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PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 6:29 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 7:23 pm
Posts: 823
Location: Kingston
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It’s not just peanuts that send some parents into a panic.

Food allergies and intolerances run the gamut and lunchtime at school can be tough to swallow for kids with special dietary needs.

Ruth Roberts’ has kept daughter Jillian food-safe for years. Jillian, 13, is at risk for anaphylaxis to her allergens, including milk, eggs, tree nuts, and peanuts. Roberts herself is severely allergic to all fish, shellfish, tree nuts and peanuts.

“My daughter has used her EpiPen a few times, and all were a result of exposure to milk products,” says Roberts, a registered nurse, who’s committed to reducing the risks in school as much as possible within reason, and works with school staff and her daughter to balance normalcy with safety.

At school, Jillian eats only food from home. “The months prior to my daughter starting school for the first time were very stressful, probably the most stressful time of my life,” says Roberts, of the Allergy/Asthma Information Association in Halifax. “Each year seems to get easier as we have a greater understanding of what needs to be done, and what implications each school year may bring.”

Experts applaud Roberts’ strategy. According to B.C.-based dietitian Natalie Brown, parents of these children need to be proactive even before the first day of school. “Check if there is an ‘allergy policy’ in place at school. Fill out the necessary medical paperwork to have on file at the school.”

Open communication with the school is essential, says Brown, of whiterockdietitian.com. “Parents also need to educate their kids on food safe techniques as well as reinforce the importance of following all the ‘food allergy rules’ you have taught them.”

Registered dietitian Alexis Williams agrees that it’s important for the family and school to be educated on how to properly avoid the offending food, including education on label reading and hidden dangers.

“It’s important for the parent to stress the importance of not trading or taking food from other children at school, in case allergens are present,” stresses Williams, of Transition Health in Burlington, ON.

A big issue for families is ensuring kids still have a balanced diet when avoiding foods and possibly food groups, says Williams. “For example, if wheat must be avoided, then suitable alternatives like brown rice, sweet potatoes and gluten-free bread alternatives must be provided to make lunch satisfying.”

Packing a balanced lunch and getting creative with alternatives are key to good health, she adds.

Claudia Gorenko says that eliminating peanut-containing foods should not result in less nutritious lunches. “Instead of a peanut butter sandwich, hummus can be used, perhaps in a tortilla or pita bread.”


http://www.torontosun.com/life/2010/08/12/15005901.html

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Mary


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 7:02 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6479
Location: Ottawa
Good article! :thumbsup

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 9:37 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2948
Location: Toronto
Good find, Mary.

Nice job by Ruth Roberts of AAIA in Halifax.

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Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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