- Talk to your allergist
This is a really important step, especially if you are trying a food that you were previously allergic to! Ask your allergist for their own tips and recommendations and ensure that it is safe for you to be trying the food. They can provide information such as how much to try, how to prepare it, etc.
- Make sure your auto-injector is nearby
When trying new food, you never know what might happen so it is important to have your auto-injector with you (even though you should have it on you at all times!)
- Have a buddy with you
Just in case something was to happen, you should make sure that somebody you know and who knows about your food allergies (and how to deal with a reaction) is with you when you try your new food.
- Eat at the allergist’s office
When trying a food you were previously allergic to, ask your allergist if you can try it in their office so they are nearby in case you have a reaction. Often they will have no problem with you doing this to make you feel more comfortable.
- Double check the ingredients
When trying something new it is very important for you to know exactly what it is you are eating! Make sure to read the label over several times or if you are at a restaurant be very clear with the staff about your allergens and cross-contamination.
- Try it more than once
This can be especially important for allergens that you have grown out of. Talk to your allergist about subsequent exposure and the affect it can have on your immune system.
- Cook it at home
If you are trying a new food that you can cook yourself, it is probably best to try it this way the first time. That way you can control the environment and kitchen it is being cooked in and know there will be no cross-contamination.
- Talk to others
To get an idea of what it is like to try new foods talk to other people with food allergies to see what they have tried and how they did it! They could provide some helpful tips or foods they have grown to love.
- Get creative
Often those who are at-risk for anaphylaxis have very limited diets but there are so many amazing types of cuisine out there! Try something totally new that is out of your comfort zone – just remember to do it safely!
- Don’t be afraid!
Trying new foods can produce a lot of anxiety in someone who is at-risk for anaphylaxis. If you have followed all the steps to ensure your safety, you have a friend nearby and you have your auto-injector ready, there is no need to be afraid. Read our recent post on help dealing with anxiety.Lindsay S., Top Ten Tips Series