Food Allergies & Children: Pocket Guide for Parents book review | The Food Sensitive Shopper

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We are pleased to have a business relationship with the Allergic Traveler and budding friendship with its founder, Tarah Jakubiak.  She is a global adventurer with food allergies who also has worked very hard creating accurate traveling cards for the food allergic traveler.  Visit her website soon (click on her logo); especially if you are traveling in the U.S. or abroad and are managing food allergies: or go to:  http://www.allergictraveler.net/

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Here is Tarah’s review of our book ‘Food Allergies & Children: Pocket Guide for Parents’

No mater where we travel, this Allergic Traveler always has a book on her. I guess it goes back to the days when I was always on a bus and I did not want to be without some entertainment. This was way before the age of smart phones or before the internet was easily accessible. Call me old fashion, but I like books! And I really like Julie Trone’s book, Food Allergies and Children. I have been carrying around the pocket guide for parents for months. Trone had a very specific intention with writing this book. She wanted to help parents and grandparents of children that were recently diagnosed with a food allergy. She wanted to be able to provide them answers while out shopping, dinning or even simply at home.

Having allergies my whole life, I thought I had this down pat. I thought I was going to read this book and it would act as a good reminder. Wrong! I learned a bunch of things and it even brought back some rituals from my youth. I forgot about some of these rituals, and frankly, I don’t implement them anymore because I stopped playing with silly Play-DoughTM a long time ago!  The point is the book teaches you things. No matter if you are a parent, a teenager or an adult with a food allergy there is no reason in the world why you should not pick it up. Here are some of the things it taught me:

  • n You should check all art supply and glues for your child’s allergen
  • n Rice flour can replace corn starch
  • n If you have the dairy allergy, look for Kosher foods

This book is not only insightful but it helps you be prepared for any situation. It provides you with a list of questions to ask a babysitter, a teacher, an allergist, a camp counselor etc.

Safety in the home.

It tells you how to have a safe kitchen. It reminds you which appliances may house allergens, like toasters, blenders, griddles, food processors etc. I will admit that after reading this particular chapter I was even more diligent on how I wash these appliances. When you have food allergies you take for granted that your kitchen is safe, but that is not always the case. What if your spouse makes a peanut butter shake while you are out? There may be some residue left in the blender that you do not realize. Trone’s book reminds us that we must always be disciplined.

Granted there are no foolproof steps as to how you should run your home.  Every tip in the book might not be good for you, but you can see the importance to why she has such a system set up. It is like a well-oiled machine.  It works for her and her family and it could work for yours.

Every holiday she hosts. She asks her guests not to bring any dishes, that way she knows that everything being served is safe for her children. Hey it makes sense! I agree and disagree with this philosophy. With having safe food on the table, you know you can relax somewhat, you do not need to watch the kids every second. However, on the other side of this, children need to be taught no, and learn the discipline required not to eat something that can hurt them.

Dining out for the holidays.

Now you can’t very well discuss food allergies without discussing dinning out. Trone has some great tips on how to dine out safely. She gives you homework to do before you venture out. She equips you with the right questions and knowledge to ensure the safest dinning experience possible. Some of these things I have done for years, like eating before going out to dinner. You may think this is crazy but I still do this today. If I am going to a potluck or a restaurant I always eat something beforehand. First, because there is nothing worse than being hungry and second you never know when the next time you will be able to eat. Worse case scenario, you can’t eat anything at the party but you had a snack earlier that held you over. Unfortunately I had to learn this lesson the hard way. I have been to many family functions, where there was not a thing I could eat. Usually when this occurred it was the holidays so the grocery stores were closed. I would end up in the pantry scavenging for food, as there was nothing on the table I could eat. Not exactly what you want to remember about your holiday. It has definitely taught be to be prepared as I hope Trone’s book does for your as well.

Anyway I digress in conclusion, there is a lot to this book that is helpful. If you have not read it, I have no idea what you are waiting for! There is advice and guidance for almost every situation. I enjoyed reading it immensely, as I learned so many things, even after having food allergies for more than 35 years. Go pick it up today!

Many thanks Tarah for the excellent review.  We encourage all families to read our book because it really does help you navigate life with food allergies.  It is especially critical immediately after a diagnosis so we encourage you to reach out and provide this valuable resource to parents who you know are new to food allergy.  Don’t forget we have these great resources too:

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Food Allergies & Schools – Help your child’s teacher learn how to manage the classroom to create a safe environment for students with food allergies.  Includes helpful advice to manage the 504 plan as well.

Next is our book ‘Food Allergies & Grandchildren’.  We felt that our loved ones, especially Grandma and Grandpa, need extra support to understand the needs of their food allergic grandchild (or neice, nephew, cousin…it works for all).    Click on any of the books to go to the site for purchase.   Thanks and Cheers!

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