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healthy eating

FOOD ALLERGIES?

HELP IS JUST A PHONE CALL AWAY! HEALTHLINKBC’S ALLERGY DIETITIAN GUIDES INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES AS THEY NAVIGATE THE DIETARY CHANGES RELATED TO FOOD ALLERGIES. Dietitian and Physical Activity Services, HealthLinkBC

Food allergy can develop to a single food such as egg or peanut, or to multiple foods. The most common food allergens among Canadians are milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts, soy, seafood (fish, shellfish, crustaceans), wheat, and sesame seeds. Common in childhood, food allergy affects about 5-8% of young children. While a food allergy can continue into adulthood, some children will outgrow one or all of their food allergies. Once a person has developed a food allergy, an allergic reaction will happen every time the food is eaten. For many people, finding support from a health care provider to manage their food allergy can be a challenge. Geography and limited access to specialized health services in northern B.C. can make it hard to know and understand what foods to eat, what foods to avoid, and how to feel confident about nourishing a child with food allergy. This is where the Allergy Nutrition Service with

Dietitian and Physical Activity Services at HealthLinkBC (HealthLinkBC.ca) can help. Linda, HealthLinkBC’s allergy dietitian, provides specialized nutrition information, education, and counselling support to individuals and families with a range of questions and concerns: from how to prevent food allergy to managing suspected and diagnosed food allergy. She is available to speak with anyone from anywhere in the province with or without a referral from a physician or nurse practitioner. Just call 8-1-1 and ask for Dietitian Services. Lots of parents of infants and young children call in to the service. They reach out to Linda concerned about their child’s nutrition, especially after a suspected allergic reaction or a newly diagnosed food allergy. Linda stated: “Our clients’ concerns are understandable. They worry about whether their child will get the nutrients they need to grow well while avoiding the foods that cause allergic reactions. As milk and egg are common ingredients in a range of family food choices, these foods become inappropriate for their child with milk and egg allergy.” Linda acts as a guide for parents as they navigate the dietary changes required for their children. She listens to their concerns, answers questions, and helps families come up with meal and snack ideas that work. She helps to increase their confidence and to feel that despite the food allergy, their child will thrive. If a food has already been removed from the child’s diet, Linda helps them choose nutritious, family-friendly, and personally acceptable alternatives. Food allergy too often leaves a child feeling left out at meal and snack

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Healthier You

SPRING 2017

Healthier You | Spring 2017  
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