4 Easy Ways to Help a Food Allergy Momma

My name is Holly and I’m a Food Allergy Momma. It has been 13 months since I got the big picture of how healthy food was poisoning my son. He has an allergy to peanuts that is potentially life threatening. He also has sensitivities to 28 other foods, but we suspect other foods may cause him harm too.

Cutest Boy Ever

There are a few things I want you to know about us. We are a normal family, as far as normal goes these days. My kids are crazy; the kind of crazy that occasionally swing on the curtains (literally), that uses wooden spoons as ninja swords, and claim to be circus stars as they dance and flip around the house.

crazy college boys

Like you, I love me kids. LOVE THEM! It causes me to check and recheck their car seats, over apply sunscreen, check on them while they are sleeping, make them hold my hand in public, and make sure they eat, drink and poop enough. Also like you, I can turn into a Momma Bear if I think my kid is in danger. I’m not just talking about a scary guy at the store or a big dog on the loose in the neighborhood. I’m talking about a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a granola bar with nuts at a playdate.

You see, a Food Allergy Momma has eyes as sharp as a sniper when food is around. Are those Cheerios on the floor Honey Nut? Does that sippy cup contain milk? You can read what happened on our recent flight. I don’t want to act crazy but when I see food in the same area as my kid my heart starts to pound, I hold my breath, just for a moment. I start to think, do we have the Epi pen? Where is the nearest hospital? Does he look ok? Is he breathing normal? Were his cheeks that red before we came?

help a food allergy momma

Here are a few ways you can help a Food Allergy Momma

  • Include Them!

We don’t want to be excluded from activities. We like to have fun and spend time with friends. We all get sad when we don’t get invited.

Here is what you do

Invite them along and let them know the plan. Is it a playdate, a craft party, a trip to the park, lunch? Is everyone bringing their own snacks, is there a theme? Once a friend invited me and the kids to a bread making party. Yes, the kids were making the bread. It contained wheat, dairy and eggs, three things my son is allergic too. We attended and had fun. I was able to keep him away from the bread action and we were included. We would have declined a peanut butter party but we got to make the choice.

  • Ask What to Bring

You know the drill, you are meeting friends and often everyone brings snacks to share or at least snacks for their family.

Here is what you do

Ask, “what can I bring?” If your Food Allergy Momma friend doesn’t give you an answer right away say, “I want to keep your family safe. What is a safe food I can bring?” I’m willing to bet that no one has asked her before. She will probably be stunned for a while but I’m sure she will give you an item or two to bring.

  • Ask What NOT to Bring

Didn’t we just ask this? By asking what NOT to bring you reinforce the seriousness of the medical condition. Just like people who need oxygen have signs that tell people not to smoke or have an open flame, finding out what NOT to bring removes the possibility of injury.

Here is what you do

Say, “I know your child has a lot of allergies, can you make me a list so I check all of the labels.” Also keep in mind you should check labels for products like glue, finger paint, sunscreen, etc. My son has gotten bloody sores on his hands after playing with Play Doh for a few minutes.

  • Practice Good Hygiene

We all know good hand washing is important to keep us healthy but it is even more important around people with food allergies. If you or your kid are messy eater you may need to take extra precautions.

Here is what you do

Carefully wash hands with soap and water (hand sanitizer won’t cut it) after eating; you may also need to change clothes or wash tables and chairs. These steps are really easy. If you follow them your Food Allergy Momma may break down in tears of gratefulness. Even more important than that, you will be doing your part to keep her child safe from harmful and potentially deadly foods.

These are such great tips! Simple things can go a long way to help another mama AND create a safe environment for all our kiddos!

Do you have a friend whose kids have food allergies? Or are you a food allergy mama yourself? Share your experiences and tips in the comments! 


You can read more of Holly and her family’s adventures with allergies here also, be sure to check out her allergy-friendly recipe index!

hollysquareHolly Yzquierdo blogs

at My Plant-Based Family where she

creates delicious allergy-friendly recipes, Free Weekly Meal Plans and healthy living tips.

She lives in Arizona with her family. You can connect with her on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram.



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Young wife, mama, author, blogger, encourager, friend. Lover of hot weather, chocolate, watching my kids giggle and encouraging people.


