goals written on typewriter

New Year’s Goals for Food Allergy Families

Happy 2023!  


I can’t believe January is over and we are in February already!  Time is flying by!


I meant to post at the beginning of January, but all the things got in the way and when I say “the things”, I mean my new website launch, which I would love for you to check out (see link below); my allergy-friendly cookbook, which will be out this summer; my new role as a university professor; and the creation of my food allergy course, which will also be out this summer!  All good, but so time-consuming!


What I want to talk about in this post is setting goals for the new year when it comes to food allergies.  I am a huge proponent of goal setting in my life and I feel it can be so beneficial to food allergy families as well. 


I make goals for both of my children when it comes to their allergies.  You may be thinking, how do you make goals when it comes to food allergies?  Well, that is what I am here to explain!


Let’s start off with my son… He is allergic to cashew, pistachio, and sesame.  The first thing I would recommend is going back and seeing when your last allergist appointment was.  Sometimes we think it was a year ago and realize it was two years ago!  Getting updated testing yearly is highly recommended.  This is because things change all the time, especially when your children are young.  


For my son, specifically, the last time he was tested his cashew and pistachio numbers had both gone down.  We ended up getting a skin test and that told us that he was most likely still allergic because of the large positives.  So, we had a conversation with the allergist who gave us some options regarding OIT.  At that time, my son did not want to do it.  


Well, it is a new year and it has actually been 1 ½ years since we have seen the allergist.  Shame on us!;)  Just kidding.  Life is crazy and things can slip through the cracks, but the beginning of the new year is a perfect time to get things back on track.  


So, my first goal is to make an appointment for my son to test again for his three allergens.  This may be where your goals end.  It does for our son.  There is nothing more we can do at this point until we get him tested.  


On the other hand, my daughter is a different story.  She has multiple food allergies, so we definitely can set some additional goals for her.  


First goal was to check when her last appointment was.  It was July 2022, so no appointment needed at this time.  


Next, is to review her results and see where we are at with all of her allergies.  I did this in July, but if you are just starting out with goal setting for food allergies, this is where you should begin.  


Write out all of the allergies and see if you can take any steps forward.  Even just a baby step.  In our situation, we can. 


Like I said she has multiple food allergies, but there are some that the doctor is willing to challenge and we are working our way up the egg ladder as well.  We have had some disappointments in the past and that can and does happen with food allergies, but we have to keep moving forward.  


Right now, my daughter is not in the headspace to challenge any of her allergies in the office, but she is okay with continuing up the egg ladder.  And guess what we are near the top!  We are on pancakes.  I made a batch yesterday and she will have one pancake everyday for the week.  Then we will take a week off and move on to waffles.  Starting with ¼ of a waffle to see if she tolerates it.  For us the waffles caused some tummy upset and a scratchy throat in the past, while the pancakes did not.  I checked the recipes and the waffles did have more egg in them, so we backpedaled a bit and went back to pancakes.   We have been doing pancakes for a while now and I think she is just about there to try waffles again, so this is our next goal in the weeks to come. 


We will have a quarter of a waffle for a couple of days, and then go on to a half of a waffle and so on until we reach the full waffle.  If and when she completes this for a couple of weeks we will schedule a cooked egg challenge in the office.  There are a lot of other options we could do with her multiple allergies, but she decided to stick with egg for now.  


Let your child lead the way.  Don’t force anything.  Just write down their options and let them choose.  


For example, if you are like us and you have multiple food allergies, write down what your allergist is willing to do with your child and see what your child is comfortable with.  If they aren’t comfortable with anything right now, that is okay.  You can set other goals for the year!


Such as experimenting with a new recipe every week or taking them to the grocery store and teaching them to read food labels.  Something that will help them in the future.  This is what goal setting is all about, right?  Make it fun!  I know food allergies are anything, but fun, but we need to find a way to make something a positive experience and if they learn to be independent with their allergies, that, my friend, is positive.  


That’s it for now!  If you are someone who does not know where to begin and wants to make moves forward, reach out!  I work with families all the time and together we make a plan, whether it be recipe creation, meal planning, questions for the allergist, 504 planning, packing for vacation, etc. I am here for all of it because we live it everyday and helping food allergy families is my true passion.


All my best!


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