Kids With Food Allergies
 home   
what's new recipes resources allergy alerts find friends
donate shop KFA allergy buyer's guide support forums
  membership   site map     contact us   about   
what's new

subscribe to our rss
Subscribe to KFA RSS Subscribe to Kids With Food Allergies, and receive weekly food allergy news, food allergy recall alerts, allergy articles, and press releases all in one easy location.

KFA alerts can be added to a "reader" of your choice, to your browser bookmarks, or to email.

Press Releases for Kids With Food Allergies

Read Current KFA Press Releases

Press Releases Issued by Kids With Food Allergies Foundation 2005-2010


October 2010

National Charity Offers Trick-or-Treating Safety Tips for Children With Food Allergies

DOYLESTOWN, Pa., Oct. 18 (AScribe Newswire) -- As the number of children with food allergies continues to rise, more and more parents are challenged with keeping their kids and neighborhood children safe at Halloween. To help make Halloween fun for everyone this year, national charity Kids With Food Allergies (KFA) offers safety tips from its free booklet of ideas, food-free activities and allergy friendly recipes available at http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org.

Today, one in 17 children - or 3 million kids - have allergies to foods, such as milk, eggs, peanuts and tree nuts - ingredients commonly found in candy popular at Halloween.

"Children with food allergies can enjoy Halloween just as much as any other child, but it takes planning and vigilance," noted Lynda Mitchell, president of KFA. "When my son was a toddler, he had a severe reaction on Halloween because I unknowingly allowed him to carry a treat that included ingredients he was allergic to. He bit right through the paper wrapper while we were walking. I learned firsthand the importance of preparing in advance-such as closely watching him as he trick-or-treated and carrying emergency medicines with me."

To help children with food allergies have a safe and enjoyable Halloween , KFA offers the following tips:

       • Purchase a variety of candy, including some that does not include any milk, soy, peanuts or tree nuts. Read labels carefully as some ingredients may be hidden.

       • Let children pick out candy from among some safe choices you offer to them.

       • Consider having non-food items on hand, including stickers, fun pencils, small toys or even coins for a child's piggybank.

       • Be sure to carry your child's emergency medicines and a cell phone with you while trick-or-treating.

       • Fill your child's trick-or-treat bag or pumpkin slightly full with treats to give him/her a head start on collecting safe candy.

       • Visit your neighbors in advance to drop off candy your child can safely eat.

       • Carry safe snacks with you while trick-or-treating.

       • Do not allow young children to carry treats they may be allergic to.

       • Trade unsafe candy for allergen-safe treats or age-appropriate non-food items (i.e., coloring books, storybooks, pencils, stickers, stuffed animals, safe play dough, etc.) once your child returns home.

       • Have the "Candy Fairy" or the "Great Pumpkin" visit during the night and exchange unsafe candy for a toy, money or small gift.

       • Check all ingredients. Remember that treat-sized candy may have different ingredients or be manufactured on different machinery than their full-sized counterparts.

       • Plan an alternative activity, such as going to the movies, hosting a slumber party or having a scavenger hunt around the neighborhood for safe treats or other items.

Founded in 2005 as a charity, KFA is a national organization of 22,000 individuals, families and businesses working together to improve the quality of life for children with food allergies and their families. KFA focuses on day-to-day support for families, including emotional and social support; personalized food/cooking assistance; and family activities. Its interactive website provides a powerhouse of resources, including the nation's largest online support community for families; quality education materials edited by a multidisciplinary medical advisory team; and an online collection of more than 1,000 "allergy-friendly" recipes. The recent, unprecedented rise in food allergies has spurred the organization's rapid growth. To find out more, go to: http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org .

       - - - -

CONTACT: Lynda Mitchell, 215-230-5394, fax 215-340-7674,



September 2010

Kids With Food Allergies Hosts Family Fun Expo in Houston
Sponsored by LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch, Katy and Whole Foods Market, Sugarland

DOYLESTOWN, Pa., September 16, 2010 -- Kids With Food Allergies (KFA) will host its first Houston-area fundraiser, “Creating Better Lives Today - Family Fun Expo & Dance-a-Thon,” on Saturday, October 2,  from 10:00 a.m. to noon at LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch in Katy, Texas.  With 250 adults and children expected, it promises to be a morning of food and fun for all.

One in 25 Americans has a food allergy and, when it comes to kids, those numbers are even higher. One in 17 children under the age of 3 has a food allergy, and they sometimes don't outgrow it. In all, more than 3 million children deal with this medical condition every single day. And the number of people diagnosed with food allergies is on the rise. In fact, the incidence of peanut allergies has tripled in children between 1997 and 2008 according to a recent study.

KFA, a nationwide charity, is dedicated to providing day-to-day education and support to children with food allergies and their families. The children’s dance-a-thon will raise funds to help KFA connect families nationwide who are looking for friendship, understanding and practical day-to-day living ideas for raising a child with food allergies. Visit www.kidswithfoodallergies.org to learn more.

"Food allergies often prevent children and their families from fully participating in social events that many of us simply take for granted—like fairs and carnivals—due to the allergy risks," said Lynda Mitchell, president of Kids With Food Allergies. "This family fun expo is designed to be an allergy-friendly event. Children can fully participate and enjoy meeting other children like themselves in a safe and joyous atmosphere while raising funds to improve the lives of children with food allergies and their families."

A Morning of Good Food & Fun (For All!)
The Creating Better Lives Today - Family Fun Expo & Dance-a-Thon will feature a morning full of food, fun and education. It will kick-off with a fundraising dance-a-thon for children followed by a live, interactive music performance and puppet show by Canadian musician Kyle Dine. Dine's original songs educate and empower those living with food allergies.

