Friday, November 20, 2015

How can allergies be fun?!

I have been asked a few times, "Why call your book Allergy Fun? Allergies are NOT fun!"

It is true, the title Allergy Fun may strike some people as odd, given the potentially deadly nature of multiple, serious food allergies. However, as the parent of two children with multiple allergies, I believe it is important to make sure that children can still be children, despite the extra challenges they may face. I believe it is important to ensure our children do not frame their whole existence around allergies. Young children with severe food allergies certainly have many restrictions to learn and understand, but within these boundaries there can be an abundance of freedom, fun and adventure.

How do we have fun?

STEP 1: Take away the focus from food, and especially the foods that are of a concern to you. Children need to learn what they cannot eat, but more importantly, what food can we eat? What foods make us strong? What foods make us grow bigger? What foods help our brains and our body? What foods do we love to eat?

STEP 2: Find activities that don't revolve around restricted foods. With two boys, we spend many many hours at parks and playgrounds. We go there to PLAY, not eat. We meet friends to play, not just eat. Other non-food activities include: swimming pool, museums, galleries, bush walking, tree climbing, bike rides, and other sports.

Fruit picking could be another option for some - my boys love cherry picking, strawberry picking... find the season that suits you, find the fruits that suit you, and have FUN!

We have recently passed our food challenge for rainbow trout (fish), so my aim is to head to a local trout farm during the summer, catch some trout and cook it up! Heck, we might even try and eat it sashimi style?!

STEP 3: Always bring your emergency medication. We are there to have fun, but we always need to bring our emergency medication... just in case. It's an important lesson for kids to learn too :-)

To find out more ways to educate your child about their food allergies, click here.


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