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Friday, December 28, 2012


CNN just published an article about food allergic kids being the brunt of bullies.
In one of my back to school posts I mention this disturbing problem and some ideas about combating it.
Check it out here

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Eggless Nog Recipe

Love Eggnog but can't have eggs or milk?
Try this non-alcoholic, eggfree, dairy free version.

Eggless Nog
4 cups of creamy alternative milk (soymilk, non-dairy creamer, rice milk)
1 package french vanilla pudding mix
pinch of nutmeg
1 t vanilla extract
2t rum extract

Combine in blender till smooth.
Makes 8 delicious servings. Drink slowly and savor this creamy treat.
Can be served hot or cold.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Lentil Soup Recipe

What could be more satisfying on a dreary winter night than a hot bowl of soup?
Lentils are wholesome, economical, vitamin packed, and very satisfying.
Caution: lentils are legumes. Cross reactivity to chickpeas and peas is possible.
Peanuts are legumes as well but cross reactivity with lentils is not as common.
This recipe is super easy. Just throw all ingredients in the crockpot (slowcooker) and go about your day.

Crockpot Lentil Soup
1 16oz bag of dried lentils (rinsed)
1 onion(diced) and sauteed in olive oil
3 stalks celery (diced)
2 quarts water (or vegetable broth)
*cumin, curry, tumeric, paprika,black pepper, parsley flakes
*salt, pepper (season to taste)

Add all ingredients in to crockpot and cook for atleast 6 hrs (3 hrs on high and 3 hrs on low)
This soup just gets better the longer you cook it.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Food Allergy Organizational Merger

Two leading food allergy organizations, The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) and  the Food Allergy Initiative (FAI), have merged. The new organization will be called FARE. This merger is more than "fair", it's fantastic.With over 15 million Americans diagnosed with food allergies, the announcement couldn't come at a better time. The merger represents greater efforts being made towards research, education, and awareness in food allergies.  
"Building on the significant accomplishments of FAAN and FAI over the past two decades, FARE will fund world-class research that advances treatment and understanding, provide evidence-based education and resources, undertake advocacy at all levels of government, and work to increase awareness of food allergies as a serious public health issue." (
FARE will debut its new logo and website in early 2013. Check it out on

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Corn Allergy

While not one of the "big 8" allergens corn allergies can be quite challenging. Navigating the grocery store with corn allergies is quite difficult because of it's ubiquitous nature. It seems that corn is everywhere  (corn syrup, starch, oil, fillers). For those with severe corn allergy many paper goods are off limits as well because they're dusted with corn starch. I've listed some valuable resources below for our readers with corn allergy:
Kosher Food Allergies Tip: PASSOVER- corn allergic gold mine
Passover products offer a great reprieve for corn allergy sufferers. Since corn is avoided during Passover by *most Jews,products that are marked kosher for Passover are a gold mine. When Passover products hit the shelves in March, stock up!!!!
*Sephardic Jews do not avoid corn so don't assume all kosher for passover products are corn free.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Food Allergy App?

Left: The iTube platform, which utilizes colorimetric assays and a smart phone-based digital reader. Right: A screen capture of the iTube App.
These days there's an app for everything, but an app for food allergies?
It may be closer than you think thanks to researchers at the UCLA School of Engineering and Applied Science. They've  developed a cell phone attachment called the iTube which detects allergens in food samples. The device uses the cell phone's camera feature as well as a smart phone app and boast the same level of sensitivity as laboratory testing, While technology will never take the place of being vigilant, it could be another vital resource in food allergy management.

UCLA Newsroom   

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Treatment of Adult Anaphylaxis Deficient

