September 18, 2015
Make Your Kitchen Allergy~Friendly
As food allergy parents, we all know the worries associated with keeping our food allergy kids SAFE in the food oriented world we live in. Having two kids with multiple yet different allergies including anaphylaxis to peanuts and tree nuts seemed, at times, impossible for me to manage. Creating a less stressful and allergy~friendly kitchen for everyone LIVING in and VISITING our home became an immediate focus.
Being familiar with the products allergy focused companies such as SunButter provide, is an invaluable resource. Their On the Go Single Cups available exclusively at Target stores, and free, print-at-home “Made With SunButter” Stickers are ‘MUST HAVEs’ – making baking and labeling nut-free items a cinch!
Combine these with the following easy ideas and you will create your very OWN allergy~friendly kitchen in no time!
1. Allergy~Friendly Cabinet – The number one thing you MUST do – designate something or a section of your kitchen to be allergy~friendly. Even with pre-teens, this area still exists in our home. My kids, friends or family can go into this cabinet at ANY time and know that ONLY foods which are SAFE for them are found here. Talk about alleviating stress when outsiders come over. Add cutting boards, cups, small plates, containers with utensils… ANYTHING you need to be ONLY used by your allergy kids. Independent seeking toddlers will LOVE having this SAFE space and so will YOU!
2. Pantry Space – Clear off a shelf or two for SAFE foods ONLY. Same idea from above applies here.
3. Snack Boxes – Have limited space? No worries! SAFE snack boxes can be thrown into any cabinet or pantry space. Best of all – they can be used at school too! I started using these in daycare. My kids still each have one at school with SAFE snacks for those ‘just in case times’ when someone brings in something they can’t enjoy.
4. Labeling – Having a multi-allergen home, color coded labels became our allergy educating system. As a full time working mom, I needed a simple way to ensure people kept my babies SAFE.
This labeling system was so well received at home and at childcare that I decided to design and trademark my very own S.A.F.E. Food Allergy Labels. These brightly colored, simply stated labels make great educational tools for kids and teachers, as well as taking the guessing game out of what is SAFE for your kids. Looking for great ‘Back to School’ items for your teachers? Look no further. Your family and schools will thank you for helping them stay SAFE!
Of course, you will also need to navigate concerns such as cross contamination issues, using individualized cooking utensils and safe cleaning protocol. But for now, be inspired knowing you are equipping your family and loved one’s with the confidence to know they can SAFELY handle your family’s food allergy challenges.
Daniella Knell, is the owner of Smart Allergy~Friendly Education. As a mom of 2 having 6 of the top 8 food allergens, she has been public speaking for 10 years in efforts to raise allergy awareness within her Boise community and nationally. Follow her at: Facebook, Linked In or Twitter.