Kids with food allergies can be tough on the family dinner table. There are many ways to respond to a food allergy in the family. Here are our five healthy ways to support your allergic child.
1. Allergen-Free Family: Depending on the severity of your child's allergy, you may want to consider having the entire family go allergen-free, especially if your child's reaction is life threatening. Remove all traces of the allergen, clean the pantry, appliances and countertops thoroughly and don't allow the allergen back in the home.
2. Elimination Diet: If you don't know yet what your child's full list of allergens are, consider an elimination diet. Go 30 days without the most common allergens and see if her symptoms improve. Once the 30 day period is over, slowly attempt to reintroduce allergens you're not positive are allergens for your child.
3. Allergen-Free Child: Once you know her allergens, you can choose to simply eliminate the specific allergens from your child's diet, rather than the whole family's. This is a particularly good option for non-threatening food sensitivities or intolerances like lactose intolerance and dairy allergies. Nut allergies or gluten sensitivity including a celiac disease diagnosis may require an allergen-free family.
4. Enzymes: Accidental allergen exposure is going to happen. While you should consult your child's pediatrician for supplies like an Epi-pen for more serious allergies, you may be able to treat minor sensitivities and allergies at home. Lactase drops can be added to milk for lactose intolerance. Multi-enzyme tablets may help your child digest foods to which they are sensitive. Probiotics also can help support your child's gut health.
5. Essential Oils: Inhaling essential oils like peppermint may soothe nausea, while lavender in a lotion or balm may soothe itching from allergen exposure.
[Editor's note: Always consult with your child's physician before administering any home remedies to an allergic reaction.]
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