HomeLiving with allergiesNewly diagnosedA new reality: diagnosed with food allergy

A new reality: diagnosed with food allergy

Gain the confidence and skills needed to create an allergy-aware environment for you or your child.

Young mother embracing her little daughter and looking at camera

It can be overwhelming to be told that you or your child have a food allergy. You might be wondering: Will I have a normal life? What can we eat? Can my child safely stay with a babysitter or go to a childcare centre or school? Could I use an auto-injector if I had to? Could I or my child die? How will I be able to cope with all of this?

You may feel like you are alone, but you are not. Many individuals newly diagnosed with food allergy, or parents of children with food allergy, have these same worries.

Below we’ve listed key steps to help you get started on your food allergy journey. You will find that as you learn more, managing allergies will become part of your daily life. You will begin to feel more in control and less anxious or worried about your or your child’s allergy. Your child will also feel better as they learn about their food allergy and become involved in daily routines.

Quick Facts
  • Things change when you or your child are diagnosed with a food allergy.
  • You need to be more careful when buying, preparing and serving food, and when eating away from home.
  • If you are a parent, you need to teach others how to care for your child at home, childcare centres, schools, and family or social events.
  • The initial stress or anxiety you feel often lessens as you learn more.

Steps to living confidently with food allergy

Allergy food concept. Food on wooden table1. Understand what is food allergy

It’s helpful to start with key facts about food allergy. What is it and which foods cause most reactions? Check out the food allergy basics section to better understand your new diagnosis.

Lunch box consisting of wholegrain cheese sandwich, apple, grapes and cherry tomatoes2. Find out how to avoid allergens

When you have a food allergy, even a small amount can cause an allergic reaction. Learn avoidance strategies to help reduce the risk of exposure to your food allergen.

Woman lying on bed and holding hands on her stomach.3. Learn to recognize a reaction

The symptoms of a reaction can vary from person to person, and even from reaction to reaction in the same person. Become familiar with the different symptoms that can occur so that you’re better prepared for an emergency.

Two anaphylaxis Auto injectors in small pouch. Carry case is being worn by a child who is removing one injector from the case.4. Master how to treat a reaction

When a reaction begins, it’s important to respond as quickly as possible. Be ready to treat a reaction by having an epinephrine auto-injector available and knowing how to use it properly and with confidence.

Happy young woman and her cute son looking at doctor and listening to his recommendations5. Discover how to manage food allergy in your daily life

Managing a food allergy requires ongoing preparation, planning and vigilance. Learn more about management strategies in our parent and caregivers section, and our sections for teens and young adults living with food allergy.

Remember
  • The more you know about managing food allergy, the less anxiety you will feel
Resources
  • Living confidently with food allergy: a guide for parents and families
  • The handbook is provides important information about food allergy, suggests ways to educate your child and others, and offers helpful tips and support. To help you understand and build skills, we have put together a number of real-life exercises. We have also created a list of trusted resources about food allergies that you may find helpful.
  • Download the Newly Diagnosed Handbook
  • Personalized webinars
  • Need a personal touch? Our trained parent mentors are here to help you learn how to manage food allergy with confidence. Through free 90-minute small group webinars, they’ll teach you the basics of food allergy, risk reduction, symptom recognition and emergency management. There will also be time to ask them questions.
    Learn more and register for a webinar
The content of the newly diagnosed pages is based on the Living Confidently with Food Allergy: A guide for parents and families handbook