One of the most difficult issues to deal with is when your child has a disease that prevents them from eating certain foods. In this case, you need a lot of patience. What should you do, for example, if they’re suffering from a food allergy? Take note!
When your child is diagnosed with a food allergy, a new stage of your life begins. You will transform into a nutritionist: you’ll read information related to different foods, monitor what your child eats outside the home, etc. But that’s not enough. They must also know the truth about their problem and ways to manage it.
- If you want your child to know that they have a food allergy, explain it to them simply. Use words they understand; tell them that some foods are friends and others are enemies.
- Put a poster on their bedroom door, for example, with drawings of dangerous foods and a red danger sign. This will help them remember.
- Make a comparison between them and their body. Say, “You like some foods and don’t want others, and your body is the same way. Don’t feed it what it doesn’t like so that it doesn’t get mad.”
- Don’t give them a large serving of information in one go.
- After they understand that they have a food allergy, explain the symptoms to them in an easy-to-understand way. Tell them about the itchiness and tingling like a bee sting in their mouth, tongue, or ears.
If you manage to make your child understand the reasons for their allergy and symptoms, make avoiding them a joint effort.
- When you’re at the store, for example, watch them from a distance and let them make their own decisions about what to buy. Don’t intervene unless it’s necessary.
- Speak in the plural: “We can’t eat that food because of our allergy” or “It’s okay if we eat that dish.”
- Encourage them to take part in preparing special dishes. This way, they can get to know which ingredients are harmful and which don’t cause allergic reactions.
Our Advice to You
If you want your child to understand the implication of food allergies, try to keep calm as much as possible. Feeling scared or anxious won’t help you deal with this problem correctly.