Without support in this journey, I am not sure I would have even made the first baby(food)step onto the path! It is impossible as a mom to know all that you need to know in order to raise healthy, happy kiddos, there is no manual, no college course, and no cliff notes to deal with much of the challenges of raising kiddos…
and that is where Kids With Food Allergies stepped right in (for us) and filled in the blanks,
with their support forums 20,000+ strong, of parents who have “been there done that” , who can help navigate the maze of dealing with food allergies (and live to tell about it!). Kids with Food Allergies is a national non-profit organization whose mission is dedicated to fostering optimal health, nutrition, and well-being of children with food allergies by providing education and a caring support community for their families and caregivers. They have a guide available for parents who have just been told by a doctor, “Your child is allergic to________” , a primer of sorts on what to do next. As our healthcare system gets more and more stressed by the numbers, doctors have less and less time to counsel (in depth) a parent on how to manage a life altering and sometimes life long medical condition… that is where KFA steps in, through support forums, where you can ask any question (there are NO stupid ones here, believe me I have asked them!) and through a robust RECIPE database (which you can specifically search for recipes which don’t contain XYZ or milk or wheat), Kids with Food Allergy addresses the needs of the parents by supporting them (which in turn support the child with the allergies). Reading labels and cooking from scratch can be overwhelming for even the most “got it all under control” parent, throw in an epi-pen and the worry of anaphylaxis, or an eosinophilic condition and non-Ige allergies…and even Super Nanny’s star parents may need some support and guidance! If your child has food allergies, I highly recommend joining Kids with Food Allergies ($25/year or 2 years for $40), the support is PRICELESS. Even if your child does not have food allergies (at the moment), I am sure you know a friend, playmate,or classmate that does, please pass this website along to them (or consider giving them a membership as a thoughtful gift!) I am so thankful for the chance meeting I had with one of KFA’s board members at a seminar (long before we even knew that is what our daughter was dealing with), it is because of that meeting that I knew about this resource, and now I hope to share it with others who may need or know someone who needs this support.
K is also for Kindermusik!
This is a music based program for parent and child that I have been attending for the past few months with my daughter! What started as a fun way to hang out (and support) our friends, has truly become a “language” unto itself for my daughter who was not very verbal when we entered it last fall when she was around 20 months old. Music speaks to her in a way that I cannot re-create…she comes alive and awakens with the sounds of the now familiar tune, “ABC Music and Me”. The nice thing about Kindermusik is that we get a CD with each session so we get to take the music with us and enjoy it at home or on the go in the car. Just recently she had started to sing some of the words to these songs we have listened to time and time again. My friend who is a speech therapist has shared with me some of the VAST amounts of research out there showing that music therapy can help a child with speech delays (one recent paper here), and now I can say that I am beginning to see first hand why! If you are in the Katy Tx area and would like to share in the fun… check out our favorite Kindermusik teacher- Miss Kathy. If you are worlds away from Tx, check their INTERNATIONAL website for a class near you! I highly recommend it and so does my daughter! Plus for all you FOOD ALLERGY families out there… this is a great FOOD- FREE activity you can share with your child, WORRY FREE, that there may be any potential exposures to your child’s food triggers!