An Overview of Food Allergies
Writing a post about food allergies is not an easy task to master. There are many different types of allergies: the allergy to nuts, soy, seafood/shellfish, milk, dairy, eggs, gluten, and wheat. So, for today instead of focusing on just one, I thought it best to provide some overall information from a reputable source.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the definition of a food allergy is the following:
"Food allergy is an immune system reaction that occurs soon after eating a certain food. Even a tiny amount of the allergy-causing food can trigger signs and symptoms such as digestive problems, hives or swollen airways. In some people, a food allergy can cause severe symptoms or even a life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis.
"Food allergy affects an estimated 6 to 8 percent of children under age 5, and about 3 to 4 percent of adults. While there's no cure, some children outgrow their food allergy as they get older. It's easy to confuse a food allergy with a much more common reaction known as food intolerance. While bothersome, food intolerance is a less serious condition that does not involve the immune system."
In addition, the most common food allergy symptoms are also listed on the site:
- Tingling or itching in the mouth
- Hives, itching or eczema
- Swelling of the lips, face, tongue and throat, or other parts of the body
- Wheezing, nasal congestion or trouble breathing
- Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting
- Dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting
I have read numerous articles and blogs recently that talk about those early stages when parents are trying to figure out if their child does in fact have a food allergy of some kind. For some people, the allergy occurs the very first time they ingest it and for others, the allergy seems to slowly build over time. Knowing the facts can be very empowering to parents who are trying to problem-solve what is happening to their child and getting them the help they need.
Recipe: Egg-Free, Dairy-Free, and Nut-Free Chocolate Cake
(This is a recipe I found on Allrecipes.com. It had over 130 very positive reviews by people both with and without food allergies. Hope you find it helpful!)
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup cold water
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8x8 inch baking pan.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, sugar, cocoa powder, and baking soda. Mix well with a fork, then stir in oil, vinegar, and vanilla extract. When dry ingredients are thoroughly moistened, pour in cold water and stir until batter is smooth. Stir in chocolate chips and pour batter into prepared pan.
3. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on a rack.
Join me next week for a food-based lesson related to The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carl.