Most food allergies occur during early childhood. However, they can develop at any age. The triggers in teens are the same as in babies, toddlers and children. Teens living with a food allergy have specific challenges as they are exploring, trying new experiences and dealing with the changes of puberty!
At this stage, one of your main responsibilities is to help your teen to take charge of their health. For example, your daughter with a peanut allergy is going to meet up with friends for a bite to eat. The question is, what does she need to do to guard against triggering her food allergy? Teens need to be confident in reading menus and ingredient lists as well speaking up at parties or restaurants to be sure that what they are eating is safe for them. It is important for them to understand that the ‘cool’ thing to do is to be safe and guard against developing an allergic reaction.
Campaigns like #SpeakUpForAllergies encourage young people to always speak about their food allergies in social and other situations. Here at Tots2Teens we work towards creating awareness and are always on alert for opportunities to encourage, equip and support teens with food allergies.
As is the case with children, it is also possible to gradually introduce your child to allergens through a challenge under the supervision of a general practitioner or other healthcare professional.