SPOTLIGHT OF THE MONTH: @Foodallergydiva

I am so excited to have @foodallergydiva as this Months Spotlight. She is so lovely and has such an amazing feed full of delicious and fun recipes free from different allergens. I always love seeing her creative meals and it inspires me to have fun with my food too.

1. What are you allergic / intolerant to?

My son was anaphylactic to dairy, egg, peanuts, some tree nuts, and mustard. He is currently anaphylactic to mustard. My daughter has EoE to dairy.

2. What is your favourite meal that you can safely eat?

The favorite store-bought meal they enjoy is the frozen Fieldroast Chao mac & cheese. Their favorite home cooked meal is usually when we make tacos for taco night. They love the gimmick of making their own tacos!

3. Why did you set up your blog / Instagram page and what do you hope to achieve from it? 

When I started my blog and IG page, my son was just over 6 months old (he’s now 2), and we had just learned he was anaphylactic to 5 of the top 11 allergens. We were given very little information on what to do besides being told to avoid the foods. I stopped working full-time as an attorney in order to spend more time at home and make sure he was safe and getting the foods I thought he needed to help fight his allergies. I used my research background and devoted myself to reading everything I could about food allergies and realized we might have a small chance to conquer some of my son’s food allergies. Frustrated this information wasn’t more widely available, I decided to blog and share this information to let others know that there might me an option for their children too. After approximately eighteen months, my son tolerates all of his allergens except one. I figured, if I could help just one other mom, that would make all of my time worthwhile. Over the course of that eighteen months or so, I also discovered I enjoyed making fun food for my kids since there was many things they can’t eat. I wanted to make them forget I was saying no to food and enjoy it like a kid should. As a creative outlet for myself, I began sharing those fun, allergy friendly recipes on my IG to help toddlers eat better on my IG.

4. What is your favourite piece of advice for people that have allergies? 

I have 2 important pieces of advice for moms that have babies with food allergies. The first is to try to set aside the fear and anxiety that comes with a positive blood test or skin prick test and challenge everything they are unsure about early on. If they pass, keep the food in their child’s diet often. I think that is critical. The second piece of advice is to treat eczema, no matter how small it seems. There is a huge connection between eczema and food allergy development, and that barrier needs to be maintained before foods are introduced.

5. We are all people behind our allergies, what would you say is the one most interesting non allergy related fact about you?

My kids are still so small that their allergies haven’t tried to define them yet. They are still learning what it means to be allergic and to avoid foods their friends get to eat. It’s amazing to see my three-year-old be assertive and tell waiters, friends, and others that she’s allergic to dairy. Although related to her allergies, it shows a window to her strength of character development as a non-food allergy characteristic.

Thank you so much to @foodallergydiva for her amazing answers and great advice that I know will help so many parents out there who have children with allergies.