Whole Foods Market, Sugarland and many allergy-friendly businesses will exhibit and showcase their products and services; all are designed to provide a day of fun and education, share resources, and raise funds—so that children with food allergies can enjoy safe, great food.

For more information about the event, call 215-230-5394 or visit Kids With Food Allergies at www.kidswithfoodallergies.org.

Kids With Food Allergies (KFA)
Founded in 2005 as a non-profit charity, KFA is a national organization of 21,000 families raising children with food allergies. KFA focuses on day-to-day support that helps children with food allergies and their families improve their quality of life through education, peer support, food and cooking assistance, and family activities. Its interactive website provides a powerhouse of resources, including the nation's largest online support community for families; quality parent education materials edited by a multidisciplinary medical advisory team; and an online collection of more than 1,000 "allergy-friendly" recipes. The recent, unprecedented rise in food allergies has spurred the organization's rapid growth.

Kyle Dine
Kyle Dine is the world's first dedicated "allergy musician" who performs songs for children at risk for anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction. His first CD is aptly titled, "You Must Be Nuts!" and is available through his website or digitally through iTunes. His follow-up album, "Food Allergies Rock!" will be released in October. For more information, visit www.kyledine.com.




August 2010

Kids With Food Allergies Hosts Annual Family Fun Expo; Dance-a-Thon, Live Music, Book Signings and Fun for Children

DOYLESTOWN, Pa., Aug. 16 -- Kids With Food Allergies (KFA) will host its annual fundraiser Creating Better Lives Today - Family Fun Expo & Dance-a-Thon on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2010, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. outside the Whole Foods Market in North Wales, Pa. With 800 adults and children expected, it promises to be a day of food and fun for all.

One in 25 Americans has a food allergy and, when it comes to kids, those numbers are even higher. One in 17 children under the age of 3 has a food allergy, and they sometimes don't outgrow it. In all, more than 3 million children deal with this medical condition every single day. And the number of people in general who are being diagnosed with food allergies is on the rise. In fact, the incidence of peanut allergies has tripled in children between 1997 and 2008 according to a recent study.

KFA, a nationwide charity, is dedicated to providing day-to-day education, solutions, and assistance to children and their families who live with food allergies. This event is KFA's most important fundraising event for the year, raising funds to enable the charity to continue to offer free future events, educational materials and sustain its active online community. Visit http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org to learn more.

"Food allergies often prevent children and their families from fully participating in social events that many of us simply take for granted - like fairs and carnivals - due to the allergy risks," said Lynda Mitchell, President of Kids With Food Allergies. "This Family Fun Expo is designed to be an allergy-friendly event. Children can fully participate and enjoy meeting other children like themselves in a safe and joyous atmosphere while raising funds to support our mission."

A Day of Good Food & Fun (For All!)

The Family Fun Expo will feature an afternoon full of food, fun and education. It will kick-off with a fundraising dance-a-thon for children followed by a live, interactive music performance and puppet show by Kyle Dine. Dine's original songs educate and empower those living with food allergies. In addition, renowned allergen-free expert and author Cybele Pascal will be signing copies of her latest best-selling cookbook, The Allergen Free Baker's Handbook, as well as speaking with participants. Personal Chef Theo Petron will also be on-hand to prepare a delicious dish free of the top eight food allergens responsible for 90 percent of all allergic reactions: wheat, milk, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish.

Many allergy-friendly businesses are attending, and showcasing their products and services; all are designed to provide a day of fun, education, share resources, and raise funds- so that all kids can enjoy safe, great food. Additional activities for children will take place during the event, including a special appearance by PBS Kids' character Arthur.

Whole Foods Market, North Wales, is providing the outdoor venue for this fundraising event. "At Whole Foods Market, we recognize the challenges faced by families living with food allergies and we are pleased to bring safe and healthy options to the table," said Danielle Smith, Marketing Specialist and Community Liaison. "We hope that this event will both increase the understanding and compassion of the community, and also help families by providing awareness of new allergy-aware products and services."

For more information about the event, call 215-230-5394 or visit Kids With Food Allergies at http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org .

Kids With Food Allergies (KFA)

Founded in 2005 as a non-profit charity, KFA is a national organization of 20,000 families raising children with food allergies. KFA focuses on day-to-day support that helps children with food allergies and their families improve their quality of life through education, peer support, food and cooking assistance, and family activities. Its interactive website provides a powerhouse of resources, including the nation's largest online support community for families; quality parent education materials edited by a multidisciplinary medical advisory team; and an online collection of more than 1,000 "allergy-friendly" recipes. The recent, unprecedented rise in food allergies has spurred the organization's rapid growth.

Cybele Pascal

Cybele Pascal is the award-winning author of The Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook, and the Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook. She has been a guest on The Martha Stewart Show, the Food Network, the Today show, ABC News, Good Morning America Health, and NPR.

She is a regular contributor to Living Without; the magazine for people with allergies and food sensitivities, and her recipes have appeared in many national publications, including Good Housekeeping, Allergic Living, and NY Parent. She has also written regular columns for Oxygen Media, AOL and Lime.com. In addition to her culinary work, Cybele is also an award-winning playwright. Pascal is the proud mother of two sons, Lennon and Montgomery. She lives in Los Angeles with her food-allergic family: husband Adam; sons Lennon and Monte; and their dogs, Izzie, and Carly (who also has food allergies). For more information on Cybele, visit http://www.cybelepascal.com .

