Allergy Free Snacks
Allergy free snacks are easy to prepare, provided people read labels and common sense. There are a plethora of allergy free foods that contain none of the common ingredients that trigger most food allergy symptoms. The most common types of food allergies are found in artificially produced foods. Things that contain hydrogenated oils or a hefty amount of preservatives or other additives can cause an adverse reaction in those whose systems are sensitive to unnatural agents. Unfortunately, nearly all boxed, canned, and and bagged snacks that line the grocery shelves are full of these chemicals. In addition, many people are allergic to natural food sources, such as milk, eggs, wheat, soy, shellfish, and peanuts. Foods not containing these items are good choices for allergy free snacks. The best bets are, of course, fruits and vegetables.
A food allergy is present when the body reacts as though a particular food product or ingredient is harmful. The immune system (which fights infection and disease) creates antibodies to fight the food allergen. The next time the person eats that particular food product or ingredient, the body releases chemicals, including "histamine." These chemicals trigger allergic symptoms that affect the respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract, skin, or cardiovascular system. Some common effects of these systems include runny nose; itchy skin rash; tingling in tongue, lip, and throat; swelling; abdominal pain; and wheezing. Some of these effects are more severe; for example, the throat may swell thus not allowing air to pass through and create a gasping for breath whenever the body comes in contact with a particular allergen. Whether the allergic reaction is mild or potentially fatal, sufferers need options for allergy free foods.
In early childhood educational settings, providing allergy free foods is essential. Unless parents disclose information about their children's allergic reactions, a caregiver would have no way of knowing. Many times a parent may not even be aware of the child's allergy. The general rule for a daycare or preschool is to offer allergy free snacks 100% of the time. Eliminating the greatest possibilities for a reaction to occur is the best course of action. Nutritious foods should be given based on the Food Guide Pyramid. Foods from the Fats, Oils and Sweets Group are usually not as nutritious as the other food groups and should be limited for basic health reasons.
Generally speaking, nuts, dairy items, and soy products should be avoided if the goal is to serve foods when it is unknown if the eaters are food sensitive or not. The best for allergy free foods are raw vegetables such as carrot slices, cucumber slices, lettuce, and celery. Non-citrus fruits are also good bets. Most people are not allergic to fruits, although there have been some cases of individuals being allergic to orange rinds (which is not commonly eaten, but may be used as a flavor ingredient in baking) and citrus. For those without wheat allergies, healthy options can include crackers (with or without salt), toast, whole wheat pizza, or other whole wheat items. Starches such as potatoes and rice are also good allergy free foods when preparing meals.
It is a good idea to stay away from cheese slices or eggs when attempting to provide allergy free snacks for a larger group of people where it is unknown if they possess allergens to certain foods. When preparing vegetables, it is wiser to steam them, rather than saute them in oils. There are many people allergic to different types of oils. Steaming the vegetables and providing sides of different labeled sauces may be appropriate in a group or dinner setting. Hosting events with a large amount of attendees, most of whom are strangers is hard for a caterer to organize. They have to make precautions for all the likelihoods of people in the crowd with allergens. There are a plethora of allergens, and providing safe alternatives that would be safe for every single person to eat is impossible. God made each person unique, not only in appearance, but physiologically as well.
