When Bug was officially diagnosed with allergies to soy, eggs, peanuts and tree nuts, I freaked out. I was scared for him and wasn’t sure how to keep him safe. I was sad that he was going to have to learn to cope with the built-in social issues that go with food allergies. And I was disappointed that we might have to forgo things that I had hoped to share with him… brunches, ice cream stands, the circus.
More than four years have passed and he has outgrown his soy allergy and is tolerating eggs enough that we’ve worked some egg products (primarily baked goods) back into his diet. I’ve grown, too, both as a mom and as a “food allergy mom.” I know how to read (and decipher) labels. I’ve learned where to find products that are allergen free. I’ve figured out how to broach the subject of food allergies at restaurants, birthday parties, and other social situations. I can make delicious french toast without any eggs. I’ve become an advocate and source of support for other moms who are just learning to live with a diagnosis. Most importantly, I’ve been able to help Bug start to learn to keep himself safe and to not feel held back by his allergies. I’m extremely passionate about that. Is it still scary? Yeah, it is. But you can take one of two paths with something like this. You can lock the doors and hide from the world, or you can read as much as you can, connect with other parents and empower yourself to make a difference for your child and for other children. I’m not really a lock the doors and hide sort of gal.
This week I have not one, but two exciting Food Allergy announcements. First, this week I write my first post as Food Allergies TravelingMom for the Traveling Mom Network. I’ll be talking about challenges, resources, tips and tools for traveling with kids who have food allergies. I’ll also be writing about travel in general. This is an exciting new direction for me, although some of you may remember that my first blog back in 2001 was actually a travel blog! My first Traveling Mom post will go live later today.
The second bit of news is that I have been asked to co-host a chat this Wednesday on The Motherhood about food allergies. The host is Lori Sandler, co-founder of the online bakery and food allergy resource, Divvies, and author of The Divvies Bakery Cookbook. I am so thrilled to be working with Lori because I credit her and Divvies with causing one of the first breakthrough moments of my food allergy journey. We had the pleasure of reviewing Divvies cupcakes for Lady Bug’s second birthday and they were a definite hit. The other co-hosts of the class (see below) are some amazing ladies as well, and we’ll have plenty of tips and tricks from our personal experiences.
The chat on The Motherhood is the first in a series of cooking chats they are hosting. Here are the official details:
When: Wednesday, Feb. 2, at 1 p.m. ET
Where: TheMotherhood – here is the link to the page where the “Navigating Food Allergies” class will be held: http://www.themotherhood.com/talk/show/id/62140
And here is the registration page for all seven Cooking Connections classes: http://www.themotherhood.com/cookingconnections
What: “Navigating Food Allergies,” hosted by Lori Sandler, founder of Divvies Bakery and author of The Divvies Bakery Cookbook, www.divvies.com. During the class, we all will share our experiences and expertise on cooking for kids, family members and friends with food allergies. Lori will also lead us through the basics of clean preparation and understanding ingredients, and then we’ll present a food allergy-friendly recipe that looks good and tastes great – whether you have allergies or not!
The class is sponsored by ConAgra and hosted by TheMotherhood.
My other fabulous co-hosts are:
Kelly Rudnicki, Food Allergy Mama, http://www.foodallergymama.com/
Emily Paster, West of the Loop, http://www.westoftheloop.com/
Caryn Bailey, Rockin’ Mama, http://rockinmama.net/
Christy Matte, Quirky Fusion, http://www.quirkyfusion.com/
Nirasha Jaganath, Mommy Niri, http://www.mommyniri.com/
Mary Jo Strobel, FoodAllergy.org, http://www.foodallergy.org/
Piera Jolly, Jolly Mom, http://www.jollymom.com/
Nicole Shields Smith, Allergic Child, http://allergicchild.com/
Stefany Thode, To Be Thode, http://www.tobethode.com/
Clarissa Nassar, The Posh Parent, http://www.theposhpreneur.com/
Christina McMenemy, Mommy’s Must Haves, http://amommystoryreviews.blogspot.com
Disclosure: I received compensation from The Motherhood to promote and participate in the “Navigating with Food Allergies” Cooking Connections Class. The opinions contained in this post are my own.