Facs4fun's Blog

Enriching the Lives of our FACS students

Have Food Allergies?

on June 8, 2011

When I was a kid growing up in Central PA, you never heard of people with food allergies like you do today.  As a teacher, dealing with food in my classroom, I am amazed at the number of children with food allergies to things like peanuts, treenuts, gluten and dairy.  I truely believe that these allergies can be attributed to the foods that we have been eating over the years and the additives and preservatives that are used to produce them, and the pesticides that are used on the fruits and veggies that we grow.

I, for one, know that my mother was unable to eat peaches from the grocery store, because she would break out in hives from them – However, she could eat as many peaches as she wanted off of our peach tree in our front yard without any problems.

A conservative estimate states that around 1% of the world population is suffering from food allergies. It is also estimated that it causes around 100 – 200 deaths in the US every year.  Read more at Suite101:  http://www.suite101.com/content/food-allergies-what-they-are-a179788#ixzz1OjVyQDrf 
So the challenge has become to figure out how to plan foods labs and activities around those who are unable to participate when there are items like peanut butter, milk, wheat, and more in the classroom.  (side note…  We do not purchase peanut butter in our classroom, as we are not permitted, so the chances of a child coming in contact with peanuts in our classroom is very slim, however we do use milk and glutenous products in certain recipes and work around those who have food allergies)
I have come across several websites that have great gluten free information – as that seems to be the biggest challenge in the foods lab- How do you make a gluten free pizza successfully???  Most gluten free doughs I have used DO NOT taste good at all… so many times parents will send dough in for their child, since they have more experience with that.
Working around peanuts is not so difficult, however it takes a lot of great labs away that I have used in the past to show the importance of measuring – Like my “Gobbly Gooks” which uses peanut butter in the recipe as a main source of stickyness…  I guess I could substitute marshmallow fluff, but those would be sickening sweet and not very nutritious at all as compared to the original recipe.
So I wanted to share a few websites that I have found on gluten free diets and ask that you share your best websites in the comments section of this post.  I think this could be a great source of information for people who may just have learned about their gluten free, dairy free, or peanut free diets and how to cope with those changes.
Be sure to check out:

http://www.cdc.gov/HealthyYouth/foodallergies/ – on information on food allergies in kids

http://glutenfreeville.com – your source for all kinds of gluten free products and coupons etc…

http://cookinglactosefree.blogspot.com – a lactose free blog with lots of great recipes

http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/821/carrot+cake – gluten free carrot cake – and many more recipes available that are gluten free

http://milkandpeanutfree.com/recipes.html – milk and peanut free recipes

I look forward to seeing the sites that you share and hope that this will help some of those who may have allergies with food.  We do our best to provide wonderful recipes that are safe for all of our children, but it is getting difficult to be able to prepare labs for the kids around the allergies and other issues that we have…  How can we fix it?  How can we keep from poisoning ourselves from the food we eat… I say GO ALL NATURAL, shop the farmers market – Purchase your milk and eggs and meat from dairy farms (I purchase all of my milk and cheese products at www.southmountaincreamery.com and they deliver to my home.)  A great little service from a local farm that does not use chemicals and things on the food or hormones in their animals.

It’s time to think more about what goes into our mouths…  what is going into yours?





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