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! Photo: Tudor Stanica

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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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