Multiple food allergies in children can lead to variety of nutritional complications, but can also adversely affect your child’s social well being. Because social events often include food or beverages, parents of children with multiple food allergies often struggle to balance their child’s physical health with their needs for social interaction. If you have a child who have been diagnosed with multiple food allergies, it is important to consider you can best balance these needs.
From a very young age, children need social interaction with their peers to develop their personalities and to advance the psychological development. When food allergies are a concern at a young age, parents can often manage those allergies effectively by chaperoning events their child attends. But, as your child gets older, these same opportunities to supervise their environment can be challenging.
If your child is in grade school, and if you are concerned about managing multiple food allergies, one of the first steps you will want to take is to create a list of foods your child is allergic to and place that list in a safe place where your child can easily access it. For children who carry backpacks or have clothing with pockets, these lists can be easily kept. In addition, be sure that you contact the adult who will be supervising your child during their meal times as you will want to be sure they have the same list.
In addition to providing a list of foods that should be avoided, the contact information for your child’s doctor should also be included with the list to ensure your child can obtain immediate medical information. This is especially true if your child’s multiple food allergies are the causes of chronic diarrhea in your child.
Of course, for many children, the best way to avoid complications with multiple food allergies is to simply pack your child’s food and snacks yourself. Unfortunately, as your child gets older, and begins to engage in new social circles, these packed meals and packed snacks may come with a peer stigma that could ultimately adversely affect your child’s emotional health.
Multiple food allergies can be challenging for children to understand and equally challenging for parents to manage on behalf of their children. If you have a child with multiple food allergies, consider these tips as a way to mitigate the risks of your child’s exposure to foods and drinks they should not consume while still allowing them to socialize and emotionally develop as well.
Sources: Food Allergy Survival Guide, by Vesanto Melina