I have learned a lot as a family about the importance of cooking with fresh ingredients and eating less processed foods since Adrian's diagnosis with life-threatening food allergies. I have always preferred to eat all-natural or organic products, but have been forced to cook differently in the past four years in order to accommodate Adrian's diet. While not everyone eats with the same restrictions, in many ways we have all benefited from Adrian's diet. Most notably we all eat more foods in their natural form and have learned about healthy alternatives to incorporate different food items with unique nutritional value.
1 in 13 children in the United States has a food allergy and sadly there are many misconceptions about what it means to raise a child with a life-threatening food allergy. We are not helicopter parents or crazy food haters. We are parents, just like everyone else, trying our best to raise strong children and keep them safe. I have learned over the past few years that there is an important conversation to be had. A dialogue that breaks down the misconceptions about this lifestyle of navigating an invisible disability. Individuals living with a life-threatening food allergy look "normal" because as long as they are not exposed to food allergens they are safe and in good health. The consequences of an exposure are serious, life-threatening, and are not to be joked about or taken lightly.
You don't have to give up summer vacation early in order to prepare for the start of school; however, taking a little time to plan ahead will make the transition easier for both parents and children. To help prepare their children for a fabulous start to the school year I have compiled a list of 5 helpful tips. The focus is on keeping food-allergic children safe, yet the strategies apply to all children heading back to school.
Mealtime can be challenging with young children and in our house things become a lot more complicated when you layer in the various ingredients we have to eliminate from recipes because of life-threatening food allergies. Fortunately I have found a number of recipes to rely on over the past few years that help keep mealtime fresh and flavorful. Also, I have learned to find a balance between using fresh ingredients and other allergy-friendly food items to supplement a recipe, bagged lunch, or meal.
Birthday planning comes incredibly easy for some parents as they whipped together adorable themes and Pinterest-worthy elements. I am not one of those parents. And, while birthday celebrations are an important part of our family culture the party is usually a simple gathering of family and a very few friends. Managing life-threatening food allergies adds an additional layer to the mix when planning a children's birthday party, but somehow this year we found the perfect balance of celebration, family, and party for all.
Sending your kindergartener or elementary child off to school can be stressful enough without having to consider snack and lunch planning. In our house we are managing multiple life-threatening food allergies and are generally particular about the foods our children eat (think focus on non-GMO and organic). When my older son began preschool I enlisted a few strategies that we still use today in order to make eating outside of the home less stressful for mommy and fun for the boys.
ABOUT CHRISSY K
I am mom to three boys (one with several life-threatening food allergies) who will never own too many picture books or create Pinterest-worthy snacks. Simply Chrissy K is a place to find helpful tips on parenting that stem from my work with families and design ideas based on our adventures building a home from the ground up.
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The Art of Storytelling
How to Foster a Healthy
Making Story Time Meaningful
Can You Teach Creativity?
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://www.strongtots.com