Parents of food-allergic youngsters know that the most surefire way to safeguard their kids from trigger foods is to prepare all meals and snacks at home in a controlled environment. For this week’s series, I asked three top voices in the Twitter food allergy community, Kim Maes, Cybele Pascal and Robyn O’Brien — all parents of children with food allergies — for their favorite cooking tips, essential tools and strategies to prepare allergen-free food.
If you’re new to food allergies, the task of safeguarding your home kitchen can be daunting. With a few straightforward considerations, however, you’ll be ready to cook allergy-friendly meals in no time.
1. Determine the severity of all food allergies in the household. This will help you figure out the degree to which you’ll need to safeguard your house from cross-contamination, according to Cybele Pascal. “If a member of your family is anaphylactic to even airborne traces of peanut, you will be sure to keep peanuts out of the house, and you will do everything in your power to be sure that nothing that’s cross contaminated by peanuts comes into your house. Other families are comfortable having an area of the pantry that is specifically labeled with ‘safe’ foods and utensils for the food allergic person.”
2. Consider a family-wide allergy-friendly diet. Some parents find it easier to avoid cross-contamination by eliminating the allergen from the household, especially following the initial food-allergy diagnosis. “With my son, who has multiple food allergies, in the beginning, I just kept all the offending foods out of the house, and we all ate a completely allergy-free diet, which I found was the easiest way of handling it for me,” said Pascal. “Now, we do have some allergens in the house.”
This article, written by Marissa Brassfield, originally appeared on CalorieLab