Kyle Dine

Kyle Dine is the world's first dedicated "allergy musician" who performs songs for children at-risk for anaphylaxis, a life threatening allergic reaction. With allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and fish, he knows firsthand what it is like growing up with food allergies. The songs that he writes and performs are all focused on key educational messages expressing the importance of managing allergies safely. Songs such as "Smellephant the Allergic Elephant," "Epi-Man," and "I've Got Allergies Under Control" ultimately convey the theme to stay safe and stay positive. His CD is aptly titled, "You Must Be Nuts!" and is available through his website: http://www.kyledine.com or digitally through iTunes. He is currently working on a follow-up album titled "Food Allergies Rock!" which will be released this fall. For more information, visit http://www.kyledine.com .

Whole Foods Market

Founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market (http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com), a leader in the natural and organic foods industry and America's first national certified organic grocer, was named "America's Healthiest Grocery Store" in 2008 by Health magazine. The Whole Foods Market motto, "Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet" captures the company's mission to find success in customer satisfaction and wellness, employee excellence and happiness, enhanced shareholder value, community support and environmental improvement. Thanks to its 53,000 Team Members, Whole Foods Market has been ranked as one of the "100 Best Companies to Work For" in America by FORTUNE magazine for 12 consecutive years. In fiscal year 2008, the company had sales of $8 billion and currently has more than 275 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Whole Foods Market, Fresh & Wild and Harry's Farmers Market are trademarks owned by Whole Foods Market IP, LP. Wild Oats and Capers Community Market are trademarks owned by Wild Marks, Inc.

- - - -

CONTACTS:

- Michele Cassalia
267-864-6979

- Julia Gillespie
917-628-9103


 

July 2010

Kids With Food Allergies Wins $20,000 Grant; Charity Finishes Among Top 200 in Chase Community Giving Competition on Facebook

DOYLESTOWN, Pa., July 23 -- Kids With Food Allergies (KFA), a Bucks County, PA based nonprofit organization, has been awarded $20,000 as part of the Chase Community Giving Summer 2010 program. More than 2.5 million people participated in the program, voting for their favorite charities. KFA received nearly 4,500 votes, finishing in 18th place among 500,000 eligible non-profits in this nationwide competition.

The Chase Community Giving Summer 2010 campaign was an opportunity for small and local charities to compete for a portion of the $5 million in grants awarded by Chase through the Chase Community Giving program running on the Facebook(r) platform. Charities asked their supporters to cast votes for them to win a share of $5 million. More than 200 winners from 35 states were selected.

"Kids With Food Allergies' flagship program is its web-based online support community. Continuous outreach to our members through Facebook and Twitter, where many of our supporters and members also are active, has been a natural progression of the organization's outreach efforts," says Lynda Mitchell, President of Kids With Food Allergies. "The Chase Community Giving campaign gave KFA an opportunity to further engage our thousands of supporters on Facebook, as well as their friends and family, to cast votes and make us eligible for one of the 200 grants awarded. We asked for their help, and they really came through for us."

Founded in 2005 as a non-profit charity, KFA is a national organization of 20,000 families raising children with food allergies. KFA focuses on day-to-day support that helps children with food allergies and their families cope with dietary restrictions, lifestyle adjustments, fear and isolation through education, peer support, food and cooking assistance, and family activities. Its interactive website provides a powerhouse of resources, including the nation's largest online support community for families; quality parent education materials edited by a multidisciplinary medical advisory team; and an online collection of more than 1,000 "allergy-friendly" recipes. The recent, unprecedented rise in food allergies has spurred the organization's rapid growth. KFA will be using this $20,000 grant to continue developing its flagship online support community program.

For more information, visit http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org .

       - - - -

CONTACT: Lynda Mitchell, President, Kids With Food Allergies, 215-230-5394



May 2010

Kids With Food Allergies? Now Families Can Get Support for Free; Food Allergy Awareness Week is May 9-15

DOYLESTOWN, Pa., May 3 -- When their children are diagnosed with food allergies - as more than 3 million children across the country have been - parents can feel alone, overwhelmed and confused. Now families can connect online with other families to learn how to make their lives easier and their children's lives better. Just in time for Food Allergy Awareness Week, national nonprofit charity Kids With Food Allergies (KFA) has opened its popular online support community to all.

“Food allergies present unique challenges that only other families raising children with food allergies can understand,” says KFA President Lynda Mitchell.

“KFA's goal is to empower parents to best care for their children and to learn what they need to improve the quality of life for their children and themselves. We know how important our online community is to families for information sharing, social and emotional support and food/cooking help. KFA is opening its online support forums to expand its reach to the food allergy community-at-large, and in doing so, will better serve the public as part of its nonprofit mission.”

For the past four years, only families who paid for a membership had full access to KFA's online community. But with the financial support from donors and unrestricted funding from Shionogi Pharma Inc., the makers of the TwinJect® epinephrine autoinjector, “Now families can have improved access to online peer support just by signing up,” Mitchell says. Parents can register for free at www.kidswithfoodallergies.org.

Kids With Food Allergies offers the largest online support community for families raising children with food allergies and related conditions, including eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders (EGID) and Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome (FPIES). On its support forums parents and caregivers share their stories, insights, and coping strategies as well as food ideas and recipes. Parents of young children with food allergies are the largest users of the community.

