Making food choices for your child after discovering a severe food allergy is a sure challenge for parents. Even more stressful can be determining what foods your child can and cannot eat, and constructing a new diet which might eliminate entire categories of foods.
A new study published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, says that providing parents with detailed, individual advice from a dietician is a key component of effective care.
"We know getting a food allergy diagnosis can be confusing and scary," said dietician Carina Venter, PhD, lead author of the study. "We set out to explore what information and support mothers of kids with food allergies require and value from a dietary consultation. What we found is mothers want dieticians to help them ensure their child will be safe, and guide them through the process of creating a nutritionally complete diet. They also want to maintain normality for their child and promote independence."
"Dieticians understand the social, emotional, as well as nutritional issues that accompany food allergies," said allergist Gailen Marshall, MD, PhD, ACAAI Fellow and Editor-in-Chief of Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. "They have the most complete information about how to undertake an elimination diet and how to begin being the kind of detective a parent often has to be in these situations. There's a clear value for parents of food-allergic kids to meet with a dietician as they have a very specific expertise to offer."