It’s All in the Balance: Provide Your Child With Healthy, Allergen-Free Meals

Eating PeanutsIf you’re a parent to one of the six million children in the United States affected by food allergies, you understand that family meal time can be a struggle.

It is a constant challenge to ensure your entire family gets to enjoy their favorite meals when so many food allergens lurk within your most-loved recipes.

What’s a meal-time prepper to do?

Identify

Chances are you’re already past this first step. But, if food allergies are new territory, and you haven’t quite pinpointed what allergen is causing your child to wheeze, sniffle, or breakout in splotches at the dinner table, set up an appointment with your primary care giver immediately.

According to Kids Health, these are the top eight problem-causing food allergies:

  1. milk
  2. eggs
  3. peanuts
  4. soy
  5. wheat
  6. tree nuts
  7. fish
  8. shellfish

While in most cases it is apparent what your child is having an allergic reaction to, sometimes medical testing is needed to identify the food allergy. Talk with your doctor about identifying and managing potential allergies that your child might have.

Substitute

Because it’s highly unlikely that your child will ever outgrow the food allergy, learning how to supplement that missing nutritional component of your child’s diet is crucial for maintaining their overall health.  

When you have to remove certain foods from your child’s diet, key nutrients are inevitably lost, and it’s no secret that well-balanced meals are imperative to proper growth and health.

Luckily, whether your child is allergic to milk, nuts, or anything in between, there are a myriad of recipes out there that provide the same nutritional value of the problem-causing food by substituting it for another ingredient equally rich in nutrients.

For example, if your child is allergic to milk, leafy greens are a good substitute to ensure your child is getting the calcium they need. Try blending them into pasta sauce to hide from picky eaters.

Enjoy

When you find delicious, allergen-free recipes the whole family can enjoy and that you know provide your child with the nutrition needed for healthy development, you can relax and enjoy meal time again!

It may seem like a big learning curve at first but before you know it, these new recipes that contain nutrient supplements for your child’s food allergy will become second nature.

Not to mention, cooking more meals at home will avoid the stress that dining out brings. Trying to make sure your child’s order does not come into contact with one of their allergens is especially hard in restaurants.

Schedule an Appointment With Us

If you believe your child has a food allergy and needs testing, or if you simply want to schedule a routine visit, please make an appointment with us today! Our experienced primary care givers work in several locations and are available to offer your family exceptional health care.

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