About Kids With Food Allergies

Founded in 2005 as a nonprofit charity, Kids With Food Allergies (KFA) is a national organization of 20,000 families raising children with food allergies. KFA helps children with food allergies and their families cope with dietary restrictions, lifestyle adjustments, fear and isolation through education, peer support, food and cooking assistance, and family activities. Its interactive Web site provides a powerhouse of resources including the nation's largest online support community for families; quality parent education materials edited by its multidisciplinary Medical Advisory Team; and an online collection of more than 1,000 “allergy-friendly” recipes. The recent, unprecedented rise in food allergies has spurred the organization's rapid growth. For more information, visit http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org .

- - - -

CONTACT: Lynda Mitchell, 215-230-5394,





November 2009

Kids With Food Allergies Takes Parents From Confusion to Confidence With a Free Starter Guide for Parenting a Child With a Food Allergy

DOYLESTOWN, Pa., Nov. 17 -- National nonprofit organization Kids with Food Allergies announces the release of "From Confusion to Confidence: a Starter Guide for Parenting a Child with a Food Allergy." This free guide includes a 42-page compilation of articles, checklists and resources on topics ranging from understanding food allergy, diagnosis and treatment to day-to-day management of nutrition, cooking, shopping and living with food allergies.

"Most parents don't expect their bundle of joy to be diagnosed with a bundle of food allergies, and when it happens, parents are often left feeling overwhelmed, confused and alone," said Lynda Mitchell, president of Kids with Food Allergies. "This guide will empower parents by arming them with the practical advice and resources essential to successfully deal with a new diagnosis of food allergy."

Food allergy is a potentially serious immune response to eating specific foods or food additives, most commonly milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy and wheat. The incidence of food allergy increased 18 percent between 1997 and 2007, and today, one in 25 children is affected. At this time, there is no cure for food allergies, and the only treatment is avoidance.

"Food allergies can be overwhelming for parents," said Sarah O'Brien of Nutricia North America, which provided an unrestricted educational grant to fund the project. "I had eight years of experience working with nutrition for food allergy families before my daughter was diagnosed with a milk protein allergy, but it was still overwhelming. I'm sure this comprehensive guide will be a treasure of information for families, helping them through a myriad of challenging steps as they get started when their children are newly diagnosed with a food allergy."

From Confusion to Confidence: a Starter Guide for Parenting a Child with a Food Allergy is available as a free e-book now simply by visiting www.kidswithfoodallergies.org.

For more information, call 215-230-5394 or visit Kids With Food Allergies at www.kidswithfoodallergies.org.

About Kids With Food Allergies

Founded in 2005 as a nonprofit charity, Kids With Food Allergies (KFA) is a national nonprofit organization of more than 18,000 families raising children with food allergies. KFA helps children with food allergies and their families cope with dietary restrictions, lifestyle adjustments, fear and isolation through education, peer support, food and cooking assistance, and family activities. Its interactive Web site provides a powerhouse of resources including the nation's largest online support community for families and an online collection of more than 1,000 "allergy-friendly" recipes. The recent, unprecedented rise in food allergies has spurred the organization's rapid growth. For more information, visit www.kidswithfoodallergies.org.

About Nutricia North America

Nutricia North America, based in Rockville, Md., is part of the Danone Medical Nutrition Division. A leader in clinical nutrition, Nutricia North America provides medical foods and infant formulas for the treatment of allergic, gastrointestinal, metabolic, neurological and genetic disorders. The range of quality products includes Neocate, the first hypoallergenic amino acid-based formula for infants and children who suffer from dairy/soy protein allergy and gastrointestinal conditions such as eosinophilic esophagitis. For more information, please visit www.neocate.com.




August 2009

Kids with Food Allergies and Whole Foods Market Team Up to Host the Creating Better Lives Today Family Fun Expo

Doylestown, Pa., August 26, 2009 – Kids with Food Allergies and Whole Foods Market have teamed to host the first “Creating Better Lives Today Family Fun Expo” on Sunday, September 13, 2009 from noon to 3:00p.m. at the Whole Foods Market in North Wales, PA. The event will provide a one-stop-shop for information about food allergies, back-to-school tips, new foods and products, and entertainment to teach children about food allergies.

Admission is free to this fun and educational event, which will include activities for children, a special appearance by PBS Kids’ character Arthur, and a live, interactive music performance and puppet show by Kyle Dine. Kyle Dine’s original songs educate and empower those living with food allergies. During the performance, children will have the opportunity to participate in a dance-a-thon to benefit Kids with Food Allergies, a nationwide nonprofit organization.

"Food allergies are a growing concern, not only for parents of children affected, but also for caregivers, teachers and classmates," said Lynda Mitchell, President of Kids With Food Allergies. "We appreciate the opportunity to work with Whole Foods Market to educate and support the families and schools affected in our community.”

Food allergy is a potentially serious immune response to eating specific foods or food additives, most commonly milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat. The incidence of food allergy increased 18 percent between 1997 and 2007, and today, one in 25 children are affected. At this time, there is no cure for food allergies, and the only treatment is avoidance.

“At Whole Foods Market, we recognize the challenges faced by families living with food allergies and we are pleased to bring safe and healthy options to the table,” said Danielle Smith, Marketing Specialist and Community Liaison. “We hope that this event will both increase the understanding and compassion of the community, and also help families by providing awareness of new allergy-aware products and services.”

For more information about the event, call 215-230-5394 or visit Kids With Food Allergies at http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org.




September 2008

"Inflatable Fair Fun Day" Fundraiser to Benefit Kids With Food Allergies

TAMPA, Fla., Sept. 2 -- The public is invited to join family-owned company Amazinflates and Sports + Field for fun and festivities at the first "Inflatable Fair Fun Day" benefiting children with food allergies.

