Guest post in honor of Food Allergy Awareness Week and Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month from Kerri A.
Day to day vigilance has become a bit more routine since last autumn when my son was diagnosed with a peanut allergy and, shortly after that, an egg white allergy. Now while the peanut allergy scares me more due to the potential harm it can cause, it's the egg allergy that's a bit tricky and more difficult to control. Difficult because there are so many foods that either contain egg or are manufactured on machinery that process eggs. Needless to say, I have never baked so much 'from scratch' in my life. From pancakes to cakes mixes, I want to make sure he gets to enjoy the same foods the rest of family eats and that those foods are safe and allergen free.
Until I needed to take notice of what I was feeding my son, I never realized how many products actually contain eggs. Most commercially processed cooked pastas either contain egg or are processed with the same equipment used to make egg-containing pastas. Other foods include baked goods, mixes, batters, mayonnaise, cookies, candies, meatballs and salad dressings just to name a few. Label-reading has become a real challenge because eggs are not always listed as "egg." Instead, some labels merely imply an egg protein is present.
Although my son is not allergic to egg yolks we have to avoid all egg products because there is virtually no way to separate the yolk from the egg white without cross contamination. While the result of him eating an egg may not be as devastating as if he ate a peanut (prior to his diagnosis, he ate eggs or egg products on several occasions without any visible reactions), the chances of ridding this allergy improve if we completely remove eggs from his diet. In other words, he wont be having scrambled eggs for breakfast any time soon. Thankfully, my son is a very picky eater (never thought I'd be happy about that), so it's still relatively easy to limit the foods he eats.
For now, we take each day as they come (most are easier than others) and do what we can. Holidays can be tough but, with a little creativity, we get through them. For example, this Easter, although egg-free, was still fun for everyone because we decorated plastic eggs instead of real ones and had a candy-free egg hunt for the kids that included trinkets like keychain bubbles, stickers and coins.
- Visit our Allergies topic to learn more about allergies.