Dr Mark Rosenthal

MD MB ChB FRCP FRCPCH BSc

Consultant in Paediatric Respiratory Medicine

also specialist in Food Allergies & Disorders of Sleep

A | A | A

T: 0207 351 8832

E: s.harvey@rbht.nhs.uk

A:The Royal Brompton Hospital, London, SW3 6NP

5 Tips for Cooking With Food Allergies

Food allergies in children can make cooking more difficult, but it is still possible to enjoy a healthy, tasty and varied diet when someone in the family has an allergy.

cooking-with-food-allergies

  1. Make Sure Every Ingredient Is Safe: Cooking is much simpler when you know that you can safely use any ingredient in the house, so one of the easiest ways to cope with food allergies in children is to get rid of anything that could set them off. You won’t need to worry about any accidents or cross-contamination, but you may have to give up on some things you enjoy eating. If you decide to bring them back into the house, make sure that they are kept separate and everyone knows how to prevent mix-ups or contamination.
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  3. Find Alternatives for Allergens: Safe alternatives are available to replace many of the ingredients that you need to keep out of your child’s diet. Wheat-free products can be found at most supermarkets, as can soya and other milk alternatives. You can also find recipes online that are suitable for all kinds of allergies, and you may be able to find some substitutions of your own. For example, if your favourite cake recipe calls for nuts that your child can’t eat, perhaps you can substitute fruit or chocolate instead.
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  5. Be Adventurous: Having a food allergy prevents you from eating certain ingredients, but food allergies in children don’t mean that they can’t enjoy a varied diet. Look for new ingredients, recipes from different parts of the world, or variations on your favourite dishes. Don’t be afraid to experiment.
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  7. Have Some Go-To Meals: Cooking can be a chore, so make sure you have a few simple, allergy-friendly dishes that can be made quickly when you’re tired or busy. These kinds of dishes can also make good recommendations if your child is going round for dinner at a friend‘s house.
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  9. Get Children Involved in Cooking: Kids of all ages can get involved in cooking. It helps to develop a healthy attitude to food and prepares them to look after themselves when they leave home. This is particularly important when your child has an allergy as they need to learn not just how to cook, but how to do it safely.