According to a recent survey* many primary care and emergency physicians aren't treating anaphylaxis appropriately and aren't taking the necessary preventative measures.  Physician interviews revealed that many doctors don't always provide epinephrine to patients they believe are anaphylactic, often fail to refer these patients for follow-up, and believe erroneously that some of these patients shouldn't receive epi pens. Additional disturbing findings of this survey include that physicians rarely reported ordering or referring patients for diagnostic tests aimed at identifying the reaction's cause, they almost never demonstrated use of an auto-injector, and seldom explained that auto-injectors have an expiration date. Furthermore, many physicians of all types -- even the allergists -- mistakenly believed that some patients should never receive epinephrine.
The national guidelines state explicitly that there are no absolute contraindications to epinephrine. What can be done to reverse this state of affairs? 
source: article in  
*based on these studies:
Primary source: American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
Source reference:
Wood R, et al "Anaphylaxis in America: Results from a national physician survey" ACAAI 2012.
Additional source: American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
Source reference:
Chouksey A, et al "Management of anaphylaxis: are we compliant with the guidelines?" ACAAI 2012.
Thank You to a reader with severe food allergies in Atlanta, GA for bringing this disturbing study to my attention

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Pareve Latke Toppings

Dairy foods are frequently served on Chanukah as a reminder of the bravery of Yehudis.
A dollop of sour cream is out of the question if you're allergic to milk.
Tofutti makes a nice non-dairy sour cream (soy-based).
Some non-dairy yogurts and sour creams are nut-based so watch out if you're nut allergic.
Here are some cool, smooth, and savory options to top off those crispy latkes.
Non-dairy Latke Toppings:
Tofutti sour cream  (garnish with parsley or dill for added flavor)
Leek and Mushroom Sauce
Salsa (home-made or out of the jar)
Hot Pepper Jelly- Levana Kirschenbaum

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Delightful Chanukah Fare

Chanukah may be the festival of light but there's nothin' light about all of that oil.
In previous posts I gave you lots of options for traditional fried fare.
Now onto something a bit "lighter".

Tips for a De"light"ful  chanukah:
1- bake those latkes and donuts instead of frying them
to save on many whopping calories as well as cholesterol
2- serve lots of salads either alternatively or additionally to the
heavier entrees. Your guests and family will thank you
3- Check your menu to see how many  diet "offenders" you
have and slash the ones you don't love
4- Serve fat free or light sour cream instead of full fat sour cream or chobani plain yogurt
5- Use unsweetened applesauce

Monday, December 3, 2012

Safe Chocolate Chips

Are you having a hard time finding nut-free,dairy free chocolate chips?
Look no more, Mega chunks from Enjoy life are here and boy do they fit the bill.
Supersized, semi-sweet chocolate chunks are great out of the bag or in any recipe that calls for chocolate chips.
The folks at Enjoy Life take food allergies seriously. All of their products are made in a dedicated
facility (that omits the big 8 allergens as well as others).
Not only do Megachunks taste great they're great for people with allergies and sensitivities. 
Enjoy Life Megachunks are: 

  • dairy free
  • gluten free
  • peanut free
  • tree nut free, 
  • soy free
  • eggfree

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Nutfree Chocolate Gelt

Great News!
Paskesz has a line of nutfree chocolate gelt made in nutfree facilities.
Available in mesh bags or loose gelt in tubs (pareve or dairy)
As always, check ingredient statements for allergens
Kosherfoodallergies cannot assume any responsibility
for any adverse effects from eating these products
Nut-Free Milk Multicolor Coins Kosher Chalav Yisroel70 Milk Chocolate Nut-Free Chanukah Coins in Tub KosherParve Nut-Free Chocolate Coins Silver Color (Dairy-Free)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Slow Cooked Cranberry Sauce

Just whipped up a batch of fresh cranberry sauce for Shabbos.
So easy and allergy friendly I just had to share it.

Slow Cooked Cranberry Sauce Recipe
1 12 oz bag of fresh cranberries
juice of 1 tangerine
dash of cinnamon
1/2 cup of water
1cup of sugar

Pour water into bottom of crockpot. Add juice of 1 tangerine and 1 cup of sugar. 
Add cranberries, sprinkle with cinnamon and stir. Stir occasionally
Cook for 3 hours on "low".

