Hi. I’m Jamie and I’m an 11-year food allergy mom. I acquired this title when people didn’t know what food allergies were, when labeling laws were just emerging, before vegan was popular, and when the statistic was that most kids would outgrow milk allergies by age 2. It was a rough start for this new mom, no doubt about it.
Upon our food allergy diagnosis, I immediately asked God to help me learn and find a way to help others. It was my best way to cope, hoping that something of good would come from this. Fortunately for me, at the same time, the world of blogging was just coming on scene because writing a cookbook really isn’t in my skill-set. I’m a teacher, an encourager, a researcher, and an organizer of ideas and information. Hence, this blog called Milk Allergy Mom soon started.
So here we are eleven years later, still with the food allergies but living a full and joyful life. And I want to write the blog post that I wish I had found when we first got our diagnosis. Advice for food allergy families. From a veteran mom in the trenches. I want to answer the question that I get asked so often from new allergy families. How do you live with life threatening food allergies?
Here are examples of the messages I receive:
“I found your blog through Google and noticed you had a Facebook page as well. I’m a tad overwhelmed at the moment and I’m so thankful I found you. My one year old son was just diagnosed yesterday with a dairy/milk allergy. I don’t even know where to begin. Is there anyway you can help me? It’s all new to me. I would appreciate it so much.”
“I came across your site when I was doing more research on allergies. My daughter was diagnosed 2 months ago with very severe cases of milk, egg, and dust mite allergies. I have no one to really talk to who knows what I’m going through or the anxiety I feel…I need advice. How do you cope? Milk is in everything!”
These notes touch my heart because I was there, and I know exactly what these new moms are going through. Sadness and grief. Overwhelmed about how to feed your child. Confusion over how to change your lifestyle. These feelings are all normal. Hang in there, friend, it gets better. I have some words of advice and encouragement that will hopefully help.
ADVICE FOR FOOD ALLERGY FAMILIES
Feelings of fear and anxiety are normal.
The anxiety subsides as you learn and fall into a life routine.
It helps to look at the bright side of food allergies.
Start with real foods.
Then look into safe processed foods.
Next decide what specialty foods you will buy.
Decide if your whole family will change their diet.
Then learn how to cook allergy-free.
Eventually narrow down your shopping systems and your budget.
Stay inspired and keep learning.
Find a support system.
Start practicing food allergy life.
Be encouraged that this may just be a season.
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I truly believe God chooses the most diligent and capable people to be food allergy parents. So I know you’ve got this. We are here to let you know that you are not alone in this journey, and we look forward to having you here.
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Please leave a comment and introduce yourself. What allergies do you face, how long have you had food allergies, and what support would you like to see here? We would love to get to know you.