Food Allergies: Nothing to sneeze at

 

Once diagnosed, the only way to treat a food allergy is complete elimination of the food. Completely eliminating food for one to two years has been shown to result in the loss of the food allergy for about one third of the allergic people. Because food allergies diagnosed in infancy tend to be outgrown, it's a good idea to have your child undergo food challenges as he gets older to see if he can begin to include the food in his diet.

Eliminating a food from a child's diet can prove to be challenging, especially for such pervasive foods like milk and eggs. You need to be an avid label reader. You need to communicate clearly to others who may be feeding your child and you have to help your child learn how to select the proper foods. You must be careful to find alternative foods that appeal to your child that will make up for the missing nutrients. For a dairy-free diet, that will mean finding other good sources of calcium, protein and vitamin D. For children on a wheat-free diet, look for other sources of B vitamins.

If you are dealing with a child who has a food allergy, or if you suspect you might be, there are several helpful resources available to you.:

  1. The Food Allergy Network
    703-691-3179,
    email fan@worldweb.net
  2. The International Food Information Council
    202-783-6135
  3. The American Academy of Allergy and Immunology
    800-822-asthma
  4. Allergy Basics Center
  5. misc.kids Frequently Asked Questions --- Allergies and Asthma
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