Monday, May 18, 2015

Food Allergy Awareness Week - Thank You!

Food Allergy Awareness Week is over, but I didn't want to overlook this opportunity to thank the people in Cody's life who keep him safe and everyone who read the posts. If you missed them, the most important one to read is Anaphylaxis Awareness.

We particularly want to thank Cody's PALs. PAL stands for Protect A Life. Cody is so lucky to have so many PALs in his life. Every one of our family members work hard to keep Cody safe including his three-year-old cousin. He also has his teachers, his friends at school and their parents. We see every effort you make and appreciate it more than we can ever fully express!

Here's how you can be a PAL to someone with food allergies:

I also want to note that it is still asthma awareness month. Many who have food allergies also have asthma. Cody and I both do. I often forget about the asthma because we have to focus so much on the food allergies, but it is a serious disease on it's own that must be properly managed. And anyone with food allergies and asthma should be aware that allergic reactions can be more severe.
Here's more information from the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America and the CDC.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Food Allergy Awareness Week - Anaphylaxis Awareness Day

Today is anaphylaxis awareness day. Anaphylaxis is the most severe allergic reaction. Below are important anaphylaxis facts and information from FARE.

10 Facts About Anaphylaxis

1.     Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that is rapid in onset and may cause death. Anaphylaxis should always be handled as a medical emergency. 

2.     During anaphylaxis, allergic symptoms can affect several areas of the body and may threaten breathing and blood circulation. 

3.     Food allergy is the most common cause of anaphylaxis, although several other allergens– insect stings, medications, or latex – are other potential triggers.

4.     Although anyone who has a food allergy can experience anaphylaxis, the foods most likely to cause a severe reaction are peanutstree nutsfish and shellfish

5.     People who have both asthma and a food allergy are at greater risk for anaphylaxis.

6.     Epinephrine (adrenaline) is a medication that can reverse the severe symptoms of anaphylaxis. It is available by prescription via an epinephrine auto-injector. If an anaphylactic reaction is occurring, give epinephrine immediately and call 911. 

7.     Use of antihistamines is the most common reason reported for not using epinephrine and may place an individual at significantly increased risk for progression toward a life-threatening reaction. 

8.     Epinephrine is considered a very safe medicine. There are currently three types of epinephrine auto-injectors available in the U.S.

9.     You can still have a life-threatening reaction to your problem food, even if you have never had a serious reaction before. Past reactions do not predict future reactions! 

10. Those at highest risk for food-induced fatal reactions are adolescents/young adults, individuals with asthma and individuals with known food allergies and a prior history of anaphylaxis. 


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Food Allergy Awareness Week - #TealTakeover

Today is Teal Takeover day. Post your pictures with #TealTakeover to show your support!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Food Allergy Awareness Week - Food Allergies in the U.S.

Food allergy awareness week is here. Please share this infographic and let's raise awareness!
For more information go to FARE or Kids with Food Allergies.
Tomorrow is Teal Takeover. Wear teal and share your photos with #TealTakeover.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Happy Cooking for Cody 2nd Anniversary!

Yesterday marked the 2nd anniversary of the Cooking for Cody blog!

Thank you so much for reading and following! I really hope this blog has helped others. It has definitely helped me. It has helped me find my food allergy voice.

You see, when Cody was first diagnosed I knew I was going to have to learn to talk about severe food allergies in a way I never had before. Even though I have lived my entire life with a life-threatening allergy to fish, I still was not very good at talking about it. And it's just different when you have a child entering school with multiple, severe food allergies.

I knew that I had work to do in order to effectively advocate for him and to teach him to advocate for himself with confidence, and to try to keep him from being overly fearful. I was going to have to find my food allergy voice in order to help him find his. This blog was my way to do that and to practice as much as possible before sending him off on his own to school. 

Severe food allergies require a lot of discussion and advocacy because of the constant presence of food, the life-saving medicine that has to go everywhere with him and instructions for use of the medication, and also because there is often a lot of misunderstanding that surrounds serious food allergies as a real medical condition.

This blog has helped me gain confidence in talking about our food allergies and hopefully I'm passing that on to Cody because I feel it is crucial that he has confidence when talking about his allergies. 

Again, thank you! You have helped us so much and I hope we have been able to pay it forward and help others!

Here's to another year of good, fun cooking and recipes and approaching severe food allergies with confidence. Cody still loves cooking with me, making his favorite foods, eating the dough and I love that!

Below are some of my favorite recipes from the last year. All are free of the top 8 allergens (peanut, tree-nut, egg, dairy, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish).