Working for a company that treats food allergies, I’m always on the lookoutfor Facebook posts, allergy blogs, or practically anything related to allergies.
Today, I ran across a really cool app while reading my son’s school monthly newsletter. Our school district has adopted the use of an app called Nutrislice. I can digitally find the school menu for the month, and with a few clicks I’m able see a real picture of the food with a description, nutrition information, and allergen information.
For example, on Monday, my son will have the choice of a Classic Chicken Sandwich or a PB & Grape Jelly Uncrustable as a main item. Good for him to be able to see the options, along with pictures. Great for a mom who may be dealing with a child with food allergies. I can tell that the chicken sandwich contains both wheat and soy, and the pb&j contains wheat, soy, and peanuts. We can also see the nutrition information for all of the sides, milk choices, and condiments.
For our family, this is a great tool to plan lunches for the week, and for my son to determine if school lunch really looks gross or not. (OK- the turkey nachos don’t look appetizing, so I can’t blame him for not liking that choice!)
For food allergy families, this app could literally be a lifesaver! Kudos to our school district for providing this app!
Many Major League Baseball teams are now offering ‘peanut controlled’ baseball games at their venues. This concept is quite refreshing, and is a positive step towards the inclusion and awareness of food allergies in the sports community.
The Milwaukee Brewers have scheduled four games this season featuring ‘peanut-controlled’ sections. Although they warn that these areas are not specifically peanut-free, they are taking great measures to create a peanut-controlled atmosphere by posting signs restricting peanut products in those specific sections and performing additional cleaning in advance. However, they do warn that they ‘cannot guarantee the absence of peanut particle and residue.’ Fans with peanut allergies should still take precautions. Their website also gives instructions as to which entrance/exit to use that will help eliminate undue exposure to peanuts.
Other MLB teams are also offering sections or sky boxes that are peanut-free or peanut-controlled. Kudos to all of the participating teams! It’s not always ‘peanuts and cracker jacks’ for every MLB fan.
I read a great blog post a few days ago, written by a guest blogger for FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education). The blog post was written to encourage others to participate in Fare’s Food Allergy Heroes Walk. The take-home message for me was simple- Create Awareness.
My first profession was that of an elementary school teacher. I was young and single, with no children of my own. My ‘awareness’ of food allergies was very limited. I knew of food allergies, I’d heard of people being allergic to peanuts, but had no real understanding what that meant for a child with food allergies or a parent with a food-allergic child. Due to my inexperience, I didn’t have any understanding that being in contact with a peanut, or peanut butter, or a child who just ate a peanut butter sandwich for lunch could produce such disastrous outcomes- anaphylaxis, emergency rooms, feeling like nobody understands. I didn’t ‘get it’ when parents and organizations had wars with the airline industry about banning peanuts as snacks. I just thought, “Well, don’t eat the peanuts then.” I didn’t understand that there are people so allergic to peanuts that by simply breathing in the cabin air on an airplane could make them sick, or that by touching a seat-back someone touched who had recently eaten peanuts and then wiping their eyes, nose, or mouth could have a severe allergic reaction. I also was not aware that there were treatments for food allergies, such as allergy drops/sublingual immunotherapy.
Many years have gone by since I was a teacher, and I’m now a mother of three children, who thankfully do not have food allergies. However, I have become more ‘aware’. Aware of the needs of individuals with food allergies, aware of the needs of individuals as a whole- the need for sympathy and understanding from others, no matter what their ‘cause’ may be.
If you’re looking for a FARE walk, please follow the link to find a location near you.