by Jennifer Dodrill
Imagine that you are dining out with family or friends and your throat starts to itch and feel tight. Your lips, tongue, and throat begin to swell, and you start coughing. It gets difficult to breathe. You feel lightheaded and dizzy. You have no idea what is happening. What do you do?
We all look forward to spending time with family and friends during the holidays. For those of us managing food allergies, we may feel tense about the upcoming challenges. From finding substitutions for recipes to family members who do not understand the need to be cautious, going home for the holidays may come with added stress.
We turned to FAAM members and followers on social media and asked how they decrease holiday stress and manage food allergies over the holidays. They shared the following tips:
by Kelley Barnett
Our fourth year of hosting a trunk-or-treat just for our Mid-South food allergy community was just as much fun as our first! This event grows each year and is a fun time for the lil' goblins and their parents. After a costume parade to show off their cool costumes, the children trick-or-treat for non-food items at trunks decorated by parents and grandparents. We then move inside to play festival games and earn more non-food prizes. What stood out the most to me was a group of parents just hanging out in the middle of the room, they were talking to each other and their children were going through the games again without them. This may not seem unusual for most people, but it is not typical for our food allergy families at a food-centered event. But this safe, food-free event allowed both parents and children time to relax and enjoy the holiday. That is exactly why we work hard to make sure we continue to serve our community in such an important way. We are already looking forward to next year!
I am very thankful to our volunteers who arrived early, worked the event, and stayed late to make sure our children felt included this Halloween; to Food Allergy Research & Education for helping sponsor this event; to Blake Billups, DDS for donating non-food items; and to the Bartlett Fire and Police Departments for participating. Thank you all for allowing our children to enjoy a fun, holiday tradition in a safe way! Click here for information on FARE's Teal Pumpkin Project.
If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me how to "do the Teal Pumpkin Project", I would be rich! I am excited to share with you how easy and affordable it is to include ALL children on Halloween. Join the Food Allergy Alliance of the Mid-South in turning the Mid-South teal this Halloween!
Last weekend, FAAM hosted the first camp for kids diagnosed with food allergies in the Mid-South! FAAM parents and children ages 4-14 came to camp for Taekwondo, calm kits, parent chats and the splash pad. Camp was food-free which allowed attendees to relax and have fun; a luxury not fully experienced by individuals diagnosed with food allergies in traditional camp settings.
Food for Thought is the blog for the Food Allergy Alliance of the MidSouth. FAAM's mission is to provide food allergy support, education, advocacy, fellowship & fun for Memphis, TN and surrounding areas.
If you have a medical emergency, call 911 immediately and follow up with a physician.