If your toddler has recently been diagnosed with a food allergy, it can be a particularly worrisome and frustrating time for the whole family. And whether it’s something they are likely to grow out of or is one that will affect them for life, it is important you manage their food issues correctly.
While it can seem like a lot of work starting out, overtime you and your family will become accustomed to the changes that are required and it will become second nature.
1. Read all labels on food
Make sure you are well versed in reading the ingredients label on food. Some allergenic foods can have different names so it is important you are confident reading the back of a packet.
2. Have an emergency plan ready
It is vital you have an emergency plan in place in case something does happen. Make sure you know what to do if your little one has a reaction to eating certain foods and ensure your medicine cabinet is stocked at all times.
3. Inform people of their allergies
Do inform carers, family members and friends of your toddler’s food allergies. Your little one won't know what they can and can’t eat so put a medical bracelet on them if you are concerned.
4. Involve the whole family
It is important your child doesn’t feel like they are left out so avoid buying anything containing the ingredient that they are allergic to. Even if it involves skipping your favourite treat section, it is vital not just for your child's health but for their self-esteem that you don’t bring it home.
5. Don’t rush food preparation
It is important you don’t rush when you are preparing food for them, particularly soon after diagnosis, as this is when accidents are likely to occur. Have your cupboards stocked with safe foods and never buy anything that your little one is allergic to, even if you plan on putting it out of their reach.
6. Experiment with food
Just because they can’t eat a certain food doesn’t mean their diet needs to bland or boring. Use substitute ingredients or try alternatives and experiment with various types of food – you never know what delicious concoction you’ll come up with.