I just heard from a young mom whose 11 month old has been diagnosed with food allergies-- multiple food allergies.
Remember how overwhelming that felt? The list of DON"Ts so long you couldn't even finish it in one sitting. The pages of AKAs for common foods--like casein is milk or watch out for marzipan...
I know it's better today than nearly 20 years ago when I first heard this diagnosis, but it doesn't change the heart pounding fear that YOU will make a mistake and your child will get sick, or worse.
All those feelings, including helplessness, came rushing back as I sat talking with this young mom. I told her that this certainly can be done, that there are lots of resources-- and sent her immediately to FAAN site to print those "How to Read a Lablel" lists!
And I told her the truth-- it can be tough. But doable.
Suggestions I had:
- Dedicate one shelf in the refrigerator to food allergic child. Label it. NOTHING goes on that she can't eat.
- Make a list of all the foods she CAN eat
- Ask your doctor and nutritionist lots of questions
- Find a support group
- Keep a packet of baby wipes in your purse to wipe other kids' hands, tables, etc
- When in doubt--DON"T
We're going to have coffee, so I can hand over my list of go-to brands and easy foods to throw in the diaper bag-- it's been a while, but the concept of "transportable" never goes away.
We can do this together-- one sharing to another-- and learning from each other's experiences-- plus I get to hold the baby!