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Eggfree Latke Recipes

Have an egg allergy but need a latke fix? No problem?The eggs in latkes can easily be omitted without sacrificing taste or consistency. Latkes are all about the potatoes,onions,salt, and of course oil. The eggs serve as a binder and make the latkes a bit fluffier but they are just as flavorful without them. Historically, latkes didn't have eggs because they were a luxury in the "shtetl". So who says traditional latkes need eggs?
Choose a latke recipe, omit the eggs, and continue as directed. The grated ingredients are wet and can still be shaped to form a patty. You can also add some grated zucchini and carrots for a bit of healthful color! Serve hot with a dollop of sour cream (or soy sour cream) or if you prefer applesauce.
Eggfree Latke Recipes
Super Easy Latkes (uses corn starch)- from
Vegan Latkes (uses egg replacer)-
Allergy-Friendly Latkes (no egg, no wheat- use chickpea flour)-
Latkes (uses tahini)
Bryanna's Potato Pancakes (uses yeast)-
Potato Latkes(uses corn starch and soy sauce)-
Broccoli Latkes(be sure to check broccoli or use pre-checked frozen variety)
How To Make Eggfree Latkes -

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Gluten Free Latke Recipes

Love those latkes but can't tolerate the flour that's in them?
No sweat,  you can still have delicious, sizzling latkes without the gluten.
Just substitute an all purpose gluten free flour for traditional wheat flour in equal amounts.
That's it!Feeling adventurous, try the recipes below.
Gluten Free Latke Recipes:
Allergy-Friendly Latkes (no egg, no wheat- use chickpea flour)-
Latkes with rice flour
gluten free multipurpose flour Latkes
Latkes with corn starch
Sweet Potato & Leek Latkes-
Confetti Latkes (Carrot & Parsnip with Chives)
Traditional Potato Latkes-
Potato Latke Recipe-  
Vegan Broccoli
Cauliflower Latkes (use soy flour option)

Winner of The Chanukah Giveaway

Drumroll Please.......
The winner of The Great Gelt Giveaway is ......
entry#1- Dana
Dana has received an email from kosherfoodallergies letting her know that she's the winner
Special Shout out to the folks at for sponsoring this awesome giveaway!!!
To those of you who didn't win, better luck next time.
Follow kosherfoodallergies by email (see sidebar) to make sure you're in the loop for the next
giveaway and lots of useful food allergy info.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Great Gelt Giveaway

Only 1 day left of the Great Gelt Giveaway
Thanks to for sponsoring this giveaway
Who couldn't use a little extra gelt?
Enter for you chance to win a huge tub of kosher certified, dairy free, nut free chocolate gelt and 6 fillable dreidels.
Having trouble entering? Email me:
*chocolate comes from a certified nutfree facility. cannot assume liability for any adverse effects from consuming this product. as always check all products for reliable kosher certification as well as allergenic ingredients and statements.
Enter below for your chance to win on Rafflecopter.
Good Luck!!!
 1.Click  USE YOUR EMAIL on the Rafflecopter giveaway link below:
2. Enter your first name and email address
3. Click on the green +1 do it button, now you're in! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Eggfree Donut Recipes

You may have to avoid eggs but you don't have to avoid donuts.
These great eggless recipes are perfect for Chanuka.
Enjoy your allergy friendly sufganiyot!
Eggfree Donut Recipes:
Eggless Suganiyot-
Vegan Donuts(no gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, or corn)
Apple Cider Donuts(Egg and dairy free)-
Donuts with Glaze (Egg and dairyfree)-
Comprehensive tips for Allergy Friendly Donuts-
Chocolate Donuts (eggfree but contain dairy)-
Eggfree Donuts (with spelt flour)

Enter the Great Gelt Giveaway- Win a tub of dairy free, nutfree chocolate gelt and dreidels
1.Click  USE YOUR EMAIL on the Rafflecopter giveaway link below:
2. Enter your first name and email address
3. Click on the green +1 do it button, now you're in! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Gluten Free Donut Recipes

These days you can make almost anything gluten free, even jelly donuts.
Donuts, called sufganiyot in hebrew, are a popular chanukah treat because they're fried in oil.
Want to try to make your own from scratch? Go ahead, here are some recipes to make gluten free donuts. Best eaten hot (while they're still around)!
Gluten Free Donut Recipes:
Gluten Free Sufganiyot (contain dairy)-
Regular Gluten Free Donuts-
Low-Carb Donuts (with whey powder)
Gluten Free Jelly Donuts-
Vegan Donuts(no gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, or corn)
Gluten Free Jelly Donuts/Ebelskivers-
Comprehensive tips for Allergy Friendly Donuts-