The fundraising event, to be held Sat., Oct. 4 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Sports + Field in Wesley Chapel (Tampa) FL, will feature multiple inflatable play structures, face painting, balloon twisting, vendor displays and a DJ. Kids young and old can enjoy snow cones, cotton candy, clowns, door prizes, characters, games and more. Florida Blood Bank will have a blood mobile for anyone interested in donating blood and there will be a sign up roster for CPR and First Aid classes. Admission is $10 for unlimited play, with all proceeds benefiting Kids With Food Allergies, one of the nation's largest nonprofit charities providing education and support for parents raising children with food allergies.

Members of the Food Allergy Support Group Tampa and St. Petersburg will also be on hand as volunteers.

Food allergies are on the rise, impacting an unprecedented number of children and adults nationwide. Today, one in 17 children, or three to four million kids, are affected by allergies to foods such as milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish. Peanut allergies have doubled in the last ten years. At this time, there is no cure for food allergies, which can be severe and life-threatening.

"I personally understand the seriousness of food allergies and the life-changing impact they have on children and families," said Ronnie Rivera, President and CEO of Amazinflates, whose son is severely allergic to peanuts and tree nuts. "We applaud Kids With Food Allergies' efforts to support parents, educate communities, and help children with food allergies live safe, happy, healthy lives."

 "Food allergies are a growing health concern, affecting many families in Tampa and millions more nationwide," said Lynda Mitchell, President of Kids With Food Allergies, Inc. "We appreciate Amazinflates and the Tampa community's support of this event and our ongoing efforts to foster optimal health and well-being of children with food allergies."

 For more information on the event, call 1-866-711-JUMP. For more information on Kids With Food Allergies, visit http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org .

- - - -

CONTACT: Michele Cassalia, Kids With Food Allergies, 267-864-6979





February 2008

Are You A Careful Kisser? How to Smooch Safely With Food Allergies Valentine's Day

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. -- February 12, 2008-- For most parents of teens, Valentine’s Day may evoke over-protective thoughts regarding their child. "I’ve got two daughters and I think they should never kiss anyone!" exclaimed Roger Friedman, MD, Clinical Professor of Allergy, Immunology, and Pediatrics at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

Kissing with food allergies

All joking aside, parents of food-allergic children have even more cause to be wary of smooching. Today, 3 to 4 million children are affected by food allergies, and allergic reactions can be triggered not just by consuming food firsthand. Kissing—ranging from passionate to a peck on the cheek—can also prompt a reaction.

"You’re pretty unlikely to have anything severe happen from a kiss. But it can happen and you need to be smart," Dr. Friedman advised.

A common form of affection on Valentine’s Day, kissing becomes a problem when a grandparent or date consumes an allergen before smooching a food-allergic child or teen.

"A peck on the cheek from a parent or relative will almost always only result in a local reaction such as a welt or hive;  it's very unlikely to cause any severe reaction that you’d be worried about," Dr. Friedman explained. 

Short of suggesting kissing be prohibited this Valentine’s Day, Dr. Friedman recommends teenagers, especially, play it safe. "If you’re in a committed relationship that involves passionate kissing, tell your date 'I'm allergic to nuts, please don't eat any before you kiss my face!'" he suggested.

Todd D. Green, MD, Assistant Professor of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, agreed.

"If a date cares enough about their Valentine to kiss her or him, hopefully they’ll care enough to refrain from eating the food their Valentine is allergic to that day," he said.

Kissing (and even sharing utensils, straws and cups) causes exposure to food allergens through saliva, which can contain enough allergen to cause local and systemic allergic reactions. In a study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, participants ingested two tablespoons of peanut butter to establish how long the peanut allergen stays in saliva. Researchers collected the saliva of the participants at different times, and also evaluated mouth-cleansing techniques (brushing teeth, rinsing and chewing gum).

According to the study, "the most effective way to avoid causing an allergic reaction, if you’re going to eat the food to which your partner is allergic, is to eat the food several hours before a kiss and have a meal free of the allergen before you kiss—although not eating the food at all would always be the safest approach," said Dr. Green.

Though the risk of having a severe allergic reaction from a kiss is small, there is always a slight possibility, said Dr. Green. "Unfortunately you can’t predict the amount of protein that will be transferred during kissing, and it is difficult to predict the reaction," he said. That said, it is better to err on the safe side.

Online support group Kids With Food Allergies offers these tips for safe smooching on Valentine's Day:

  • Remind your kissing partner about your allergies;
  • Suggest your partner avoid eating serious allergens, if possible;
  • Ask your partner to minimize allergen exposure, such as by washing hands and face, or brushing teeth thoroughly, before kissing;
  • Carry appropriate medication and know how to use an injectable epinephrine kit;
  • Wear emergency medical identification (such as a Medic Alert® bracelet).

For more tips on staying safe this Valentine's Day, visit www.kidswithfoodallergies.org.

Dr. Friedman reminds parents that a kiss on Valentine’s Day is unlikely to be 'the kiss of death.'

"Worry about the right things," he advised. "Overall, the risks of developing a severe reaction from a kiss are rare and unusual."

Founded in 2005 as a nonprofit charity, Kids With Food Allergies, Inc. is the largest online support organization for parents and families raising food-allergic kids, with 10,000 members nationwide. The online community has a range of offerings, including online discussion forums or "support groups" offering peer information sharing, social and emotional support, and cooking help; allergy-friendly recipes; food allergy news, articles and research updates; allergen-free shopping, and more. Kids With Food Allergies' roots trace back nearly seven years to a handful of dedicated parents sharing experiences online about raising children with food allergies. The recent, unprecedented rise in food allergies has spurred the group's rapid growth. For more information, visit www.kidswithfoodallergies.org.

