Have you wondered why you get those pesky notes home from the teacher about one student or another who has a food allergy? It makes planning what to pack for your child’s special birthday treat more challenging so that no student will be left out. But, have you ever thought of what allergies your own child has? How can you tell if your child has a delayed allergen, one that won’t show up immediately after eating a food or other item but is more silent but still damaging to their immune system?
The Most common Childhood allergen’s are:
Cow’s Milk – Literally the most common allergen in the world with children and adults.
Eggs – Second most common and it is the egg white that causes the problem not the yolk because the white has the protein component and it is proteins that bind with our immunoglobulins and cause reactions.
Tree nuts – Almonds and peanuts are the top nut allergy.
Wheat- with both gluten and a component of gluten being the most irritating to the intestinal lining called gliaden. (Gluten free products will also be gliaden free)
The most common symptoms to watch for can be subtle ones:
Brain fog and emotional outbursts
Diarrhea or constipation
Stomach or intestinal pain and cramping
Wheezing and Sneezing
Vomiting or in babies excessive spit-up
Anaphylactic reactions: Swelling, trouble breathing, shock
The best treatment is prevention and that is done best by working as a teammate with your child who will ultimately be responsible for their own health.
Talk about allergies with them and give them both responsibility to empower them.
Substitute the food out of the diet and don’t make a big deal about it.
Practice identifying foods that the child should avoid or that may contain the allergen.
Teach the child to speak up about what their allergies are to adults or caregivers who may give them food.
Encourage your child not to take food from friends.
Consult a health care professional if you are unsure. Some nutritionists specialize in diets for kids to help empower their health journey.
For your child’s school and teacher provide the following:
Written statement about the child's allergy
Include specific foods that shouldn’t be eaten or touched in more serious cases.
Provide written instructions if an allergic reaction does occur.
Provide a phone number for the doctor.
Beware of some hidden sources of allergens!
Deli meats and lunch meats.
Whey protein is Cow’s milk and should not be used as a protein substitute for someone with allergens.
Butter on restaurant food is hard to detect since it melts
Casein in meats as a binder – casein is a protein component of milk just like whey.
Crab meat imitation
Sauces at restaurants
Childhood candies such as Red Vines
Gluten veggie meats
Kalmut and Spelt
While your child may not immediately swell up while eating any of these foods, it can cause reactions in the body. Watch for subtle changes and remove those foods. It will improve your child’s health and reduce their inflammation load.
If you don’t know what your child is allergic to and an elimination diet is out of the question, call our office and we can get you food allergy and sensitivity testing!