7 in 10 babies will develop a food allergy. Wow! That number is just astounding! And quite frightening for the families of those children. As a parent of children that do not have a food allergy, it is easy to take for granted how easy we have it. Yes, we do still watch what our children eat and there are certain things that we don’t want them to eat, but they are not going to die from eating it, we may just have to suffer through the side effects such as hyperactivity or tantrums. We talk about food intolerances a fair bit on our page and there are several differences between an intolerance and an allergy, here are a few: Food Intolerance: Chemical reaction to food Does not occur straight away – is a gradual reaction Usually occurs when a lot of a particular food (or chemical) is consumed Reactions are generally not life threatening Generally a result of a cumulative effect Food Allergy: Immune response to food Usually comes on suddenly Occurs every time a particular food is consumed Reactions can be life threatening (anaphylaxis) Can occur when small amounts of a particular food is consumed I’m sure we all know someone who has a food allergy, and the most common ones that I’ve experienced are nuts and dairy. Both are very serious allergies and can be fatal. A lot of schools do have a ban on nuts but I don’t know of any that ban dairy. There is a whole debate about this but that’s not what this post is about! This week is Food Allergy Awareness Week. It’s time to try and understand what it means to have a food allergy, how we can show support to people with a food allergy and also what to do if someone does have an anaphylactic reaction. There is loads of information on the website including a heap of free resources. They are also encouraging people to adopt an allergy for the week to help people understand just how hard it can be to avoid certain things. So this week, ‘Be Aware and Show You Care’! If you know someone with a food allergy, take the time to ask them about it. Quite often people don’t take allergies seriously. I find that the kids are usually more vigilant than the adults sometimes. Put yourself in their shoes for even a day and it might make you appreciate their concerns a bit more. If you or any of your kids have a food allergy, we’d love for you to share some of your experiences with us.