Media contact:  Lynda Mitchell, Kids With Food Allergies  215-230-5394
Click here for Email




December 2007

Free Holiday Recipes, Tips and Craft Ideas Available to Food Allergy Families

DOYLESTOWN, Pa., Dec. 12 -- Families of children with food allergies have a new tool for making the holidays fun and safe this year. A new booklet from leading online allergy support group Kids With Food Allergies - featuring tips, crafts and recipes for Christmas - is available for free by visiting www.kidswithfoodallergies.org [download booklet]


The Christmas booklet includes ideas for non food-related crafts and activities, safe dining tips, and holiday recipes including allergy-free gingerbread cookies, frosting, candy canes and "rice" nog.

The holidays can be a challenging time for a growing number of children with food allergies. Today, one in 17 children, or three to four million kids, are affected by allergies to foods such as milk, eggs, peanuts and tree nuts, ingredients commonly found in holiday foods. In many cases, allergies to certain foods can be severe or even life-threatening.

"Many people can't imagine Christmas without foods like egg nog and peanut brittle but that's what life is like - every day - for people with food allergies," notes Lynda Mitchell, President of Kids With Food Allergies. "With food taking center stage during the holiday season, even more planning and care is required on the part of food allergy families. The goods news is that Christmas can be just as enjoyable, especially if an effort is made to spend time on activities not solely focused on food."

Examples of holiday planning tips include:

- Have your child pick a special non-food treat to leave for Santa.

- Spend special time with family doing non food-related activities.

- Host a Christmas party with safe foods.

- Organize a Christmas cookie exchange with other food allergy families or friends that you trust.

- Prepare safe foods to take with you when going to parties.

- Visit parties early before it's time to eat.

- Provide food for the entire meal, thus ensuring that everything is safe for your allergic child.

- Invite others to your home, notifying guests in advance what foods are off-limits in your house.

- Establish your own holiday traditions, including activities and outings that do not focus solely on food.

- Work with your child's teacher to develop a list of foods safe for the holiday season.

To view more holiday tips, craft ideas and recipes, visit www.kidswithfoodallergies.org.

Founded in 2005 as a nonprofit charity, Kids With Food Allergies, Inc., is the largest online support organization for parents and families raising food-allergic kids, with more than 10,000 members nationwide. The online community has a range of offerings, including online discussion forums or "support groups" offering peer information sharing, social and emotional support, and cooking help; allergy-friendly recipes; food allergy news, articles and research updates; allergen-free shopping, and more. Kids With Food Allergies' roots trace back nearly seven years to a handful of dedicated parents sharing experiences online about raising children with food allergies. The recent, unprecedented rise in food allergies has spurred the group's rapid growth. For more information, visit www.kidswithfoodallergies.org.




October 2007

Halloween Can Be Tricky for Food Allergy Families: KFA Offers Halloween Trick-or-Treating Tips

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. - October 1, 2007 - Halloween can be a tricky time for a growing number of children who have food allergies. Today, one in 17 children, or three to four million kids, are affected by allergies to foods such as milk, peanuts and tree nuts, ingredients commonly found in candy. Often the most life-threatening, peanut allergy, for example, has doubled in the last five years.

"Children with food allergies can enjoy Halloween just as much as other kids but it takes planning and vigilance," notes Lynda Mitchell, president of online support group Kids With Food Allergies (www.kidswithfoodallergies.org). "When my son was a toddler, he had a severe reaction on Halloween because I unknowingly allowed him to carry a treat that included ingredients he was allergic to, not realizing that he would try to bite right through the paper wrapper while we were walking. I learned firsthand the importance of preparing in advance - such as supplying neighbors with safe candy for my son - and closely watching him as he trick-or-treated."

As the number of food-allergic children continues to rise, more and more parents are challenged with keeping their kids and neighbor children safe this Halloween. To help make Halloween fun for everyone this year, Kids With Food Allergies (KFA) offers the following tips:

  • Purchase a variety of candy, including some that does not include any milk, soy, peanuts or tree nuts. Read labels carefully as some ingredients may be hidden.
  • Let children pick out the candy that's suited for them.
  • Consider having non-food items on hand, including stickers, fun pencils, small toys or even coins for the child's piggybank.

Following are tips for parents of food-allergic kids:

  • Be sure to carry your child's emergency medicines with you while trick-or-treating.
  • Fill your child's trick-or-treat bag or pumpkin slightly full with treats to give him/her a head start on collecting safe candy.
  • Visit your neighbors in advance to drop off candy your child can safely eat.
  • Carry safe snacks with you while trick-or-treating.
  • Do not allow young children to carry treats they may be allergic to.
  • Trade unsafe candy for allergen-safe treats or age-appropriate non-food items once your children return home. Non-food ideas include coloring books, storybooks, pencils, stickers, stuffed animals and play dough.
  • Have the "Candy Fairy" visit during the night and exchange unsafe candy for a toy, money or small gift.
  • Check all ingredients. Remember that treat-sized candy may have different ingredients or be manufactured on different machinery than their full-sized counterparts.
  • Plan an alternative activity, such as going to the movies, hosting a slumber party or having a scavenger hunt around the neighborhood for safe treats or other items.

For a free booklet with tips on safe trick-or-treating and other fun Halloween activities, visit www.kidswithfoodallergies.org.

