More than 15 million people in the United States suffer from food allergies. Among them, 6 million are children.
To avoid any risks, it’s important to immediately recognize the ingredient that caused the allergy from the first reaction. In general, these allergies do not have a cure, and the only way to live with them is to eliminate the ingredient from your diet completely.
Here, I have provided a few facts and recommendations:
- Allergies have been reported in about 170 foods, but the most common are: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, and all its derivatives, eggs, soy, wheat (rice, pasta, bread), sesame, fish and shellfish (lobster, crab, shrimp, oysters, clams).
- There are reports to confirm that every 3 minutes, an emergency room somewhere in the country tends to an allergy case.
- Read the labels, pay attention to the product’s nutritional value table. The ingredients appear in order, according to the amount the product contains. Product labels are a requirement of the FDA (Food and Drug Administration).
- Intolerance to milk and flour are not allergies. Processed flours and dairy products cause the most intolerances, but an allergy can be a risk to your life. If you have an intolerance, look for alternatives with better milk quality, substitutes for milk and, in the case of bread and flour, look for products from Europe, from countries such as France, Italy, or Spain.
- I remember as a child my mom did not want me to try crustaceans, because we did not know if I inherited the severe allergy my dad has. However, FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education) advises that delaying exposure to food does not reduce the risk of allergies and that, on the contrary, allowing babies to try nuts could reduce the risk.
- Most allergies arise in childhood, but 15% start in adulthood. Always carry medication in your wallet that can help you in an emergency.
- You should cook at home more, but if you suffer from allergies, it becomes an extreme necessity. It is the only way to prevent an allergy and ensure the quality of what you eat. Remember that when a product is forced to be “free” of an ingredient, many times artificial ingredients are added and are harmful to your health. Read the product labels well.
- Having a family member with an allergy could create dissatisfaction, both for the one who suffers and for the family. Let’s be thorough and careful.
- The most fatal allergies arise when eating out of the house, and 25% of cases arise in schools. This is why schools and some children’s amusement parks have eliminated high-risk ingredients.
- Conditions such as asthma, sugar intolerances, and diabetes are common in people with allergies and vice versa. If this is your case, you have to be even more careful.
This coming July 11, 2018, I will have the incredible honor of cooking at Orlando’s Walt Disney World amusement park. I will be having fun with more than 3,000 children at the Children with Diabetes Convention, and for them, I have designed a recipe that will remind your mouth of a “Strawberry Cheese Cake” but it’s a lollipop with fresh fruit, without sugar, without gluten or without nuts. Perfect to make with children this summer.