How to Survive on an Allergen Restricted Diet

• Home made is the way to go.
• Use fresh, unprocessed foods as much as possible.
• Limit the number of packaged/processed foods to a minimum.
• Read all labels, “all sides of the package”.
• Familiarize yourself with food labeling laws & manufacturers claims.
• Familiarize yourself with terms used in the food industry.
• Kosher symbols can help with food selection for milk allergic children. Be careful with Pareve labeled foods, as they may not be 100% safe for milk allergic individuals.
• Call manufacturers often to check on the status of “safe” foods and document the information.
• Supplement the diet with complete formulas if needed.
• Complete avoidance is critical.

At Home

• Always have a plan.
• Designate a shelf in the refrigerator and in the pantry for “safe” foods.
• Use stickers (green/red) to identify safe/unsafe foods.
• Prepare “safe” foods first, cover and put away; then start the meal for the whole family.
• Use cookie cutters to cut the foods into different shapes.
• Be creative and have fun with food.
• Give your child choices.
• Encourage your child to be part of the decision making.
• Empower your children.
• Always remember why you are doing what you are doing.
• Have quality time set aside for other siblings.
• Have quality time set aside for you and your spouse.

When Eating Out

• Have safe foods with you in case you are delayed.
• Check out the restaurant ahead of time.
• Ask to speak with a manager, not a waiter.
• Ask questions about ingredients and preparation of a dish.
• “Chef cards”
• Go at off hours and off days.
• If your special request cannot be accommodated, ask if you can bring your child’s food with you.
• Enjoy your time away from home.

When Traveling

• Call ahead to destination and check on available accommodations.
• Depending on the length of your travel and mode of transportation, take supplies with you.
• Contact local stores at your destination to see if some of your staple foods are carried there.
• A small pot and hot plate may come in handy.
• Feed your child before visiting friends and family who may not fully understand the
ramifications of a taste of an “unsafe” food.

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