Enter the Great Gelt Giveaway- Win a tub of dairy free, nutfree chocolate gelt and dreidels
1.Click  USE YOUR EMAIL on the Rafflecopter giveaway link below:
2. Enter your first name and email address
3. Click on the green +1 do it button, now you're in! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, November 16, 2012

York Peppermint Patties- Don't Get the Sensation

I don't think York had egg allergies in mind when they come up with their "get the sensation" logo.  Blue and Silver for some reason have become the honorary Chanukah colors. Since York Peppermint Patties' packaging coordinates with that color scheme they can be served Chanukah time. Please stay away from these minty delights if you are egg allergic: they have egg whites in them!
Enter the Great Gelt Giveaway- Win a tub of dairy free, nutfree chocolate gelt and dreidels
1.Click  USE YOUR EMAIL on the Rafflecopter giveaway link below:
2. Enter your first name and email address
3. Click on the green +1 do it button, now you're in! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Allergy Friendly Chanukah

Good Chodesh Everyone. The month of Kislev is here and that means Chanukah's around the corner.
Festivities often come with food and that means being prepared. Do your kids have class parties/carnivals coming up? If so, be sure to pre-approve the snacks served and make sure allergy meds are readily available Have a stash of allergy friendly treats on hand so they don't feel left out when allergic foods are served. Over the next few weeks I'll be posting allergy friendly substitutes for popular Chanuka foods so stay tuned.....
Don't forget to enter the Great Gelt Giveaway
Good Luck!!!
1.Click  USE YOUR EMAIL on the Rafflecopter giveaway link below:
2. Enter your first name and email address
3. Click on the green +1 do it button, now you're in! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Chanukah Giveaway

  70 Parve Silver Coins in Tub (Nut Free and Dairy Free)Blue Fillable Dreidels (EACH)
The Great Gelt Giveaway
Chanukah is just around the corner.
Looking for *nutfree chocolate gelt?
How about a whole tub of dairy free, nut free, kosher certified chocolate gelt and some fillable dreidels as well? All shipped to you for free in time for Chanukah!

Thanks to for sponsoring this giveaway

*chocolate comes from a certified nutfree facility. cannot assume liability for any adverse effects from consuming this product. as always check all products for reliable kosher certification as well as allergenic ingredients and statements.

Enter below for your chance to win on Rafflecopter.
Good Luck!!!
1.Click  USE YOUR EMAIL on the Rafflecopter giveaway link below:
2. Enter your first name and email address
3. Click on the green +1 do it button, now you're in!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, November 11, 2012

New Law Saves Food Allergic Student

PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY, Va. -15-year-old Luis Rodriguez Jr. was having an allergic reaction to a bee sting while riding the school bus home.Prince George County Schools Health Services Coordinator Teresa Isom received the call about the situation, realized the bus was near her office, grabbed a pack of Epi Pens and raced to the bus.Isom said the first Epi Pen did not improve his symptoms, so a second dose was given.An ambulance arrived to take Luis to the emergency room.*The new state law requires schools in Virginia to have a stock of Epi Pens to protect students that have an unknown allergic reaction.“If parents know that their child has a history of allergic reaction, they still should be providing that information from the physician with doctor’s orders and the medication required,” said Isom. (source WTVR)

Does your state have a similar law?
Check out this FAAN article about the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act
to see what you can do to make your schools safer.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Safe Snack List

Just came across a wonderful guide for packing safe (peanut, treenut, and egg free) snacks.
Written by a fellow food allergy Mom, it is sure to be an extremely useful list for those with food allergic kids (or classmates).
* some snack suggestions may not be kosher- use your own discretion in finding kosher "safe" alternatives. This guide is certainly a wonderful springboard if you're stumped in the quest for safe snacks!
Happy Snacking!!!!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Nutfree Bar Mitzvah

