6 tips for food allergies
Having a food allergy can be a frustrating and frightening experience, but these tips should make life more manageable:
Find an allergist. After reading reviews on Angie's List, verify board certification - and specialty in food allergies - through the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology.
Confirm you have a food allergy. Most people who think they have one actually don't. Get tested by an allergist to be sure. You may discover it's only a food intolerance.
Get nutritional help. Find a registered dietitian to discuss whether your child is getting a balanced diet. "The best advice I would give is to use as much fresh fruits and vegetables and meats as you can," says Debbie Mouser, a registered dietitian and owner of highly rated Cook for Life in Dallas.
Read labels and ask questions. Make sure any packaged foods you buy are allergy safe. When eating out, ask about the food's ingredients and how it's prepared.
Prepare for an emergency. "Anyone who has a life- threatening allergy should always carry an [epinephrine injectable] EpiPen," says Dr. Frederick Leickly, a pediatric allergist at highly rated Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.
Follow up with your doctor. Eighty percent of children diagnosed with an egg and milk allergy outgrow it by their teenage years. In any case, you should see your allergist for periodic retesting to determine if your allergies have changed.