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Part 2: They're off to college-now what? - Food Allergies in the Dorm

What now?!?!?!

Read PART 1 here

college

If you’re thinking- look that is all well and nice but what should I do now- my child is leaving soon to college and I’m stuck!

The first step to do is to sit down together with your child and construct a plan on how they are going to organise their eating arrangements while in college. In order to achieve this effectively, you will need to know certain information including; what eating arrangements does their college campus offer, is there’s a cafeteria or eating hall? Is it going to be safe for your child to eat anything out of the kitchen from the college? Can arrangements be made with the kitchen staff to organise some meals that will be allergy-safe for your child to eat? Even if it’s one meal a day or only certain meals a week it will make a big difference in helping them manage their weekly food arrangements.

Then you have to look at their dormitory situation- is there a small kitchen area or bench space that can be made allergy-safe, maybe he is living in a small apartment with some friends that have a corner he can use near a sink? Remember your child won’t need a lot of space to make his food- it just will be easier if it can remain his own- and allergy-free.

Next, you have to create two lists with your child- the first list consists of safe items they can buy in the supermarket according to their allergens. Shopping for ingredients is a new endeavour for your child so a list of items that they like to eat that are safe for them will make the start of the journey that much easier. The second list is a few instructions on how to choose items that will be safe for them. This should include instructions on where to look for information about ingredients, cross-contamination and ‘may contain’ details. Depending on the severity of your child’s allergies you will show them what to look for.

***It’s a good idea for you to spend the next week or so before your child leaves going to the supermarket once or twice and practice going shopping for products together. ***

After all that’s completed it would be an idea to give your child a crash-course on how to make simple allergy-safe meals that are dormitory friendly. They would (hopefully) be (reasonably) healthy, with fewer than 10 ingredients and minimal preparation techniques. One-pot meals are great options- keep them simple, chicken and potatoes, stew, burgers or beef goulash. If you have time, prepare one or two meals with your child watching. You might want to consider sending some homemade goods along with them to get them through the first week or so more easily.

chicken

CLICK ON THE IMAGE FOR A ROOT BEER BARBECUE CHICKEN FOR A CROCKPOT/INSTANT POT

(Please check according to your specific allergies)

The situation gets complicated when it is impossible to have a safe area that will remain allergy-free constantly. In such a case your child has to have the skills to clean and sanitise the area prior to cooking as well as the knowledge to keep all their cooking utensils clean and safe from cross-contamination.

***You can buy a simple plastic storage box that your child can keep their cooking utensils when they are not in use. ***

***Consider buying either a crockpot or an instant pot for one-pot easy to clean cooking options. ***

Most of all remember- nothing should stop your child from moving on and chasing their dreams- you aren’t going to be that far away- and a solution can be found to every situation- it just might take a bit of creativity- don’t worry too much, in the worst case- they can always survive on fruits and vegetables :)!  Pat yourself on the back for doing such a great job raising such a beautiful child and sit back and enjoy watching them flourish without you!

 

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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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