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THE NURTURED MAMA PODCAST

My Kid Has a Food Allergy and I Need Support

If you have a child with a newly diagnosed food allergy, you are likely consumed with learning as much as you can to keep your kiddo safe and healthy. This may also mean that you are neglecting your own self-care in order to take on the extra responsibility of eliminating allergens from your home and meeting with daycare providers and school administrators to develop a plan for your child. What can you do to take care of yourself during this challenging time?

Diana Rice, RD, is a nationally recognized nutrition professional and family health expert. She is passionate about communicating effective and evidence-based strategies that incorporate good nutrition into the challenges of modern-day life. Prior to launching her consultancy, Diana served as the Associate Director of Nutrition Communications at The Monday Campaigns, where she spearheaded the Kids Cook Monday initiative. Now she focuses on perinatal, infant and child nutrition, and food allergies, working directly with families to implement practical strategies for improved health. Diana is also a frequent contributor to national media publications, including Parents, The Huffington Post, and Everyday Health, among many others.

Today, Diana joins us to describe how a child’s food allergy diagnosis impacts the entire family. She shares the professional advice around introducing allergens early and often, explaining the ‘mom guilt’ she felt for not doing everything she could to reduce her own child’s risk. Diana also walks us through the steps she took to manage her daughter’s allergy to peanuts and tree nuts and offers advice for parents on reaching out for the support you need. Listen in for Diana’s insight into why food allergies are so much more complex than simply eliminating a particular food from your diet—and learn how to advocate for your child AND take care of yourself as an allergy mom!

Key Takeaways

 

Diana’s transition to motherhood

  • Smooth process with first daughter (support network)
  • Relocated when second daughter just 3 weeks old
  • Started to slack on self-care, developed anxiety

Diana’s second daughter’s health issues

  • Introduced potential allergens ‘early and often’
  • Diagnosis of allergy to peanuts and tree nuts

How Diana responded to her daughter’s food allergies

  • Eliminate foods manufactured on shared lines
  • Meetings with daycare providers, school
  • Research around brands with dedicated facilities

The professional advice around introducing allergens

  • Prompted by study of Israeli kids in UK and Israel
  • Introduce potential allergens early to reduce risk

Diana’s mom guilt around her daughter’s allergies

  • Couldn’t say ‘did everything I could’
  • Tell self that your best is enough

The responsibility of managing a child’s food allergies

  • Challenge usually falls to mom
  • Focus on child’s needs AND own self-care

Diana’s insight on navigating your child’s food allergies

  • Recognize that diagnosis affects whole family
  • Get support you need (e.g.: therapist, dietician)

Diana’s advice for parents of children with allergies

  • Identify anxiety triggers (i.e.: grocery shopping)
  • Connect with other allergy parents
  • Set aside time to dig through info
  • Talk through concerns with partner

How parents of kids without allergies can provide support

  1. Understand risks of cross-contamination
  2. Respect school policies re: outside food
  3. Cultivate empathy for families with food allergies
  4. Don’t give child food without parent permission
  5. Celebrate with non-food alternatives (e.g.: stickers)

Diana’s top tip for food allergy moms

  • There’s no shame in being ‘that mom’
  • You deserve to advocate for family’s health

 

Connect with Diana

 

Diana’s Website

Diana’s Facebook Group – Self-Care for Allergy Moms

Diana on Instagram

Diana on Twitter

Diana on Pinterest

Diana on Facebook

Connect with Lindsay

 

Intuitive Eating Moms

Nutrition Instincts – San Diego Nutrition Therapy

Embodied & Well Mom Show on Facebook

Lindsay on Instagram

Lindsay on Pinterest

Lindsay on Twitter

Lindsay on LinkedIn

 

Resources

 

Born to Eat: Whole, Healthy Foods from Baby’s First Bite by Wendy Jo Peterson and Leslie Schilling

Peanut Allergy Study in Israel vs. the UK

Diana’s Halloween Food Allergy Article

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/nutrition/Pages/Food-Allergies-in-Children.aspx

https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/aap-press-room-media-center/Pages/Food-Allergies-Babies-at-High-Risk.aspx

https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/Approximately-8-Percent-of-Children-are-Diagnosed-with-Food-Allergies.aspx

 

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