nutritious. Some take that request a step further. "Daycare centers and schools often require that food items brought in for classroom celebrations be store-bought so the food label can be assessed for allergens," Dahl says. But it also makes sense for parents By OLIVIA L. LAWRENCE H olidays are legendary as nutritional minefields. No matter what your family celebrates, you're likely to encounter sugary, high fat, often nutritionally bereft foods laid out in extravagant yummy-looking buffets all season long. For families with kids who must manage food allergies these temptations present a double whammy. Whether its peanuts or tree nuts, soy, milk, gluten, eggs, shellfish or some less common trigger, how can you prepare your child to navigate seasonal treats especially when he or she is full of excitement and off to a party without Mom or Dad? Erica Dahl is a community nutrition educator with the Hudson Valley Region of Eat Smart New York, a program of the Cornell Cooperative Extension. She is also the mother of a four-year-old who just started preschool and loves to cook. to be proactive. "Be sure that you meet with your school nurse, classroom teachers and other relevant school staff who may be offering food. It can be helpful to equip your child's classroom teacher with safe, alternative options for occasions that may be celebrated with food," Dahl says. Dr. Paula Brown has plenty of experience with helping kids and parents get a handle on food allergies. She's a pediatric allergist and immunologist with CareMount Medical. She has also navigated her own lifelong food allergies. Her two young nieces, Olivia, 4, and Camila, almost 3, also suffer from food allergies. "I am allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish and sesame seeds," says Dr. Brown, who developed symptoms as a child. "In the '80s and '90s, food allergies were not a highly recognized medical condition. I would get hives, wheezing and Kids learn how to make allergen free food through a program with Cornell Cooperative Extension. Food shouldn't be scary. Olivia and Camila's parents have to plan ahead when going to parties because of allergies. Don't let food allergies spoil the holiday fun Plan ahead for food-filled festivities

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Hudson Valley Parent - HVP November 2018