Food Allergy Stuff I Need

As we're in the midst of Food Allergy Awareness Week, I'm reminded how our food allergy journey began 12 years ago this very month. May 2001 was when we got the results- allergic to dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, corn, oats, wheat and shellfish. We were told, "go pick up your EpiPen at CVS. We've already called it in. Don't give (your baby) any of the aforementioned foods and be careful about cross-contamination."

Huh?!?! Sure, I'd heard that some people had a peanut allergy, although I didn't know anyone personally. I had no idea anyone could be allergic to so many, I thought food allergies were hereditary!

So, fast forward 12 years and the numbers of allergies has decreased and my knowledge and support base has increased- a hundred fold. As I celebrate Food Allergy Awareness Week, here's a list of the the stuff that helped me along the way:
  • FARE- back then it was FAAN- but my membership to this group was worth its weight in gold as I quickly learned that there were lots of people with food allergies and there were lots of ways to successfully cope with food allergies. I found support and hope through their conferences and continue to appreciate their efforts to educate and inform while seeking out treatments and cures.
  • Linda Coss's cookbooks, What's to Eat and What Else is to Eat taught me how to make food my whole family would eat. Food Allergy Mama's Baking Book allowed me to bring desserts to parties and events that were safe and delicious.
  • EpiPen (and now Auvi-Q) are critical tools in our food allergy kit. Benadryl, and our Food Allergy Action Plan round out that portable kit.
  • The Food Allergen Labeling Law of 2004 provided consistency and accuracy where there formerly was none.
  • A bigger selection of safe foods at the grocery store- soy milk, soy nut butter, dairy free margarine and chocolate chips.
  • Food allergy bloggers (check out my sidebar for a few of my favorites) have given information and support all along the way. Twelve years ago there weren't many of us on the web sharing our stories. Today there are many who give their time and talents daily to keep those new and old to food allergies informed and hopeful.
  • Allergists, doctors, nurses, teachers, coaches and others who have been respectful and caring about food allergies along the way.
Join us this evening at 7 pm for a food allergy Twitter party to celebrate how far we've come and where we are headed. Use #foodallergy to join in the fun!

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