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Food Allergy Awareness Week

May 8, 2017

During the second week of May, we nationally celebrate Food Allergy Awareness Week to educate people on the impact and importance that food allergies play in our society. One in 13 children has a food allergy, which is roughly the equivalent of two students per classroom. Contrary to popular belief that allergies occur mainly in children, food allergies can begin at any age and affect children and adults of all races and ethnicities. Every 3 minutes a food allergy reaction sends someone to the ER, totaling to more than 200,000 visits per year. 90% of all reactions come from milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish. Because of this, let’s see what foods this all entails:

  1. Milk/Dairy: cow’s milk, cheese, cottage cheese, half & half/cream, sour cream, pudding, yogurt

  2. Eggs: mayonnaise, baked goods, breads, marshmallows, meringues, meatballs, ice creams, etc.

  3. Peanuts: peanut butter, trail mix, peanut oil

  4. Tree Nuts: walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, pine nuts, brazil nuts, cashews, macadamia nuts, etc.

  5. Soy: soy sauce, soy milk, tofu, soy protein isolate, miso, some deli meats, tamari

  6. Wheat/Gluten: wheat germ, bran, cereals, bulgur, rye, barley, wheat-based pastas, breads, etc.

  7. Fish: Tuna, salmon, cod, catfish, crab, etc.

  8. Shellfish: Shrimp, crab, lobster, mussels, oysters, etc.

To avoid allergic reactions, here are some easy ideas for food swaps if someone you know has an allergy:

  1. Dairy: Almond milk or other nut milks, rice milk, hemp milk, coconut milk, dairy-free chocolate chips. You can even make vegan cheese! (fun fact: did you know Oreo’s are vegan?!)

  2. Eggs: Avocado, sweet potato, applesauce, mashed banana, and egg replacers

  3. Peanuts: Sunflower butter or other nut butters

  4. Tree Nuts: Coconut items, sunflower items

  5. Soy: Coconut aminos for soy sauce

  6. Gluten: Corn tortillas, rice noodles, zucchini noodles, homemade granolas, gluten-free flours such as almond flour, coconut flour, tapioca flour

  7. Fish: Chicken, beef, pork

  8. Shellfish: Salmon, cod, swordfish, halibut, chicken, beef, pork

Simply being aware of main allergen ingredients and their common found-in foods can make a huge difference in someone else’s health.

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