It IS safe to wheat

IT IS OFFICIALLY official – wheat is back on the menu.

It’s a massive step forward. Yet right at this minute it also feels like a big step back. Why? Because we have to go right back to the drawing board to discover what is and isn’t safe for Sid to eat.

Continue reading “It IS safe to wheat”

News: live web chat on kids and allergy

Questions and Answers signpostDISCOVERING your child has a food allergy isn’t just a question of diagnosis and treatment. Each day throws up fresh challenges and it’s not always easy to find the answers.

So the chance to speak one-on-one with an expert is a godsend. Which is why I’ll be tuning in to this Thursday’s live web chat with paediatric allergy supremo Professor John Warner.

Continue reading “News: live web chat on kids and allergy”

Fight for your right to party!

SO, HERE we are surrounded by the debris of a summer get-together. But unlike the old days it’s not cig butts and wine bottles; this time I’m talking grapes, free from biscuits, and two empty pots of tea, because today we hosted the allergy parent support group for the very first time.

You only realise how keyed up you are about mass gatherings with a food allergic child when you are finally able to hold or go to one without any worries. No-one this afternoon was going to turn up with a peanut butter sandwich in a lunchbox – and I didn’t have to warn anyone of the dos and don’ts in advance. Continue reading “Fight for your right to party!”

Ta-da! And the support group is…

On Saturday 30th June, 3-5pm, in Stoke Newington, N16…

Since Sidney was diagnosed with his silly string of food allergies a year ago, I seem to have a constant catalogue of questions that only parents in the same plight can answer.

Our doctor, as I’ve said before, is amazing, but there are some things he just can’t help with – recommending good allergy-friendly places to eat, top holiday spots for catering for a food allergic child, the best ‘free from’ foods to buy, recipes for the ideal eggless, wheatless, ‘add your own allergy’-less breads, cakes, etcetera.

Having a local support network of people in the same position means being able to swap notes on nurseries, schools, caffs, playgroups. What does a nursery need to prove before you feel comfortable sending your EpiPen toting tot there? How do you handle the issue of other kids eating potentially risky food in a public setting? Can we get the overpriced, overprimped recently revamped park cafe to offer something allergy friendly (OK, that’s just my own current gripe).

So when the paediatric allergy nurse at St Mary’s Hospital, where Sidney is seen, said they had secured funding to run a series of support groups and would I be interested in helping to host one I said ‘yes’ right away.

They’ve already run the inaugural event in Ealing, which I’m told proved a hit, and there’s a second in Barnes this month. But for north and east London parents I’m organising one in Stoke Newington, Hackney for June. So if your child has multiple food allergies and is under the care of an allergy doctor, do come along to share tips, info, recipes and gripes, find out which places are allergy-friendly, meet other parents navigating the same issues and ask an expert from St Mary’s paediatric allergy department your burning questions.

Food Allergy Parent Support Group, Saturday 30 June, 3-5pm, Stoke Newington, Hackney, N16; places are limited so for further info and to RSVP please email alexabaracaia@hotmail.com or see www.allergysupportgroup.org.uk