A dietary minefield
NUT allergies, dairy intolerance and reactions to eggs, Liz Richards of Simple Nourishment has seen it all.
Parents regularly turn to the Cairns food writer for solutions when a food group needs to be eliminated from their children’s diet.
In Australia, food allergies are on the rise, according to the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and allergy, hospital admissions for severe allergic reactions have doubled in the past decade.
Added to this is a recent report calling for all Australian teens to be retested for food allergies when entering high school to prevent a rising number of anaphylaxis deaths. According to the report, research has confirmed one in 20 Australian adolescents aged 10 to 14 have a food allergy.
However, Mrs Richards urges people to exercise common sense and caution when it comes to eliminating a food group from their children’s diets. She says where a child may be allergic to peanuts, an assumption is made that all nuts are the culprit.
“They are a completely different food, one is a legume,” she says. “If we did a bit more homework or listened to our bodies more, I know that can be hard with children. But there is so much more education out there about how it (an allergy or intolerance) can be managed.”
She advises investing the time to get really clear on what the allergy is by allowing small amounts of food and if there is a reaction, to wait, and then test a small amount again months later.
“I think it’s really getting clear on what our bodies are allergic to and how can we have it in our diets in a way that is not causing illness.”
REACTION: Dairy Intolerance is just one of the diet situations facing people of all ages.