8 Things I Wish I Knew Sooner About Living With Food Allergies — Friendly Pantry Food Allergy Consulting Inc. (2024)

You can listen to this episode of Food Allergy Made Simple Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or anywhere you listen to podcasts.

You’ll get what’s in the blog, PLUS personal stories and reflections too!

Updated March 2024

Dear Younger Me,

I see you. You feel alone and unprepared right now. Your helpless, precious child has been diagnosed with a severe food allergy and you’re now living with food allergies. You’ve already seen the power this disease has when your sweet babe became swollen beyond recognition with hives, redness, and itchiness. You’re told it could have been much worse and you’re thankful but fearful of the next time.

Your mama bear instincts are in overdrive.

You don’t know exactly why your baby has food allergies, just that it’s more real and scary than you ever imagined.

The doctor says to keep your LO away from one of your FAVORITE foods, yet you have NO idea exactly how to do this and feel resentful that you have to. After hours of searching the internet, it gives you a small amount of hope, but nothing compares to the injustice you feel right now. You have so many questions.

Well younger me, I’m hoping to put your mind at ease… This isn’t just for when you’re newly diagnosed, but also in the first 5-7 years afterwards too.

Here’s my advice.

8 Essential Tips For Living With Food Allergies I Wish I Knew Sooner

1. Learn about living with food allergies from a trusted source.

I know you feel like you need to do it all on your own. But this is time-consuming, stressful, and lonely. Find a guide who has gone before you to help you through not only the things you need to know, but the emotions and lifestyle too.

If you’re newly diagnosed within the last year, grab this free checklist for living with food allergies. It’s got 14 of the most important things to do after your child is diagnosed.

You can get it here.

If you’ve been at this awhile, you're in the right spot too.

Grab the FREE Food Allergy Kids Empowerment Guide. This guide will help you empower your child, aged 2-7 as they become more independent (especially for school).

On my blog, I’ll share essential tips and tricks I’ve learned after 17 years so you don’t have to learn everything the hard way!

2. Trying new foods and allergens is important. Don’t avoid it.

Believe me when I say that it’s hard to “get back on the horse” after a reaction to a new food or allergen. I get how hard and scary it can be because the last thing you want is to provoke another reaction.

However, the current research shows how important it is to introduce allergens early and keep them in your child’s diet because doing this can reduce the chance of an allergy. But even so, I know that so many of you feel hesitant, and I understand.

If this is you, I highly recommend a podcast episode I did called Introducing Allergens When You’re Nervous: 3 Game-Changing Steps To Try New Foods Confidently. You’ll get 3 steps that have helped so many mamas through this important hurdle!

3. Social situations don’t feel so hard, if you’re prepared.

There are many misunderstandings about food allergies, and unfortunately, it will change your social life. I want to encourage you that as hard as it is, IT IS WORTH IT to educate your close family and friends. But there’s a right and a wrong way to do this.

People won’t understand unless you explain it, but you won’t be able to explain it if you turn people off. So be kind, yet confident.

Start by breaking the big myth that food sensitivities or intolerances are the same as food allergies. If you can explain the differences between food allergies and sensitivities/intolerances and how they need to be treated differently, you can often open people’s eyes.

If it doesn’t work, and they still don’t take food allergies seriously, you’re not doing it wrong! You may just need to try a new strategy and create boundaries for your family. Check out the Get People To Take Food Allergies Seriously Workshop where I’ll help you feel confident and in control when it comes to explaining and navigating food allergies around your non-believing friends and family.

Don’t wait to figure this out. The earlier you get friends and family on board with food allergies, the better so your child can have a safer and more inclusive life.

4. Keep your relationship with your hubby or support person strong.

Learn WITH your hubby and trust him to keep your little one safe too. Lean on him when you need support. Love each other. You’re in this together and he will likely be one of the only ones that “gets” it at times. Find a good friend who will support you during the tough times (see #7 below).

5. Give grace for the extra time food allergies take.

Understand that it isn’t possible to quickly run to the grocery store because it takes extra time with food allergies. Especially because it’s important to read every label, every time. You’ll need to focus more time on food than you ever imagined. At first, label reading will be overwhelming because it seems like the allergen is in EVERYTHING. One trick to help is to stick to whole foods and ingredients because there are no labels on carrots, herbs, or fresh meat.

Once you’re ready, learn about meal planning and how to make cooking at home easier. Meal planning will save you time and effort in the long run. Don’t underestimate its power for a food allergy family.

You can learn how to meal plan specifically for food allergy families with my 90-Minute Variety Booster. On sale for 44% off here.

6. Managing food allergies can be simplified and made easier, without sacrificing safety.

I know that all the things needed to manage food allergies seem to take an obscene amount of time. Between all the cooking, trial and error, emails for parties, label reading, and safety checking - it’s a lot.

It’s easy to feel like this is “just the way it is”, but I’ve learned from experience that there are easy ways to make it all less of a burden!

Using simple systems, like meal planning, creating templates, and learning practical knowledge like what I share after 17 years as a food allergy mom, you CAN lower your mental weight and workload.

Start by checking out any of my workshops. I’ve created EACH one of these workshops to help lower your mental weight and workload. No matter which workshop you try, it will help you create systems that simplify the food allergy safety steps and make life MUCH easier and less demanding.

7. Know that you’re not living with food allergies alone.

In the beginning, it feels so lonely. It’s hard to find people who have experience with food allergies. I hope that this blog and podcast can be a support for mamas in the same boat. I hope this is a place where you can feel like you’re heard and understood. I’ve been where you’re at, and you are not alone!

Together, we can conquer living with food allergies.

