Living with a kid with food allergies

I was interviewed a few weeks ago by Paul Abra of Island Parent Radio. Paul is putting together a show about kids with allergies and how it affects the entire family. Also on the show Paul interviewed Dr. Janice Joneja an allergy nutrition specialist and author of Dealing with Food Allergies in Babies and Children If you have a kid with allergies, I can highly recommend this book.

I remember when The Boy was first diagnosed with his allergies a year ago (milk, soy, wheat, eggs and peanuts), my wife and I scrambled for information on how to deal with it. And the way you deal with allergies in an infant is by eliminating the allergens from your diet. This meant a massive rethink in the way we eat and, in fact, to the relationship we have with food. I don’t know that we necessarily eat healthier as a family because of the diagnosis, but I do know that we eat differently than we did before.

I sometimes refer to it as a conscious diet, and it sounds obvious – you pay attention to what you eat. You know what is going into your body and consciously decided what to put in. This wasn’t always the case before the diagnosis. Eating was sometimes a reflexive activity, something I didn’t always think about. But when you have a kid with allergies, you become very aware of what goes in to everyone’s body in your family, not just theirs.

And it wasn’t until we were faced with developing a conscious
relationship with our food did I realize how truly varied a diet can
be. It’s pretty easy to fall into a food rut and eat the same foods
over and over out of both habit and necessity. But having a kid with
allergies forces you to examine the full range of food available. And
when you start to look at what you can eat as opposed to what you
can’t, the problem turns into an opportunity as you begin to explore the full range of food available out there.

The interview airs Tuesday, May 6th at 7PM pacific on Village 900 radio.

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