Mazel Tov. Our food allergic twins just became bar mitzvah this shabbos.
We had a beautiful nutfree home-baked kiddush in their honor. If you're contemplating making a nutfree simcha rest-assured, it's mangeable!!! Read labels carefully and choose recipes that omit nuts or even recipes where nuts are an optional ingredient. Great substitutions are sprinkles, glazes, icings, colored sugar crystals, edible markers,chocolate chips, and crumb toppings. Be creative. Use cookie cutters, dip pretzels,  utilize puff pastry, make rum balls. Artistic flair goes a long way. Challenge your imagination. My friend Chanie (another food allergy Mom) made these gorgeous tefillin & torah cookies.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Eggless Rice Krispy Treats

Eggless Rice Krispy Treats

Three great options to have these sticky treats without getting into a sticky allergy situation.
1- Use eggless marshmallows and follow any traditional rice krispy treat recipe
(some of the kosher brands are actually eggfree, read label carefully)
2- Fluff substitute Ricemellow Creme (Suzanne's brand).
consistency is very close to the real thing!
3- Packaged rice krispy treats "Glenny's Brown Rice Bars"
 contributed by Miriam in Savannah, GA 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Transferring Ownership

As our food allergic kids get older we give them more and more responsibilities.This includes starting to make safe decisions about the food they eat when they're out of the house.Our food allergic twins are now doing the bar mitzvah circuit. Their own bar mitzvah is just around the corner.This means lots of fun parties with friends and also plenty of potential allergic accidents.  Read the articles below  for tips on empowering our children to manage their food allergies themselves.
Empowering Kids to Manage Their Food Allergies
How to Teach Older Children about their Food Allergies

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Candy Corn

This time of year, candy corn is a popular treat.
If  you're egg allergic beware these candies often contain eggs!
As always, play it safe and check the ingredients
*For our readers who participate in Halloween celebrations
please check out this page .
KFA has great suggestions for navigating this season with
food allergies.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Budget Friendly Meals


Is the dinner/ homework hour driving you bonkers?
No need to become a crackpot, meet your friend the crockpot!
Put up your meals hours before "rush hour" and have a warm satisfying meal on hand when you need it most.
You can make hearty beef dishes or choose more economical vegetarian fare.
One thrifty kosherfoodallergies fan uses a brand of soup mixes called "Hambeens". Believe it or not, they're kosher certified as well. Now that's a "souper" meal! Some mixes contain wheat and soy ingredients so, as always. check labels.

For more budget friendly ideas check out

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Allergy-Friendly Chips

My teenage daughter,  looked at the bag of Plentils on our counter incredulously
"lentils? are you kidding?"
Try it it's healthy doesn't work very well with kids.
It tastes good (and happens to be good for you) does!

So you already know that chips made out of lentils are healthier for you than traditional chips. They're made in Enjoy Life's Dedicated nut- Free, gluten free facility (also free of the 8 most common allergens).
Plant-based protein, less calories, more nutrition. but let's face it nutrition doesn't go very far if the chip tastes like cardboard.Plentils are Crunchy, flavorful ,Crispy, kosher  (and healthy too). Cardboard they're not.
Try them and you'll be convinced too. Garlic and Parmesan, Dill and Sour Cream. Light Sea Salt, and
Margherita Pizza. My favorite is Garlic and Parmesan. What's yours?
Enter the Plentils Giveaway and try a bag of each flavor

Enjoy Life FoodsEnjoy Life FoodsEnjoy Life FoodsEnjoy Life FoodsEnjoy Life FoodsEnjoy Life FoodsEnjoy Life Foods

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Easy Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

Just because you have allergies doesn't mean you have to spend hours in the kitchen.I have a delicious shortcut to great butternut squash soup. Really, no one knows it is not from scratch (Oh, I guess they do now).
2 (32oz) containers of Imagine Butternut Squash Soup
1 (12oz)pkg frozen cooked butternut squash puree (like Bird's Eye- Southland)
a generous dash of curry
heat and serve.
*If you can't find frozen butternut squash puree, you can substitute a small can of pumpkin puree (unsweetened).

