Healthy Eating - What it means for us
Dorothy's friends Katherine and Alfie are eight years old. They suffer from food allergies, in their case “gut allergies” called non IgE allergies which you can’t test for.
IgE allergies are the ones which bring an instant reaction, and extreme forms can cause anaphylaxis.
Do you know anyone who carries an Epipen? They contain medicine for that sort of allergy. You can test for those - which makes identifying your trigger foods a little easier, although food allergies are never easy!
"There are different types of food allergies. We have Eosinophilic Disease, when the body gets confused and thinks some foods are like germs and need attacking. The problem is this attack can end up hurting your body too! Eating those foods make your throat, tummy or bowel red and sore and stops them working properly. If you are not careful then things we all take for granted like eating, swallowing and digesting food don’t happen properly. Going to the toilet can be painful, take a long time and be really difficult. Like any other food allergy you must stop eating the food your body is reacting to.
Some people react in a quick, dangerous way to foods. This can be life threatening. Others react more slowly but the long term effect can be very serious. All our bodies like to be cared for, letting them get red, sore and swollen for long periods of time can damage them. Our bodies work best when they are properly cared for. We all try and look after our teeth by not eating too many sweets! If you have a food allergy you look after your body by avoiding those foods your body reacts to.
Sometimes that means you cannot eat foods which have important things in them for growing. That can mean you need to find those important things in other foods, or in a special formula drink, and take medicines to keep healthy."
Food still needs to be fun though - Katherine and Alfie do lots of baking and cooking with their mum. You can substitute most foods to make delicious recipes.
Katherine says "Getting enough energy is really important - we use a lot of it in school! So sometimes food you might think is less healthy is just right for us! Healthy Eating is really important. It is about looking after your body. But most of all it is about eating in a way to take care of your own body in the best way possible for you."
Want more information on food allergies?
For “classic” IgE food allergies Our Allergy Adventures is a great site for kids. Lots of activities and useful child-friendly information.
For general info on allergies for kids www.allergykids.co.uk/
Or if your parents want to read more about allergies and intolerances, or more specifically Gut Allergies.
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