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

Bearing up

Fame at last! As you can see, Sidney is bearing up remarkably well despite his Food Allergy Ordeal.

Billboards and front pages of the Hackney Gazette, no less. I hasten to add, despite the headlines, he can eat birthday cake (albeit wheat free, egg free and nut free – see here for recipe) and he happens to like boiled courgette, but that aside it’s nice to have a bit of a plug for the upcoming parent support group. Date TBC as soon as poss – hopefully June. All food allergy parents who can get themselves to the Hackney area are very welcome. Details to follow…