  1. says

    Holly, love the post today! My one thing I do is always, always have things my youngest can eat, in a bag in the van. That way he can have something. I buy all of his treats online, via Amazon, in single serving packs.
    But most of all, maybe it is because I am old (41), I have no shame in being the crazy eyed lady ;-)

  2. says

    We do the same but with my daughter having ceilac most people don’t think about what has wheat in it. Because is the not really an allergy just a medical condition. I have people give her wheat but now she is old enough to ask does it have wheat in it. I’ll have to ask my mom first or she looks to see if it says gluten free.

    Good luck with your struggles.

  3. says

    Love this post! My little lady is two, and allergic to peanuts. I can’t even begin to express how stinkin’ awesome it feels when someone takes just one or two extra steps to make sure my baby stays safe. I find the huge majority of people are more than happy to accommodate us if they know how. It’s posts like this that help that happen…so thank you!

    • says

      Hi Jodi, I just wanted to say that my son was 2 when we had his allergies diagnosed. He has always done a great job of avoiding food that “can make him sick” now at 3 he will tell people his allergies. I don’t know if he could recite all (28) of them but he does know them all.

      He is very vocal and will tell kids to get away from him if they have an unsafe food around him.

  4. Sherry Rous says

    Great post! My daughter is a type 1 diabetic with a peanut allergy. I usually volunteer to bring allergy friendly snacks so I know she is safe. That way I also know the carb count so I can give her insulin.

  5. Jennifer says

    As a former preschool teacher in a class where 1 in 4 children had food allergies, I’ve overcome any fear or allergies and have become extremely cautious. We taught all the children about the allergies the children had so they didn’t question it when their food was different. They were also great at reminding the allergy children what they couldn’t have, in a positive, caring way.

    Also, Canadian Arrowroot cookies are dairy, egg and nut free.

    • says

      Jennifer I’m getting ready to enroll my son in preschool and I’m a bit nervous that they may not take food allergies seriously. I’m hoping to do some interviews this next week. I want preschool to be a positive experience for him but he will have anxiety if he doesn’t feel safe.

      • Anon says

        I am currently studying to be an elementary school teacher, and every school I have ever been to has been very vigilant about allergies. Often it is one of the first things I am told when I enter to room to observe, and if I want to do an activity involving food, the teacher often has a list of foods that are safe for everyone in the room. In the schools I’ve been in, there are usually signs outside the classroom door warning of allergies, and there is a whole table at lunch that is deemed the “no peanut” table. I wouldn’t worry about your son. The teacher will most likely accommodate his needs and make sure that everyone else does as well.

      • Jennifer says

        Where do you live? Research legislation for children with allergies in your area so you know what to expect. In Ontario, its Sabrina’s Law. Preschools have to have strict protocols in place for children with allergies including allergy lists in each lunch area and the food prep area, Epi pens must be supplied by the parent and up to date and the teacher must have it wherever the child is.

        All of the teachers I know take food allergies very seriously.They love the children dearly and would never want to see a child react.

      • Monica says

        In my sons class, the allergy momma came in and talked to the kids about her sons allergies. I thought it was great! My son has seen me have many allergic reactions to food. So I thought he was pretty knowledgeable on the subject. He seemed to respond much better and learn more from the other mom. He was telling me about what he learned as if I had no clue on allergies. :) I would ask the teacher if you can come in. You can keep it age based. Help them to know what to do if they see their friend coughing too hard etc. Make it not a scary thing but how to help our new friend. Relate them to super heros watching out for each other or something they may respond too. That will help the teacher know also that you will be active in making the classroom safe. That it is not all on her/him to figure it out alone. Maybe see if there is a open house parent night where you can say a few words too. I don’t think parents are intentionally thoughtless. But sometimes we just don’t think. Once at a dinner I asked if there was poultry in the dish. (One of my big allergies) I was given a firm No. Turns out it had chicken broth and that just didn’t click for the host. We are still friends. :)

  6. Audrey says

    I love your post. My 6 year old daughter is allergic to peanuts, nuts, sesame, peas, all beans and soy. Everywhere we go I make sure to bring her lunch. I usually ask what the other kids will be having and prepare the same at home to bring so she doesn’t feel “different”. It’s not easy. She’ll even tell me sometimes that she hates having allergies…specially to soy since there’s soy in almost all party foods.

  7. Nancy says

    My daughter can’t drink regular milk and we found out by accident that her elementary school cafeteria will provide soy milk for kids with a lactose intolerance or milk allergy with a doctor’s note. Good preschools are vigilant about allergies but I was pleasantly surprised to know the public schools were so accommodating. The cafeteria manager is probably a good contact to have for a child with allergies.


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