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fall Allergies

Fall is here and so are Autmnal allergens! According to some, this fall allergy season may be rougher than usual do to warmer temperatures (higher temps translate into more pollen). Ragweed season could be extended longer than usual.  Asthma and Allergy flare ups can have a variety of triggers, speak to your allergist regarding treatment and minimizing adverse effects.
Common Fall Allergy Triggers: 
Weed Pollens (such as Ragweed)
Outdoor Mold (piles of dead leaves etc...) 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Food Allergy Walk

Since 2004, the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) has raised more than $14 million for food allergy awareness, advocacy, education, and research programs through its Walk for Food Allergy fundraising events.The Walk for Food Allergy continues once again this year with plans for Walks in 45 cities around the nation. This year, FAAN’s goal is raise at least $2.4 million to help increase public awareness and educate individuals, schools, restaurants, and food manufacturers about the severity of food allergy, as well as to support advocacy efforts, such as the movement to ensure all schools have access to epinephrine for any student who needs it, and food allergy-focused research. (source: FAAN,
To find a food allergy walk in your area click here

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Environmental Component to Food Allergies

We know that food allergies are on the rise, but why? What are the factors involved in this trend? It seems like the environment plays a role in this surge. Case of food allergies in Asia and Africa are very infrequent when compared to incidences in the West. A recent study( Clinical Pediatrics- Ruchi Gupta et al ) found that food allergies appeared with greater frequency in urban areas than rural ones. City children were twice as likely to have peanut  and shellfish allergies compared to their rural counterparts. The states with the highest prevalence of food allergic children are: Nevada, Florida, Georgia, Alaska, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. Similar trends were shown with asthma as well.  While we can't change our genes, we can change our environment. Researchers struggle to make sense of the complex mechanisms at play in order to help develop guidelines for food allergy prevention. Hopefully a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms in food allergy prevalence will help us reverse the trend.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Sukkah Soups

 Chag Sameach from Kosherfoodallergies!!!

Nothing like a hot soup on a chilly night in the sukkah.
I have a no-fail Butternut squash soup recipe that's super easy and always gets rave reviews:(2 imagine butternut squash soups, 1 package frozen birdseye southland cooked squash, dash of curry).
It doesn't get easier than that!

Here's a collection of other festive allergy friendly soup recipes
Carrot Parsnip Soup-
Cauliflower Soup- (*kosher law requires cauliflower be checked for insects)
Curried Lentil Soup-
Zucchini Soup-

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Food Allergies and Asthma

Our last physician interview on kosherfoodallergies focused on atopic dermatitis (eczema).
Interestingly there is a connection between food allergies, atopic dermatitis, and asthma.

Kosher with Food Allergies Interview Series
Interview #5- Food Allergies and Asthma , Dr. Jon Stahlman
How many people have food allergies?  How many people have asthma?  How many people have both?
According to a 2011 study published in the Journal Pediatrics food allergy ranges from 6-9% of individuals in the U.S. in the first 18 years of life.  The World Allergy Organization reports that globally the incidence of food allergy anywhere from 220-520 million people.  The most common allergy appears to be peanut followed by milk then shellfish.  The Centers for Disease Control reports 1 in 10 children in the U.S. has asthma and 1 in 12 adults.  This represents over 25 million people in the United States.  The World Heath Organization (WHO) estimates over 235 million people world wide suffer from some form of asthma.
The picture of how many people truly have both food allergy and asthma depends somewhat on the severity of the food allergy and asthma.  The CDC has reported up to a third of patients with food allergies have asthma.  However those high numbers may represent the more severe patients.  That is the more severe both your food allergy and or your asthma the more likely you could have both conditions.

If you have food allergies does that mean you will develop asthma?
Researchers have worked very hard to try and predict which individuals will develop asthma after they are born.  Past studies have shown one of the greatest risk factors for asthma has been the presence of atopic dermatitis (eczema).  Asthma Predictive Indexes are now used to study which patients are more likely to develop chronic asthma.  In addition to eczema having a parent with asthma or being sensitized to environmental allergens put patients at risk.  Having an allergy to milk, egg or peanuts is a predictor for asthma too, but not quite as strong.  It seems other markers such as blood allergy cell levels (eosinophils) or wheezing without viruses may help us predict who will develop asthma.  Food allergy is just one piece of the puzzle.

