Discovering you or your child has food allergies will most require some significant changes in eating habits. In many instances, you will no longer be able to depend on fast food, restaurant fare or pre-packaged foods. This can be frustrating and time consuming, but there are ways to reduce the stress and time. In the beginning, patience and organization will be crucial to your success in managing the food allergy issues. The following will provide some simple and effective methods of food allergy management:
- Make a list of all of the allergens. Keep it with you at all times. Include all alternative names or hidden sources of each allergen. This will be an important companion for grocery shopping.
- Post a list of allergens, emergency phone numbers and procedures for managing an allergic reaction in the kitchen or pantry.
- Institute a labeling system for allergen free foods. Carefully label each item and remind other household members of the dangers associated with cross contamination.
- If you or a member of your family suffers from life threatening food allergies, it may be a good idea to install a phone and store a set of allergy medications in your kitchen. Many severe reactions occur within minutes of consumption. This will allow you to summons immediate help if a severe reaction were to occur.
- Prepare a menu before grocery shopping and make a list of all required items that you will need. If any special ingredients will require mail order or a special trip to the health food store, this will allow adequate time to acquire these products.
- Keep plenty of simple and easy to prepare meals and snack on hand. This will prevent the last minute frustration of what can I make for a quick allergen free meal.
- Prepare large batches of freezer friendly foods. Label each item carefully and include ingredients. This will allow for a quick meal for unexpected times that you may be unable to cook.