What is your background (age, race, married etc.)? I am five, I am Caucasian and I am starting kindergarten in a few weeks!
Do you have allergies? I am allergic to dairy, to soy and to eggs. I also have allergies to lentils, chickpeas and other legumes. I am also mildly allergic to cats and animal stings, scratches and bites.
Does anyone in your family or his have allergies? My mom is allergic to grass and most furry animals. She is also mildly allergic to animal stings, scratches and bites. My grand-father is allergic to nuts and seafood and he is allergic to a whole bunch of pollen like my mom and aunt.
How did you find out about your allergies? As a newborn my two grand-mothers tried to feed me with a bottle filled with formula and I got pimples all over my mouth where the nipple kept on hitting me as I tried to avoid the drink! I was around 3 months old. They also tried with soy based formula and the same thing happened! My mom breastfed me until I was 2 years old. When I tried solid food, the same thing happened with cheese, eggs, and food containing my allergens. If I ate a lot of it, I would vomit and have diarrhea.
What was your first thought? It hurts. It’s itchy. I am scared.
How has this changed your life? I was born with them and I don’t know anything else. I just don’t travel much and eat out because of them. I don’t share unknown food with my friends.
How does your child cope at school? We will see soon enough but it’s easy at daycare.
Does anyone treat your child differently? Everyone does when food is involved!
What would you like all parents to know- whether they have allergic kids or not? Keep simple fruits and veggies available as well as all the labels when hosting a party.
Do you think your child will be all right? Absolutely, as long as these allergies remain non-anaphylactic!
Has your child outgrown any of their allergies? Not yet…
How concerned is your family? Do they understand the gravity of the situation? They understand well and prepare things Maya is not allergic to.
Anything else you would like to share with us? It’s at the government level and the food industry level that things need to be changed. Why put so many additives that contain some of the 9 most common allergens into food? Why not use separate equipment to avoid cross-contamination? The restaurants also have to adapt to this epidemic.
Breastfeeding is often seen as a preventive measure to avoid allergies for your child but it more than that… it was a lifesaver for Maya right from the start. I met so many moms who decided not to breastfeed (without even trying for a few weeks) and realized that the baby could not digest or was allergic to both cow dairy and/or soy based formula. They kept on trying different formula until they had no choice but to go to the very expensive and rare formula when all along breastfeeding would have prevented pain and suffering for both the mom and baby. I only wished I breastfed Maya longer, she could have benefited more from my milk than from any other food… I tried to give her my milk as I was breastfeeding her younger brother but she did not like the taste anymore.
Author: Tarah Jakubiak
After working for 20 years in the corporate world, Tarah Jakubiak founded Allergic Traveler. Jakubiak, president of Allergic Traveler has traveled the world since the age of two. She has been to 24 countries and 26 states. Jakubiak has been to all inclusives, gone on cruises, gone camping; backpacking through Europe, gone to the big cities, and little hidden gems. She has multiple food allergies but it does not stop her from seeing the world. Jakubiak is allergic to eggs, nuts, mushroom, soy, garlic, corn, sesame, potatoes, celery, shellfish, chicken, pork, peanuts, and many fruits. She is originally from Montreal, Quebec and now lives in Greensboro, NC with her husband.