Founded in 2005 as a nonprofit charity, Kids With Food Allergies, Inc. is the largest online support organization for parents and families raising food-allergic kids, with 10,000 members nationwide. The online community has a range of offerings, including online discussion forums or "support groups" offering peer information sharing, social and emotional support, and cooking help; allergy-friendly recipes; food allergy news, articles and research updates; allergen-free shopping, and more. Kids With Food Allergies' roots trace back nearly seven years to a handful of dedicated parents sharing experiences online about raising children with food allergies. The recent, unprecedented rise in food allergies has spurred the group's rapid growth. For more information, visit www.kidswithfoodallergies.org.




August 2007

Homework Starts Early for Food Allergy Families: Kids With Food Allergies Shares Tips for Back to School

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. - August 21, 2007 - While many are still enjoying the lazy days of summer, parents of kids with food allergies are busy preparing to ensure their children stay safe back in the classroom.

Parent Lynda Mitchell knows the importance of planning firsthand. The mother of a son with a life-threatening dairy allergy, Mitchell credits a food-allergy action plan with saving her son's life in the first grade.

"During the second week of school as a first grader, my son had an allergic reaction following lunch and went into anaphylaxis, a life-threatening condition," explains Mitchell, now president and founder of online support community Kids With Food Allergies ( www.kidswithfoodallergies.org ). "Using the prescribed medication and physician orders I provided on the first day of school along with an action plan developed together with school staff, the school nurse quickly assessed him and gave him an injection of epinephrine. At the same time, 911 was called and he was rushed to the emergency room, where he recovered. I know how planning and making sure a school knows how to handle allergic reactions can save a child's life because it saved my child's life."

As food allergies become more common - now affecting more than three million U.S. children - parents, caregivers and school personnel are among those impacted most. Transferring from the safe confines of a child's home to a daycare or school setting can be a challenging experience, and ensuring a smooth transition takes planning.

"Preparation is key, and the earlier the better," says Mitchell. "The 'Food Allergy ABC's' are a great place to start: an Action plan that outlines signs of a reaction and appropriate medical treatment; a Buddy system that enlists the support of classmates; and Communication and Collaboration with school staff and other parents to create a safe, fun environment."

Following are tips for parents to help keep food allergic kids safe at school:

- Be sure to develop a written action plan before the child starts attending school or daycare. The action plan should contain two parts: an emergency plan outlined by your child's physician, and a plan describing how school staff will help manage the environment on a daily basis.

- Make sure there is no food sharing;

- Have the child sit away from children eating allergenic foods;

- Make sure the child is easily observable by a teacher during snack and meal times;

- Have children wash hands before and after eating;

- Make sure school personnel are trained on recognizing a reaction and administering medication like injectable epinephrine;

- Enlist your child's friends to learn the signs of a reaction and how to help;

- Work in partnership with your school to create a plan that's safe and realistic.

For more tips and other resources on preparing for back to school, visit www.kidswithfoodallergies.org .

Founded in 2005 as a nonprofit charity, Kids With Food Allergies, Inc. is the largest online support organization for parents and families raising food-allergic kids, with more than 9,000 members nationwide. The online community has a range of offerings, including online discussion forums or "support groups" offering peer information sharing, social and emotional support, and cooking help; allergy-friendly recipes; food allergy news, articles and research updates; allergen-free shopping, and more. Kids With Food Allergies' roots trace back nearly seven years to a handful of dedicated parents sharing experiences online about raising children with food allergies. The recent, unprecedented rise in food allergies has spurred the group's rapid growth. For more information, visit www.kidswithfoodallergies.org.




May 9, 2007

Survey Reveals Top Challenges of Raising Children With Food Allergies
May 13-19th is Food Allergy Awareness Week

DOYLESTOWN, Pa., May 9 -- Parents of food-allergic kids cite nutrition, safety and education as top concerns, with stress, fear and isolation common among many food allergy families, according to a new survey conducted by national nonprofit Kids With Food Allergies.

Preparing meals, finding safe foods and ensuring a balanced, nutritious diet headed the list of the biggest challenges of raising a food-allergic child. Keeping children with food allergies safe at school, day care and social gatherings, and educating others about the seriousness of such allergies were also among top problems.

The emotional impacts also ranked high on the list. The daily stress of managing food allergies - from diligent reading of food labels to concerns about cross contamination - was among the top issues, as was feeling alone and like others don't understand, and fear of a child suffering a life-threatening reaction.

Food allergies are on the rise, especially among children. Of the estimated 12 million people in the U.S. who have food allergies, three-to-five million are kids. Eight foods - wheat, milk, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish - cause 90 percent of food allergies. While food allergies are sometimes outgrown, there is no cure. Strict avoidance is the only way to prevent a reaction, which sometimes can be fatal.

"The results clearly underscore the huge emotional toll on families living with food allergies on a daily basis," said Kids With Food Allergies founder Lynda Mitchell, whose teenage son has a life-threatening dairy allergy. "Since most families lack local support groups, the Internet has played a key role in helping families connect with others to find safe recipes and food ideas, and to share strategies for helping food-allergic kids lead healthy, happy, fulfilling lives."

Among other findings, survey participants noted they turn most to the Internet to learn more about food allergies, find others who understand, find safe foods and products, receive cooking/recipe help, and get news and research updates.

More than 350 parents nationwide participated in the survey, the largest survey conducted by Kids With Food Allergies. Seventy percent of the respondents have a child with more than one food allergy or intolerance.