It is not uncommon for the majority of children who develop food allergies to grow out of them. Many will develop immunities to these allergies, and will be able to enjoy all of the foods that the market offers, not just the allergy free snacks they have grown accustomed to. As with every medical ailment, it is best to seek the recommendations and suggestions of a physician or certified allergist regarding how to manage the allergies. Taking multiple food allergy tests is also a way to determine which particular ingredients in foods are causing the allergic reaction. When health ailments plague Christians, their greatest resource and strength comes from prayer to the Heavenly Father above. He hears the prayers of those who suffer, and wants to help, if it is His will. "For he hath not despised nor abandoned the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard." (Psalm 22:24)
Soy Protein AllergyThose who suffer from soy protein allergy soon find out that almost every food processed in the United States contains that product. And for some, the consumption of even a tiny bit of this substance can have serious and life-threatening reactions. It is a hidden ingredient because consumers don't expect it to be used in such varied foods. It is used as a meat extender, a thickener, and as an emulsifier. Sometimes it is not listed on the ingredients on the label. It can also be disguised under other names such as hydrolyzed vegetable protein, isolated soy protein, soy protein concentrate, textured soy protein, vegetable protein, soy meal, soy flour, textured soy flour, and tofu. Many people have experienced symptoms of soy allergies and not recognized them. They could be as simple as indigestion after eating at a fast-food restaurant. Or more severe problems could crop up such as stomach bloating, severe stomach pain or colitis (inflammation of the colon). These less severe warning signs usually last up to twenty-four hours.
One of the reasons for the proliferation of soy protein allergy among the population is because the product is used in so many foods and therefore people are ingesting the food in huge amounts. Some people experience the symptoms of soy allergies and visit their doctor because they are afraid they have an ulcer. If a person cannot eat this food, then he may also need to avoid all peas, peanuts, lentils, garbanzo beans, legumes, or beans. The best way to avoid symptoms of soy allergies is to keep track of the foods that contain the objectionable food and avoid them. By reading labels and marking down the names in ingredient lists that may be linked to the vegetable, a person soon becomes familiar with ways it can be hidden in contents. One of the worst offenders is processed foods. The more highly a food is processed, the more likely the product will contain the product. So a wise dieter will make most of his meals from scratch because that way he can control what is in his dishes. Also search out restaurants that use the freshest ingredients and do not lean on processed dishes for their entrees.
A child can also be susceptible to soy protein allergy. One of the more severe symptoms of soy allergies can be life-threatening anaphylaxis. Babies may become sick from formula that contains the vegetable. Eighty years ago, this formula was developed to help babies with diarrhea. Then ten years later, the formula was recommended for children who were cow's milk intolerant. Since then, the use of these formulas has increased, and so has the incidences of children reacting to the substance. There is no consensus of opinion on whether this formula should be given to babies or whether the food should be avoided. Sometimes children who develop an intolerance for cow's milk formulas can also develop an intolerance for soya formulas. If a child develops problems from drinking any of these formulas, the parents need to consult a good pediatrician because the warning signs of problems may increase rapidly, causing a real emergency. Usually, the intolerance decreases with age and the child's immune system matures.
For children, the symptoms of soy allergies are mainly problems with the skin and with the intestinal tract. Babies as young as two weeks can manifest these outbreaks. Sometimes mucus is present in the stool and very rarely blood. The child may become dehydrated from having his intestinal tract upset. Other manifestations are vomiting and watery diarrhea. But the most serious may be respiratory tract reactions up to anaphylaxis where the child may be in serious danger of suffocation. This engenders an immediate trip to the emergency room. However, it is very rare that a child dies from this condition. Because the indicators for this condition are so similar to many other diseases, doctors may perform a skin prick test to see if the child is allergic to soya. Then he will prescribe a diet for the child that will get the child back to healthy eating.
Many times, a soy protein allergy is genetic, passed down from parent to child. In this case, getting a history of the parents' introductions to foods can help the doctor understand the child's current state of health. If only one parent has an allergic reaction, then about one in three of his children will have the allergic reaction also. If both parents have allergic reactions, then seven out of ten of their children will have them. So the physician will probably interview both parents when determining the problem for the child. And when both parents know they have susceptibility to certain products, then they can carry on dietary precautions for their children even if their children have not demonstrated the warning signs. The parent does not pass on the allergic reaction but the tendency to have the allergic reaction. Even if neither of the parents have the condition, a child may develop a similar problem. Modern science has not determined exactly why some people experience the symptoms of allergies and why some don't. The Bible tells us in Psalm 139:14, "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well." No matter how we are made, our bodies are a miracle. And we need to care for them by choosing the right foods and staying on a diet that gives us maximum health.