‘Demystifying Oral Food Challenges’

oral-food-challenge-gold-standardJUST a quick link here to a very helpful, step-by-step guide to oral food challenges from the Kids With Food Allergies Foundation. It hails from the US but maps out how to prepare your child and what to expect. Thanks to Dairy Free Baby and Me for the tip.

I particularly like the point about how a reaction (i.e. failing an oral challenge) can be a learning opportunity: until last week, Sidney had never even eaten any egg, so the notion of being allergic to it was entirely abstract. While not particularly pleasant, he now knows that eating just a small amount can make him feel unwell – perhaps enough for him to recognise an allergic reaction should it happen again.

Well worth a read.

An open letter to Henry Dimbleby, author of the School Food Plan

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FROM September, the Government is to fund free school meals for every infant and primary school child in England. The groundbreaking policy is the brainchild of Henry Dimbleby, founder of the food chain Leon and author of the compelling School Food Plan.

There are excellent reasons for this, many of which are outlined here. But for parents of young children with food allergies, the policy has yet to prove itself.

There have been a few brief kerfuffles on Twitter over exactly how catering for allergies fits into the plan. To his immense credit, Dimbleby has responded to many of these questions personally and asked me and other ‘allergy parents’ to email him with our concerns. So here’s the letter that I sent to him: Continue reading “An open letter to Henry Dimbleby, author of the School Food Plan”

Alpro – get yer nuts off our soya – UPDATE

1472010_1435311240015633_1447709268_aJUST A QUICK update on our campaign to keep nut traces out of Alpro soya products. If you haven’t had a moment to ‘like’ our Facebook page here, please do – and if you haven’t had a moment to email Alpro and ask them to rethink their plans, please do that as well (there’s a template letter you can cut and paste from the Facebook campaign page.)

And if you haven’t had a moment to post your displeasure on Alpro’s own Facebook page here please do that as well as well! Continue reading “Alpro – get yer nuts off our soya – UPDATE”

The good news (with a little tiny ‘but’)

images-4OUR VERY wonderful allergist, Dr Robert Boyle, has just released some new findings that should make reassuring reading for parents of children with diagnosed food allergy.

After collating data from 13 studies worldwide, he and his research team at Imperial College London have calculated that for children and young people with a food allergy  aged 0-19, the chance of dying from anaphylaxis in any one year is 3.25 in a million.

To put that in context, in Europe the risk of being murdered is 11 in a million. Continue reading “The good news (with a little tiny ‘but’)”

‘Do You Want My Family’s Business?’

Unknown-2SO, YESTERDAY WAS my debut into the (sorta) professional world of allergy. I was a guest speaker at a seminar for the catering industry on the upcoming changes to food labelling.

Despite my strong views on the subject, I wasn’t there to pontificate on the rights and wrongs of the new labelling legislation – I reckon that would only confuse the catering delegates even more, and I can tell you after yesterday that many of them are already confused enough about existing, never mind impending, allergy regulations.

I was invited as an ‘Allergy Mum’ by the organisers FATC to speak about the daily struggle to find safe places to eat, and food to buy, for my child.

So below is my presentation. It wasn’t slick, and my PowerPoint skills are rudimentary, but I hope it got some people thinking about the struggle we face to find allergy safe food. It is, as fellow speaker Michelle Berriedale-Johnson of Foods Matter succinctly put it, a “pain in the balls”. Continue reading “‘Do You Want My Family’s Business?’”

The Children’s Allergy Guru answers your questions

drdutoitplainbackgroundGOT A MILLION allergy questions buzzing around your head, and your little one’s next appointment is months away? Join us on Twitter tomorrow night for ‘Allergy Hour’, when London-based paediatric allergy guru George Du Toit will be the guest expert on hand to help.

Consultant paediatric allergist at Guy’s & St Thomas’, Du Toit is also co-investigator on the LEAP study into the prevention of peanut allergy in young children.

Follow @allergyhour and tweet your questions using the tag #allergyhour – it’s on from 20.30 to 21.30 GMT on Thursday 24 October. See you there!

Kinnerton’s a winner

4 FACING CLASSIC LOLLY SOT_F_2-1I CAN’T BELIEVE it’s taken me this long (herein proof it’s a bum ache finding allergy safe food) but I have just discovered that Kinnerton make a nut free, egg free milk chocolate for kids.

I knew they made the dairy free bars and lollies, which are pretty liberally stocked by the major supermarkets. But for some reason none of the supermarkets I have ever visited stock the milk chocolate versions.

Continue reading “Kinnerton’s a winner”

A response from the Food Standards Agency…

SORRY IT’S taken me a while to post this – here’s the response I received from the FSA on my allergen labelling gripes. I’ve highlighted a few bits in bold but, in short, I think our next step is to write directly to the European Commission. Sigh. And all I wanted to do was buy a few bits in Sainsbury’s…

Continue reading “A response from the Food Standards Agency…”

An email to the Food Standards Agency

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The weekly shop + food allergy = how it feels

FOLLOWING MY blog posts on the issue and countless angry Tweets the FSA has asked me to email my concerns about the new food labelling legislation to them directly. So I have. The letter’s below.

I feel very strongly about this and am considering launching a petition to have this legislation amended. If you have concerns, too, please let the FSA know (email at the bottom of this post).

Continue reading “An email to the Food Standards Agency”