Archive for February, 2005

Nutrition alternatives in the Food Pyramid for the allergic

Posted by SB Anderson on February 28th, 2005

It’s nice to see a “getting healthy” piece that acknowledges food allergies as a consideration. What I really like about this Texas A&M University System Agriculture Program release is what the writers offer as nutrition alternatives for foods in the newly-revised Food Pyramid. If you can’t get your calcium from milk, try these foods….if you can’t tolerate wheat, try this…. Rarely do we see information like this. Check it out here

NJ preschool discriminated against peanut-allergic tot

Posted by SB Anderson on February 28th, 2005

A New Jersey preschool wouldn’t open its doors to a peanut-allergic tot, according to the boy’s mother, and after an investigation, the state’s civil rights office agrees. The mom said she offered to buy a separate little table, so her son would be safe during snack and lunch times. The school offers a different take on the mom’s request. Read more here

Here’s another news article on this situation…

New guidelines not for everyone, but offer some hope

Posted by SB Anderson on February 28th, 2005

Some parents worry that recently-announced food allergy challenge guidelines might cause some to believe severe allergies aren’t such a serious matter after all. However, taken in the context they were meant, the guidelines offer direction to those whose food allergies aren’t as severe. The guidelines do NOT suggest that anyone with a peanut allergy should subject themselves to a food challenge. Doctors follow certain protocol to determine who should be tested, whether by blood test, skin test, or food challenge. This story doesn’t really spell out the guidelines, so check them out here.

Dogs can have food allergies, too

Posted by SB Anderson on February 28th, 2005

Believe it or not, dogs have allergies, including environmental sources like pollen, insect bites and foods. Food allergies only account for 10 percent of allergy problems in dogs, but the symptoms can cause great discomfort for the animals and lots of worries for owners. Symptoms may include itchy skin, scratching at ears, shaking of the head, licking and biting at the hind quarters or feet, rubbing faces on carpeting, ear inflammations, coughing, and rarely vomiting, diarrhea, flatulence, sneezing, asthma like symptoms, behavioral changes, seizures, gagging, and vomiting. Some of the more common food allergens for dogs are soy products, wheat, corn, beef, pork, chicken, milk, eggs and fish. Oddly enough, many of these are found dog food. Get more details here

Allergic woman sues airline over fish sandwiches

Posted by SB Anderson on February 22nd, 2005

A woman with severe fish allergy was assured by Air Canada that she would be given a safe snack during her flight. However, when she opened the airline snack box, she found salmon sandwiches. The woman suffered an allergic reaction, but survived. She filed a complaint against the airline. So far, the airline has used its recent bankruptcy protection to avoid settling the claim, as well as more than 100 other complaints, some of which are related to food allergies. Read the details here

Co-op offers safe treats for the food allergic

Posted by SB Anderson on February 20th, 2005

This story focuses on a woman who has spent years developing recipes that are safe for a variety of food allergies — from milk to eggs to wheat to peanuts — and now offers those goodies at Three Rivers Co-op Natural Foods & Deli in Indiana. However, more interesting to me is the second half of the story, which speaks to the chemistry of baking…how using certain alternative ingredients (to avoid certain allergens) may change the rest of the recipe. For someone who didn’t spend many “growing up” years in the kitchen and now faces the daunting task of cooking and baking without milk every day, this provides some food for thought. Check out the details here

Celiacs in Italy will find safe fare at restaurants soon

Posted by SB Anderson on February 20th, 2005

Rimini restaurants serving gluten free food soon will be given a certification from the AIC (Italian Celiac Association). Certification will be accomplished in collaboration with the Italian Federation of Public Services by defining menus for celiacs. The number of celiacs diagnosed in Italy are around 55,000-60,000, but another 350,000 cases are estimated to exist without being diagnosed. Eating out is one of the biggest challenges facing those who must adhere to a gluten-free diet to stay healthy, both in Italy and around the world. Read the details in this brief report

Charlotte (NC) schools consider further peanut policy

Posted by SB Anderson on February 20th, 2005

After one of their students, 14-year-old Gina Hunt, died from a peanut allergy reaction in the mall; Charlotte-Mecklenberg schools are considering new policies designed to keep their peanut allergic students safe. Apparently, the schools have been doing a pretty good job; and let it be noted that Gina ate a fried egg roll from a Chinese fast food counter in the food court at the mall (without asking about peanut ingredients and without having her Epi-Pen). Gina’s mom admits her teen, and most others, are not always reliable when it comes to protecting themselves. I’ve learned from attending annual conferences by The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network that more teens die from food allergy reactions than any other age group among those with food allergies. At the same time, as Gina’s family is asking, more can be done to raise awareness — in schools, in restaurants and among the general public. Check out this story to see what Gina’s family is suggesting, how Charlotte schools intend to lower the risk for peanut allergic students, as well as tips for parents and educators and a list of places in which peanuts may be hidden ingredients.

Bean flour research good news for gluten-free dieters

Posted by SB Anderson on February 20th, 2005

An alternative to the bean flour that has been used in dry mixes and pastas will soon be available, thanks to new research by Kirk Dolan, assistant professor of food science and human nutrition and biosystems and agricultural engineering at Michigan State University. The new, easily digestible dry bean flour is expected to be popular with people who are on gluten-free diets because of Celiac disease because it offers a good source of protein and fiber, and with diabetics because it is low on the glycemic index. Bean flour can also be used to add nutritional value to wheat flour in pastas, and in dry mixes such as cake, cookie and muffin mixes. Read the details here

Schools have a lot on their plates with food allergic students

Posted by SB Anderson on February 20th, 2005

Schools all over the world are facing more and more challenges, especially when it comes to the medical needs of their students. Food allergies are among these issues. How does a school keep severely allergic students safe with a minimal amount of change for other students? This story, which focuses on a 10-year-old Indiana girl, shows that approaches vary by school and by situation. In addition, this girl’s situation offers some helpful tips, such as putting an Epi-Pen in her lunch bag so it’s readily available at one of the highest-risk times of the school day. Get more details here….