Parenting a Kid with Food Allergies: One Mom’s Story

The health path for parents or other carers of children with food allergies frequently involves overcoming novel and unforeseen obstacles.

It can be unexpected to learn that your child has a food allergy, particularly if you find out during a severe reaction.

Many parents are immediately concerned about whether this disease poses a threat to their lives. How cautious must we be moving forward? What takes place if I'm not the one cooking?

Furthermore, dietary sensitivities may not always be predictable. It is impossible to forecast how severe an allergic reaction your child may have in the future, even if they have previously experienced moderate reactions. At some time in their life, over 40% of children who have food allergies encounter a severe reaction.

Dr. Jennifer Silver, a dentist and mother of a 6-year-old kid with many food sensitivities, was interviewed by Healthline. She claims that in addition to difficulties, her path has had periods of significant personal development.

The food allergy discovery

"My son began having recurrent rashes and stomach problems after meals around the time of his first birthday," said Silver.

At first, we put it down to a variety of things, such as delicate skin or a little stomach ailment. But when the symptoms continued and became worse, we started to worry that there might be a more serious issue.

Following numerous rounds of testing and consultation with paediatricians, it was determined that my child was allergic to multiple foods, including dairy, eggs, and nuts.

Your body reacts immunologically when you have a food allergy. The next series of biological reactions can cause symptoms such as nausea, coughing, itching, and swelling of the face.

Food allergies in certain children can result in anaphylaxis, a potentially fatal reaction affecting several organ systems.

Severe allergic responses and anaphylaxis can manifest differently in extremely young children, like in Silver's son's case, than in older children and adults. Toddlers are more prone to encounter:
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • hives
  • rashes
  • itching
  • hoarse voice/crying
  • sudden behavioral changes

The learning curve is steep and fast

The management of food allergies might be particularly difficult if your child is diagnosed at a very young age.

Silver says that her kid was a toddler and still working on his vocabulary when he started exhibiting symptoms. He struggled to express his emotions clearly, and he wasn't always able to fully comprehend what was going on during an allergic reaction.

According to Silver, the first several years' learning curve was quite steep. There were a gazillion mistakes made.

"We had to carefully read ingredient labels," she said. "And educate ourselves about hidden allergens and learn how to cook alternative meals without triggering allergies."

She claims that regular communication with family members, other carers, and restaurant employees was one important discovery.

"To guarantee my child's safety, we had to proactively notify family members, carers, and even restaurant workers about his dietary restrictions.”

‘A rollercoaster of emotions’

According to Silver, there was a great deal of anxiety and fear at first.

Seeing my child suffer and not always knowing how to support them was difficult. I occasionally experienced feelings of overwhelm and frustration, especially while attempting to identify safe foods or manage social situations.

When you have a food allergy, safety becomes your top concern and something you think about every day. This can cause a range of emotions, from overload and worry to panic.

Resilience is crucial, according to Silver. Because so much of learning happens by trial and error when a child is very young, it enables you to adjust and alter as you learn.

It can be very taxing for parents to be on top of food allergies all the time. It may seem like all you can think about, and a lot of parents are always worried about making dietary mistakes that would set their children off.

There have been happy and grateful moments throughout it all. Silver has found great inspiration in her son's optimistic outlook, and she has learnt to face the path with bravery, thankfulness, and an unyielding resolve to provide her child with the best life possible.

The ‘emergency action plan’

Silver advises parents raising a child with recently identified food allergies to educate themselves as much as possible. Consult allergists for advice, sign up for internet forums, and ask plenty of questions.

Gaining as much knowledge as you can about food allergies gives you the ability to manage your child's condition, which will help you cope.

Silver advises creating a thorough emergency response plan. These plans list symptoms ranging from moderate to severe and include comprehensive directions on how to treat an allergy attack. You can print these emergency action plans and give them to family members, teachers, childcare providers, or anybody else who will be spending time with your child.

Above all, Silver advises keeping in mind that you are not travelling alone. You can get resources to support you at every stage. It does become simpler. Now that her son is six years old, taking care of his allergies is a regular and everyday aspect of their lives.

For other coping mechanisms, take into account:
  • exercising regularly
  • collaborating with a mental health specialist
  • studying mindfulness, meditation, or mind-body practices (such as tai chi)
  • making time for creative hobbies
  • celebrating small successes
  • gratitude journaling


Children with food allergies need to be managed constantly, and parents need to be involved. After their child is diagnosed with a food allergy, all parents experience a learning curve, even though there may be moments when they feel overburdened, perplexed, or nervous.

Throughout your child's food allergy journey, you can feel more in charge by educating yourself as much as possible on food allergies and collaborating closely with your child's paediatrician and allergist. You can incorporate coping mechanisms into your daily routine by joining support groups, seeing mental health specialists, and taking care of yourself.

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