Food allergies can be from caused from nuts, dairy, eggs, shellfish/fish, wheat and certain dyes within foods. Having any of these food allergies can make eating difficult, and makes it especially difficult when you are a kid. Your child needs to understand his own food allergy so you can keep him safe when he's at school or at a friend's house. Start as early as possible explaining your child's food allergy to help keep him safe. Here are a few helpful tips on how to explain food allergies to your kids.
Make It Fun
Try teaching your child about food allergies in a fun way. You can read books about allergies such as "The Princess And The Peanut Allergy", by Wendy McClure or "The BugaBees: Friends With Food Allergies", by Amy Recob. These books will help explain to kids about food allergies in a way they can understand and help them to understand that they aren't the only ones with food allergies. You can also use grocery store flyers, magazine photos or even while at the grocery store to point out foods your child cannot eat. Have your child point out foods they cannot eat t you and make a game out of it.
Go through a scenario with your child and offer him a certain food that he may not be able to eat. Let him tell you no, that he cannot eat it because he has food allergies. Rehearsing these scenarios will help him if he is ever away from home, such as on a play date, birthday party or even at school. Explain to your child that he is unable to share foods with his friends because it can be dangerous to him. You can also rehearse a scenario in case he ever does eat something that he shouldn't. Go through the motions of administering life saving medication, such as an EpiPen. This way he isn't scared when or if he has an allergic reaction.
Make Them Feel Special
Make your child feel special, rather than excluded. Give your child his own special cabinet or shelf with his special food on it. You can also change up everyone's diet in the house. If dairy is what your child is allergic to, change your regular milk to soy milk instead.
Explaining allergies to your child can be a little difficult sometimes, but your child needs to understand his own allergies in order to keep him safe when you aren't around. For more information, contact physicians like Alidina Laila MD.