8. Empower your food allergy child as soon as possible.

It can seem easy to hide in the “bubble” that you create where you keep your child safe from food allergies. But the time comes sooner than you think when your child will become more independent.

Start empowering them with the knowledge they need to be strong advocates for themselves.

I have an amazing tool to help. The Food Allergy Kids Empowerment Guide includes a list of skills to teach your child and fun ways to do it at home.

If your child is aged 2-7, this free guide is perfect and will help you prepare your food allergy child as they become more independent.

Make sure to grab the free guide before leaving this post.


Dear younger me, you’re a food allergy mom.

You may not want this title, but you, mama are the best person for the job. Remember that you have been chosen by God to be your child’s mom for good reasons.

This life is not for the faint of heart; but love, care, and the right guidance will bring you and your little one through as you navigate what you wish you never had to. Keep your head up, mama. With God’s help, you can do this.

What questions do you have about living with food allergies? Feel free to ask in the comments below.

8 Things I Wish I Knew Sooner About Living With Food Allergies — Friendly Pantry Food Allergy Consulting Inc. (2024)


What are the 8 food commonly associated with food allergies? ›

What Are Major Food Allergens?
  • Milk.
  • Eggs.
  • Fish (e.g., bass, flounder, cod)
  • Crustacean shellfish (e.g., crab, lobster, shrimp)
  • Tree nuts (e.g., almonds, walnuts, pecans)
  • Peanuts.
  • Wheat.
  • Soybeans.
Apr 12, 2023

What are the 14 allergens? ›

The 14 allergens are: celery, cereals containing gluten (such as wheat, barley and oats), crustaceans (such as prawns, crabs and lobsters), eggs, fish, lupin, milk, molluscs (such as mussels and oysters), mustard, peanuts, sesame, soybeans, sulphur dioxide and sulphites (if the sulphur dioxide and sulphites are at a ...

What are the 8 key food allergies that amount to about 90% of all allergies? ›

Major Food Allergens

Congress passed the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 (FALCPA). This law identified eight foods as major food allergens: milk, eggs, fish, Crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans.

How to flush food allergens out of your system? ›

If symptoms are severe, that means administering epinephrine. There is no way to flush food allergens out of your system. Rather, you need to avoid ingesting the food that triggers your allergy. And if severe symptoms occur, you need to treat the symptoms, with epinephrine.

What are the 9 foods that cause food allergies? ›

More than 170 foods have been reported to cause allergic reactions, according to Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), but the vast majority are caused by the “Big Nine”: milk, eggs, nuts, fish, crustaceans, shellfish, wheat, soy and sesame.

What foods worsen allergies? ›

Spicy foods: Too much spice in your food can worsen allergy symptoms such as runny nose and watery eyes. Processed foods: Deep-fried foods and foods made with refined flour, sugar, or a ton of salt can worsen allergy symptoms. Beer: Beer can also worsen allergy symptoms, especially in people allergic to grass.

What is the rarest food allergy? ›

The most uncommon food allergens include bananas, beef, carrots, celery, corn, fish, garlic, ham, honey, lamb, lemon, malt, onion, orange, pork, pineapple, rice, salmon, sugar, turkey, and vanilla. Reading the ingredient list is the best way to determine if a food contains an allergen.

What food causes 90% of food allergies? ›

These eight foods account for 90 percent of food allergic reactions. They are milk, eggs, fish (such as bass, flounder, cod), crustacean shellfish (such as crab, lobster, shrimp), tree nuts (such as almonds, walnuts, pecans), peanuts, wheat and soybeans.

What is top 8 allergen free? ›

These 8 foods are wheat, fish, milk, peanuts, soy, tree nuts, shellfish and eggs. By eliminating these Top 8 allergens from our bars, more people can enjoy them! And by more people...we mean about 30 million.

What destroys food allergies? ›

There is no cure for a food allergy. The only way to prevent an allergic reaction is to avoid eating the food containing the protein. The body can react in many ways to an allergen such as: developing hives, swelling, pain, vomiting, difficulty breathing, dizziness and collapse.

How to heal the gut from food allergies? ›

Probiotics (substances that promote the proliferation of microorganisms) alleviate food allergy via several mechanisms. They increase the number of commensal gut bacteria that interact with the gut's immune system to help it tolerate food.

How to reverse food allergies naturally? ›

Bioflavonoids: These plant-based chemicals in citrus fruits and blackcurrants may act as natural antihistamines. Supplements: Flaxseed oil, zinc, and vitamins A, C, and E may improve allergy symptoms. Acupuncture: Acupuncture treatments may help some people relieve their symptoms.

What are the Big 8 most common food allergies in the US? ›

The Big-8. A group of the eight major allergenic foods is often referred to as the Big-81 and comprises milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soybean.

What are the top 8 food allergens what allergen is considered to be 9? ›

  • 1: EGGS. A person who has an active egg allergy must be wary of more than just scrambled or fried eggs. ...
  • 2: WHEAT. Wheat can be found in a variety of everyday products and not just food. ...
  • 3: SOY. ...
  • 4 & 5: TREE NUTS AND PEANUTS. ...
  • 6: COW'S MILK. ...
  • 7 & 8: FISH AND SHELLFISH. ...
May 9, 2024

What are the 10 most common allergies? ›

The 10 most common allergies include foods, animals, pollen, mold, dust mites, medications, latex, insect stings, co*ckroaches, and perfumes/household chemicals. Allergies are a condition in which the body's immune system considers a substance as a harmful “invader” and overreacts to it.

Which of these is not one of the 8 major food allergens? ›

Detailed Solution. Poultry food is not considered a major food allergen (among the top eight). Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 law identifies eight foods as major food allergens: milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, soybean.

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