ABOUT KIDS WITH FOOD ALLERGIES

Founded in 2005 as a nonprofit charity, Kids With Food Allergies, Inc. is the largest online support organization for parents and families raising food-allergic kids, with more than 9,000 members nationwide and internationally. The online community has a range of offerings, including online discussion forums or "support groups" offering peer information sharing, social and emotional support, and cooking help; database of allergy-friendly recipes; food allergy articles, news and research updates; and allergen-free foods, cookbooks, and more. Kids With Food Allergies' roots trace back nearly nine years to a handful of dedicated parents sharing experiences online about raising children with food allergies. Membership has doubled in the past year alone, spurred by the recent, unprecedented rise in food allergies. For more information, visit www.kidswithfoodallergies.org.

CONTACT: Lynda Mitchell, Kids With Food Allergies, 215-230-5394,
Click here for Email




March 20, 2007

Rise in Food Allergies Spurs "Unexpected" Growth of National Nonprofit

Doylestown, PA. - March 20, 2007 - The rise in childhood food allergies has led to the rapid growth of one of the first online resources dedicated to helping families of food-allergic children.

Kids With Food Allergies (www.kidswithfoodallergies.org) celebrated its second anniversary this month by signing its 8,000th member, making the charity the largest online support group for parents and families raising food-allergic kids. Membership has doubled in the past year alone, spurred by the recent, unprecedented rise in food allergies.

An estimated 12 million people in the U.S. have food allergies, of which three-to-five million are children. Lacking local support groups, more and more parents and families are turning to the Internet for information and support.

Kids With Food Allergies' roots trace back nearly seven years to a handful of dedicated parents, including founder Lynda Mitchell, sharing experiences online about the challenges of raising children with food allergies. Since then, the organization, founded as a nonprofit charity in 2005, has grown into the nation's second largest member organization for families managing food allergies.

"Raising a child with food allergies is often an overwhelming and isolating task. There's a lot of clinical information out there about allergies, but what's missing is a personal connection to others for social and emotional support," said Lynda Mitchell, president of Kids With Food Allergies whose son - now a teenager - developed multiple food allergies as an infant.

"Our goal is to utilize the power of the Internet to connect families nationwide who wanted to share stories, recipes and coping strategies and by doing so, foster the health and well-being of both families and their food-allergic children. By providing our support group on the Web, families can connect with others like them any day, any time, by simply going online," Mitchell stated. "We did not expect to grow so quickly - it's definitely exceeded our expectations and is a testament to how prevalent food allergies have become today."

The online community has a range of offerings, including:
- Online discussion forums, or "support groups," offering peer information sharing, and social and emotional support, and food and cooking help
- Database of allergy-friendly recipes
- Frequently asked questions
- Food allergy news, articles and research updates, and
- Marketplace featuring allergen-free foods, cookbooks, apparel and more.

For more information, visit www.kidswithfoodallergies.org.

Media Contact: Lynda Mitchell, President
Kids with Food Allergies
Ph.: 215-230-5394
Fax: 215-340-7674
Click here for Email




February 28, 2005

Kids With Food Allergies Announces Its Family Support Web site 

Doylestown, PA, February 28, 2005--A new Web site offering tools to assist families with the challenges of living with their children's food allergies has been launched by Kids with Food Allergies, Inc., a new U.S.-based nonprofit organization.

Kids With Food Allergies' Web site, http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org, offers an online support community with message boards and chat rooms as well as a searchable recipe database, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) created by its multi-disciplinary Medical Advisory Team, and more. The Health on the Net Foundation has reviewed the Web site and found it to be in compliance with its HON code of conduct, an initiative to improve the quality of health information on the World Wide Web.

Food allergies affect approximately 6 to 8% of U.S. children, and have been increasing in prevalence over the past several years. Studies show that food allergy creates stress on the family and child, and impacts a family's quality of life. Support groups can help families cope with the challenges in raising a food allergic child; however, many parents are unable to find food allergy support groups where they live.

"As a parent of a severely food allergic child, I understand the challenges and isolation that food allergies can add to our day-to-day lives," says Lynda Mitchell, M.A., President and one of the founders of the new organization. "I know that parent-to-parent support can be immensely helpful in coping with the isolation as well as gaining useful insights from other parents. This helps in raising a happy, healthy food allergic child. We've launched Kids With Food Allergies to address the need of many parents who are raising children with food allergies and are looking for online peer support.

Kids With Food Allergies was granted tax-exempt status as a charitable organization under IRS Code 501(c)(3) in late 2004. The founding volunteer members of its Board of Directors are Veronica Broadley (Arizona), Danielle Keblaitis (Michigan), Kim Khosla, M.D. (Ohio), Lynda Mitchell (Pennsylvania), and Nicole Shields Smith (Colorado). 

The organization has been created to meet the growing need for online peer support previously provided by the Parents of Food Allergic Kids (POFAK) support group, founded in 1998. POFAK had grown to include over 2900 members from a number of countries including the U.S., Mexico, Canada, the U.K., and others before its move to the new Kids With Food Allergies online support community. 

Kids With Food Allergies memberships are available without charge to any family. 

Contact Information:
Lynda Mitchell, M.A.
Kids With Food Allergies, Inc.
73 Old Dublin Pike, PMB 163
Doylestown, PA 18901

Click here for Email

Source: Kids With Food Allergies, Inc.
Web site: http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org

Page last updated 03/28/2011

We improve the day-to-day lives of families raising children with food allergies
and empower them to create a safe and healthy future for their children.

Privacy Policy and Terms of Service
Copyright (c) 2005-2011, Kids With Food Allergies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Kids With Food Allergies was formerly known as POFAK (Parents of Food Allergic Kids)
before becoming a tax exempt charity in 2005.