February 4, 2011

Food Allergy Education -- where to begin

Living with food allergies can feel isolating. For our kids, it sometimes means never being able to share a friend's snack, bringing your own safe food to parties, or only sitting at a designated safe area at school. This isolation isn't just limited to kids -- as parents we have a host of concerns for our kids' well-being on a daily basis different from our peers. One of the goals of GetAllergywise is to rescue us all from our one-man islands and bring us back to a land of similarly-challenged but thriving families!
Besides the community we are growing here, there are some very helpful resources available online right now:

Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) is the leading organization for food-allergic families. It aims to inform and advocate for families affected by food allergies and to raise public awareness of this growing health concern.
Annual membership for FAAN is $50 (tax-deductible) includes periodic newsletters for parents and children and access to the latest allergy research and food labeling. Besides membership, you can sign up to receive free email allergy alerts regarding recalls on mislabeled or under-labeled food products.
Kids with Food Allergies (KFA) is a charity whose goal is to improve the lives of kids affected by food allergies. The organization publishes a free bi-weekly email newsletter that includes recipes, allergy alerts, and news related to food allergies. For families who are new to food allergies, there are helpful guides in allergy management and identifying the many forms of allergens in confusing food labels. The organization also has a Facebook page that you can “like” to receive access to recipes, tips, and communicate with other KFA fans. The $25 annual membership gives you full access to services including a special social network, all its recipes and articles, and a biannual magazine.
Please check out these resources. For recipes and personal stories from parents raising kids with food allergies, search the wonderful world of blogs. There are so many families out there who are sharing their successes and challenges with us. And please let us know about your favorite blogs or organizations!

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