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Food Allergy Concierge Blog

Living With Food Allergies

Finding out you - or someone you love – have food allergies, is hard. Not only can this mean the end of eating your favorite foods, but it also can take all the enjoyment out of meal time. With the severe reactions that food allergies cause, every meal can become consumed by fear and anxiety. That said, there are a number of tips and tricks that make dealing with your allergies slightly easier.

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Read Labels

This may seem obvious, but many people don’t understand the importance of reading the labels of their food. For one, many foods often have unexpected ingredients. Fish gelatin in yogurt, sesame oil in sauces or sprinkled peanuts on noodles; you never know what could be in your food. Additionally, there is also the fear of cross contamination. While your chocolate bar may not have tree nuts in it, a chocolate that does may have been made on the same run. For people with severe food allergies, even this small amount of contact can be enough to trigger an anaphylactic reaction.

                Moreover, it is important to remember how often brands change their ingredients and recipes. Reading the label once, does not mean that you never have to read it again. It is vital that you read the label ever single time you purchase an item – ensuring that the food is still allergy safe.

Cook Carefully

Many people live in families where only one individual deals with food allergies. In circumstances like this, oftentimes, the allergen food can be found in the home. It is important then, that there be a way to ensure the safety of the individual with food allergies. Many suggest having separate dishes and utensils. In order to ensure the safety of the individual with allergies, it is helpful to allow them their own kitchen supplies – thus eliminating the chance of cross contamination. Additionally, make sure to always wash your dishes in hot and soapy water; ensuring the sterilization of the dishes and eliminating the chances of a dangerous mix up and reaction.

Know What to Do

An allergic reaction is terrifying. Whether it is your own panic as you struggle to breathe or watching someone you love reacting to something they ate. Given this, it is important that you always know what to do in case of an emergency. Make sure you are prepared with an EpiPen, that you have a medical I.D. with you and a way to reach emergency services. While nobody likes to plan for worst case scenario, it’s better to have a plan then to panic without one.

Make it Known

Before eating at a dinner party, or snacking at a movie night, make sure everybody there knows that you have food allergies. While announcing your situation can quickly become a hassle, it is worth it in order to avoid having an allergic reaction. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for recipes and never feel bad for requesting to read the package. Your health should be your top priority.

Take Control of Your Social Life

These days, it seems like all of our social outings surround around food. So many people treat brunch like a field trip and dinner like an adventure. And when dealing with food allergies, these types of excursions can quickly become stressful. Given this, finding activities to do outside of eating are a great alternative for those in the food allergy community. Bowling, amusement parks and hikes can all be great outings that don’t involve stress or – God forbid - an EpiPen.

                However, in situations where having food is non-negotiable, there is always the option of potluck. Trusting everyone else is always a bit risky, and potluck allows you the comfort of knowing that what you’re eating is safe. Cook up your favorite meal and enjoy the great company!

Eat Out Smartly

When dealing with food allergies, eating out can feel like navigating a minefield. An immense amount of trust goes into eating at a restaurant, and the fear that comes along can still be paralyzing. Therefore, when deciding to eat at a restaurant, it is vital to do it smartly. Always inform the waiter and manager of your allergy and request that your utensils and plates be cleaned before being given to you. However, unfortunately, eating out will still almost always include some level anxiety. That is why, The Food Allergy Concierge works with some of the top restaurants in Israel. FAC works with these restaurants by sterilizing their kitchens and checking all their ingredients in order to ensure your safety while dining.

FAC offer

Conclusion

Living with food allergies is never easy. In order to keep yourself safe, you are required to keep track of everything you put into your body and often trust the words of strangers. While nothing will ever rid you of your anxiety completely, there are some tips that you can take to lessen the burden.

Sources

Sending Children with Food Allergies to School
How to Know if You Have Food Allergies
 

What Our Clients Say

Meticulous in their preparations

During our recent visit to Israel, we really struggled to find food for our son who has anaphylactic level allergies to egg and sesame. We approached both restaurants and hotels and were told they were unable or unwilling to take responsibility for preparing his food.

 After learning about Dr. Eliana on-line, we contacted her in the hopes that she could provide a ‘normal’ restaurant experience for our family.

 Both she and Shani were meticulous in their preparations with the restaurants to ensure that our son had a wonderful and safe experience.

 We truly appreciate their efforts to take care of our son, and to provide us with a lovely vacation experience.

T.M., Chicago, USA

Comfortable, calm, and at ease

We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the amazing gift you have given us over this Pesach- the gift of having you with us!!!!

We have NEVER felt more comfortable, calm, and at ease than we did these past 10 days. Your warmth, professionalism, kindness, and care shown through in all that you did.

My children are so grateful that they were able to be with you this Pesach. You made sure that they were so well looked after and they felt so at ease and comfortable with you! You were so amazing and approachable to them! And they LOVED all the food you so amazingly prepared (supervised allergy-free food preparation, managed menus) for them!

It’s very difficult for us to trust people when it comes to our kids and allergies. You magically were able to take away ALL of our anxieties, and nervousness (and we don’t give that away so easily!!)

We can never fully thank you enough. We truly feel that you instantly became part of our family and we look forward to G-d willing being able to be with you and plan amazing trips with you many many many more times!!!! 

CO, Canada
April 2016

Very Helpful

Thank you and may Hashem bless you for the work you do. My son Jacob said your allergy card has been very helpful. I am so grateful- beyond words.

Yasher Koach!
L.R., NY, NY

Delicious and Safe

Thank you for delivering our allergy free baked goods to our hotel.  We just tasted the focaccia and it was delicious!

All the best,

S.C., New Jersey

Thank You

We can't thank you enough for assembling this top-notch team of specialists to work with our daughter while she is in Israel.

T.G., Philadelphia, PA

The Allergy Card was Extremely Helpful

"Food Allergy Concierge assisted us with a very helpful, detailed customized allergy card in Hebrew.  The Allergy card was extremely helpful for multiple allergies and allowed us to eat safely in several eateries and hotels. Highly recommended.”

G.A. Illinois USA

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