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Welcome to posting!

Penelope is SO cute! The baby and toddler years can be stressful, but it sounds like you have got a good plan going forward. I love your comment below, and I know your suggestions will help other moms manage their kiddos' food allergies!

On our online community, we've got a new discussion going on called, What do you wish people understood about food allergies and asthma? What could friends and family and strangers on the street understand that would make it easier for Penelope and you? 

At 6 months old Penelope was diagnosed with having an egg, dairy, and peanut allergy. We were so overwhelmed with the news, especially since she was and still is an exclusively breastfed baby. Step one was for me to eliminate all three food items from my diet in order to keep nursing her. By doing so, I have learned how to overcome food allergies by being prepared and organized.

We have learned to always pack safe meals and snacks for Penelope and I to eat everytime we leave our home . It is tedious to always do so but it is a must. We are a family who loves to explore museums, zoo's, aquariums, theme parks, and much more. From our adventures we have learned not many places offer allergy friendly food for Penelope and I to eat. That is why we always carry an insulated lunch bag with us filled with food and snacks.  

Our family and friends are aware of Penelope's food allergies. So for birthday parties and/or family gatherings, I always phone ahead and ask what will be served. This way I know how much food/snacks I will need to bring with me. Also, I always bring my own dessert so that way Penelope and I feel included during dessert hour.

We have also learned to always keep a small container of allergy friendly snacks in the car. Also, both grandparents homes have a container filled with allergy friendly snacks along with one table setting for Penelope. This lessens the packing for us when visiting grandparents tremendously. 

In our diaper bag we always have the "Wet Ones" antibacterial hand wipes. There is also always a tub in our car and at each grandparents home. Those hand wipes always come in handy especially in public when you don't have quick access to a restroom to wash hands. Our three year old son will at times have snacks that are not allergy friendly. So we always clean his hands with those wipes if we are not near a restroom. In our diaper bag we also have disposable placemats that we use when eating at restaurants and of course Penelope's EpiPen. 

In our home I have organized our pantry and refrigerator by "safe" foods and "not safe" foods. For instance, the left side of our pantry is all the not safe foods and the right side is all the safe foods Penelope and I can eat. The same goes for the refrigerator. 

Being prepared and organized is what has helped us overcome food allergies. It was always a stressful situation for me when leaving the house when I was not prepared. Now, since I am, I don't ever feel like Penelope is missing out on anything. I hope what I have shared can help other food allergy families who are on this journey with us  

Kids With Food Allergies
A Division of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
1235 South Clark Street Suite 305, Arlington, VA 22202
Phone: 1-800-7-ASTHMA (1.800.727.8462)
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