Should people with asthma avoid certain foods?
The important point for patients with asthma is to eat a healthy well rounded diet.  Avoiding common food allergens is only important if a person is known to be allergic to that food.  This may be difficult in young patients who have severe eczema just broadening their diet to include certain foods or who already may be allergic to one or two foods.  In these cases a visit with their pediatrician or a board certified allergist may be helpful.  For a small group of patients sulfites (preservatives found in dried fruit, vinegar, alcohol and sometimes on salad bars) may trigger asthma and should be avoided.  Researchers are also looking at the importance of including enough vitamin D (along with a healthy amount of sunlight) in patients not only asthma but other allergic diseases because it may help prevent or lessen some symptoms.

What is the role of allergy immunotherapy (shots or drops) in food allergies and asthma?
Allergy immunotherapy (using shots) has been shown to improve both nasal allergies and asthma.  Patients can improve not only their asthma control but their quality of life a good deal.  This is a reasonable alternative for patients with allergic asthma who do not respond to standard therapy with medications.  Unfortunately allergy shots have not proven safe or effective for food allergies.  An alternative to shots are allergy drops (also known as sublingual immunontherapy).  Allergy drops are still being studied in the U.S. for nasal allergies but have been used in Europe for over 20 years.  Currently sublingual immunotherapy is being studied closely by several groups in the U.S. for allergies to peanuts, milk and egg and has shown some potential to help patients.  As there are still associated risks such as severe allergic reactions this treatment is only being performed at research centers where patients are monitored very carefully.r drops) in food allergies and asthma?

Dr. Jon E. Stahlman received his B.S. and M.D. degrees at Emory University. He subsequently completed his pediatric residency at Children's Hospital in Boston and his fellowship in Allergy and Clinical Immunology at Harvard University's Children's Hospital/Brigham and Woman's Hospital. After his training, Dr. Stahlman completed two years of clinical research at Boston Children's Hospital. His research interests included steroid dependent asthma as well as the use of computerized monitoring of lung function. 
Dr. Stahlman is Board Certified and recertified in Allergy and Clinical Immunology and Pediatrics. He also became a Certified Clinical Research Investigator in 2003.  He is currently the president of The Georgia Allergy Society and Section Chief of the Division of Allergy & Immunology at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Scottish Rite Campus.  He is the Senior Partner at The Allergy & Asthma Center of Atlanta, Lawrenceville and Conyers Georgia.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Post Yom Kippur Meal

You've just gone through the exhilarating davening of Yom Kippur. You felt angelic but now you need to eat. Give some thought into this meal to carry to keep that angelic feeling.
*See previous post for Pre-Yom Kippur suggestions

During a fast, your body breaks down muscle and converts it into energy. The space
within your intestines shrinks since there is no food passing through. The foods you break
a fast with are critical to replenishing your body. It’s important that these foods be easily
digestible and not tax your body. Break  your fast slowly with foods that are easily digestible to avoid gastrointestinal problems. Foods that are are heavy and hard to digest, such as meat, bread, fried foods and whole-fat dairy products are poor choices. Instead, opt for foods that are light and easily digestible.

Your post fast meal should be nutrient dense and easily digestible. Raw fruits and
vegetables are great choices. Fruits high in water content like, watermelon, grapes, and
honeydew, are ideal. Citrus fruits, on the other hand, maybe too acidic right after a fast.
High water content vegetables such as lettuce and cucumbers are smart post fast
vegetables. Low–Gas producing, nutritiously dense vegetables like kale, avocado, sprouts,
cauliflower, spinach, and greens are also great choices.

An easily digestible source of protein is eggs. Serving a dairy free quiche (loaded with
non-gassy vegetables) is a great choice. If a quiche is more prep than you’re up for on a
fast day, how about a simple cheeseless omelet, scrambled eggs, or even hard boiled
eggs. Try not to sprinkle salt on those eggs. Avoiding salt after a fast, while you’re trying
to rehydrate, is important.

Don't forget it's not just what you eat, but how you eat. Some people overeat at this post
fast meal to compensate for the day's restrictions. Don't fall into this trap. Be kind to your
body and eat slowly. Savor each bite and give those digestive enzymes a chance to do
their job! Remember to replenish the fluids lost through fasting by drinking (preferably
non-carbonated drinks).