Food Allergies at Summer Camp? You Got This!

Food Allergies at Summer Camp? You Got This!

Summer, it’s longer days and gift of Vitamin D offers an easing of the daily grind of activities.  For many of us, it brightens our mood. For those who are working through something painful, the summer offers a reminder that change, such as the seasons, is one of the few constants in life! When you parent a child with food allergies though, one grind knows no rest…. advocacy for your kids’ safety and inclusion. Well, your food allergy advocacy just got a little easier…in this piece I write about and offer you a copy of one of our valued tools, Food Allergy Talking Points: A Guide For Parents and Camp Leaders. Chick through, read all about it!

Photo: Rahul Shanbhag

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A GUIDE FOR SOON-TO-BE OR NEW DADS ON FATHER’S DAY - Borrowing From Unofficial Parenting Playbooks

A GUIDE FOR SOON-TO-BE OR NEW DADS ON FATHER’S DAY - Borrowing From Unofficial Parenting Playbooks

If you were to steal a few tactics from your father’s parenting playbook (or your brother’s, uncle’s or grandfather’s), the ones most worthy of passing on to the next generation of dads, which would you choose? Inspired by the soon-to-be dads in my family, my Father’s Day post highlights 16 suggestions, relevant to the real demands of fatherhood, taken directly from the dads in my life. The suggestions encompass fathering through play and through loss, parenting learning differences, giftedness, or life threatening food allergies, partnering during the journey, prioritizing family, and being present through pain, elation and everything in between. Click through to read more!

Photo Credit: Photo by Liane Metzler

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Food Allergy Parenting Errors - Mistakes are Part of the Journey!

Food Allergy Parenting Errors - Mistakes are Part of the Journey!

We all learn from our errors. After reading somewhere that “mistakes are opportunities to learn,” I used the mantra repeatedly with my own kids, suffering for years the subsequent eye roll, hoping that I drilled patience, risk taking and resilience into them, with such overt and subliminal messaging. But could I walk that talk? Could I tolerate my own parenting errors with self-compassion? Parenting mistakes are the hardest to endure, because the work matters more than any other. And what happens when the mistakes involve exposing your child to her food allergen accidentally? I need more than one hand to count the times I made critical errors, exposing my daughter to her allergens. Even though my errors stemmed from inadequate education, as opposed to irresponsibility, the guilt and fear I felt after each mistake was profound. Nonetheless, I started to realize that every error taught me invaluable lessons, ones that actually helped me in my efforts to keep her safe.

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Her Quivering Lips...

Her Quivering Lips...

I don’t wish a food allergy on anyone! But since my baby girl is stuck with multiple food allergies, I find it helpful to recognize how her challenging journey has also contributed in some way to her beautiful and strong character - her resilience, her perspective, her ability to walk her own walk despite what the crowd is doing , her compassion for others, and most pragmatically, her resultant vigilance about what she eats. "Her Quivering Lips" describes how even her experiences of exclusion and anxiety - the kind known to allergy sufferers everywhere - have also seeded growth, resilience, kindness, compassion and vigilance.

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Amazing Travels - Despite Food Allergy Fears and Frustrations

Amazing Travels - Despite Food Allergy Fears and Frustrations

One of my central goals is to motivate you to push through challenges and learn to live, work, love and play despite them. Often, this doesn’t involve fixing a problem, but rather living fully in spite of it! In 2008 my family’s passion for travel was threatened. My husband and I had travelled with our babies, since 1995, every opportunity we had - domestically and internationally. But when our youngest had an anaphylactic episode in Istanbul, Turkey, at only 18 months old, we almost lost our gumption to continue our family pastime. Eager to not succumb to the limitations fear imposes, I read voraciously about traveling with food allergies and learned how to always be as prepared as possible for an emergency. This is the story of one recent journey to Western and Central Europe, which highlights my belief that being as informed, prepared and empowered as possible facilitates an easier, relaxing and more enjoyable trip. The experiences described can be relevant if your destination is global or right at home in the U.S.A!

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An Inspired Philosophy About Living with Food Allergies

An Inspired Philosophy About Living with Food Allergies

...It became clear to me that this food allergy diagnosis was taking up way too much emotional real estate and that it was impacting my child’s sense of well being…. I simply had to find a way to navigate the world with food allergies, to return to my family’s passions and rituals and live life fully despite them!

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