At Ian’s, we truly understand the stress of having a food allergy. An innocent dab of peanut butter on a cracker turns into a trip to the Emergency Room. A diagnosis of a potentially life-threatening food allergy soon follows and you feel overwhelmed, frightened and alone. As the mom of a child with a food allergy I completely get it – I’ve been there and here is what I’ve learned.
When our CFO Gary Godin went to play golf last October, he was expecting it to be like any other day – catching up on the links, conversation with friends and some outdoor fun. What happened was out of the ordinary and ironic, especially because of Gary’s role here at Ian’s, where we are thoroughly aware of the dangers of food allergies. Gary grabbed a package of cashews, thinking they were peanuts, and ate them without any second thought, even though he didn’t care for the taste. Within an hour, he was unconscious and the paramedics arrived to find that he had gone into anaphylactic shock.
Food allergies can be managed by avoiding contact with the allergen, but what if you are just beginning your journey of discovery—finding out what you are allergic to? One place to start is to keep the top eight offenders in mind. These eight most common allergens account for 90% of allergic reactions1, and it pays to know them.
My name is Kyle Dine and I am a Food Allergy Musician. Yes – it’s a very unique title, but one that I do not take lightly. Not only do I have food allergies, I actually write songs about them too! I have released two CDs for children with allergies titled “You Must Be Nuts!” and “Food Allergies Rock!” My songs all carry important messages that are meant to educate and empower the brave children who deal with this condition on a daily basis. I have allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, seafood and mustard and have had many reactions over the years – especially as a teen. I’ve learned a lot of lessons along the way and started writing these songs to help others learn ways to stay safe and stay positive.
Good health and good nutrition are top-of-mind for most parents today. Many parents worry that their child is not getting the proper nutrition they need to grow and be the strongest and healthiest they can be. Some of the top nutritional concerns for parents include managing weight, intake of fruits and vegetables, knowing appropriate serving sizes, managing picky eating habits and limiting junk food. In today’s busy and hectic world it can seem overwhelming for parents to put nutritious meals on the table. But it is not impossible to do. With a little planning and conscious grocery shopping, fun, nutritious meals can come together fairly quickly.
I used to like picnics – really – but having a young child with a special diet make this harmless all-American pastime a little less relaxing than it should be. A group leader at a wonderful support group I attended through the American Asthma and Allergy Foundation shared a personal story with us that I will re-tell as a reminder that vigilance is always necessary.