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 mealtime. With the severe reactions that food allergies cause, every meal can become consumed by fear and anxiety. That said, several tips and tricks make dealing with your allergies slightly easier.
This may seem obvious, but many people don’t understand the importance of reading their food labels. 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, chocolate 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 reread it. You must read the label every single time you purchase an item – ensuring that the food is still allergy-safe.
Many people live in families where only one individual deals with food allergies. In the 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 individual's safety with food allergies. Many suggest having separate dishes and utensils. To ensure the individual's safety with allergies, it is helpful to allow them their own kitchen supplies, thus eliminating cross-contamination. Additionally, make sure always to wash your dishes in hot and soapy water, ensure the dishes' sterilization, and eliminate the chances of a dangerous mix-up and reaction.
An allergic reaction is terrifying. Whether it is your own panic as you struggle to breathe or watch someone you love reacting to something they ate. Given this, you must 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 the worst-case scenario, it’s better to have a plan than to panic without one.
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 avoiding 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.
These days, it seems like all of our social outings surround 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!
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 of anxiety. That is why 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 to ensure your safety while dining.
Living with food allergies is never easy. 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.
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
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!!!!
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.
L.R., NY, NY
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
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
"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
My family ordered a week's worth of food from Food Allergy Concierge during the most recent lockdown. Having the food on hand, and knowing that it was safe for everyone in the family to eat, helped turn the lockdown into a stay-cation! We were still able to take a break from cooking and worrying, and we look forward to using FAC's services again in the future.
We are so lucky we found this company to help us while our son was traveling. They provided allergy-safe baked goods and delivered them to his hotel so he could have bread and pastries on his month-long Israel trip. It was very easy ordering and communicating his needs. I would definitely use the food allergy concierge again the next time he travels to Israel.