Whether over-processed foods or over-prescribed drugs have caused the epidemic of children’s allergies, here's how to cook to avoid allergic reactions.
Step 1: Read ingredient labels Read ingredient labels for allergen warnings, and get educated about how allergens are processed.
TIP: The FDA only requires that the top eight allergen-producing ingredients be listed on a label, and foods containing gluten aren’t always identified.
Step 2: Remove processed foods Remove processed foods and glutens from your home. Substitute flours such as rice, sorghum, white bean, quinoa, and amaranth. Use vegan items in your cooking when you can.
Step 3: Make hot pockets Make puff-dough pocket sandwiches with beans and broccoli. Add tasty alternatives, including salsa bean salads, fresh chopped veggie treats, potato skins, or mini pizzas with rice cheese.
TIP: Cooking food can reduce immediate allergen threats in some cases.
Step 4: Make veggie treats Make treats with vegetables, rice crackers, and organic, juice-sweetened jellies for after school.
Step 5: Make pot stickers Make pot stickers with gluten-free wonton wrappers filled with seared garlic, ginger, and scallions.
Step 6: Create desserts from fruits Create desserts from fruits, which rarely contain allergens. Slice different fruits so kids can choose, or make a fruit salad.
FACT: A National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey reports that obese kids are 60 percent more likely to have a food allergy.