Nut allergies, including allergies to peanuts and tree nuts, are incredibly common among people under the age of 18. Unfortunately, nuts are included in a variety of foods and food items that you might not be aware of. This is one of the things that can make it tricky to help your teen manage their nut allergy.
Depending on the severity of the nut allergy that your teen suffers from, it might be vitally important for them to steer clear of all things that contain even the slightest traces of nuts. With all of the socializing with friends and hanging out with people who might not be aware of their nut allergy, this can be a tough challenge for a teen. The best thing that you can do is to help educate your teen about how to manage their nut allergy on their own. Unlike when they were a baby or a small child, you won’t always be around to ensure that they don’t come into contact with the nut that they are allergic to.
With that in mind, here are a few tips to help your teen manage their nut allergy.
Give Them Alternatives
Anyone who has ever parented a teen knows that one of the characteristics of the age group is that they tend to do things that push the button a bit. You don’t want your teen with a food allergy to take this mentality when it comes to the things they eat, however. Instead of completely eliminating all of the food items they like to eat that contain nuts, you can give them alternatives.
For instance, Nutella is a popular chocolate and hazelnut spread. If your child enjoys this snack and is around others who are eating it, they might be tempted to have some because they don’t want to miss out. Make sure that you don’t send them out empty-handed.
When you know that something like Nutella will be in the picture, you can give your teen a Nutella alternative to enjoy. What is Nutella alternatives? Visit Beyond The Equator (Guide to Nutella alternatives).
Make Sure They Know the Plan
When you first discovered that your child had a nut allergy, you likely consulted with their doctor to come up with a plan to abide by if and when a reaction should occur again. This would have included any medication that is necessary to curb the reaction and who to call in order to get your child the care that they need.
Now that your child is older and more independent, they will be venturing out without you more and more often. Because of this, you need to ensure that your teen knows the plan of action for when an allergic reaction takes place. This should include knowing what the signs are of an allergic reaction taking place. Make sure that they know how to take any necessary medications and who to call when a reaction or new food allergies arise.