Tag Archives: Reading Labels

Reading Food Labels

Throughout our journey with food allergies so far (especially at the beginning), one of the more confusing and frustrating parts was/is reading and understanding food labels.   These two articles discuss this topic…

You Asked: Can I Trust Allergy Warnings On Food Labels?

Source: http://time.com/


http://snacksafely.com/2015/07/time-article-can-i-trust-allergy-warnings-on-food-labels/

Source: http://snacksafely.com/


It’s almost Friday so we smile on…

tj cartoon

TIPSy TUESDAYS: Always Read Labels – PART 5 (BARLEY)

From food to non-food products, it is extremely crucial to be on the look out for hidden allergens. Reading food labels and learning about ingredients becomes second nature when living with food allergies.   However, even when you are comfortable with a product, it is important still double check the label especially since companies can change the makeup of their products. In addition, the ingredients in many everyday items will amaze you at times.   I know that I continue to be surprised by many of the components of common foods and non-food products.


Here is some of the information about BARLEY that I have learned throughout the course of this journey so far. (It does NOT include every location of these allergens as we are still learning.)

1) BARLEY ALLERGY

In the United States, barley is not one of the top 8 most common food allergies. While it is not as common as wheat, it does show up as an ingredient in several foods.

Like any allergy, it is important to once again read all labels, checking for any ingredients that may contain barley.  According to the Food Allergen Labeling Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA), companies are NOT required to label their products for the presence of barley.

For more information about product labeling, click here.

To read the complete law, click here.


BARLEY ALLERGY

From our experience so far, this is what we have learned about this particular allergy.  Please note, that this is not all of the locations that barely may be found.   READ ALL LABELS ALWAYS AND CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR WHEN NEEDED. Also, it is important to contact companies when you have questions about their ingredients and labels.

Ingredients that can be derived from barely include:

  • malt or malt flavoring (We found this in some cereals when we were on the hunt for one that my son could and would eat.)
  • malt vinegar
  • brown rice syrup
  • caramel color
  • maltose

Food & drinks that may contain barley include:

  • baby food jars
  • beer
  • stews
  • soups
  • coffee substitutes
  • health foods such as breads
  • some cereals

I found the following link to be helpful regarding a barley allergy.   The link includes ingredients derived from barley as well as food made from it. Check it out:

Barley Allergy

Source: http://www.allergy-details.com/


Allergen Cross-reactivity Between Grains (especially Wheat & Barley)

Here is another interesting read about the issue of cross-reactivity.

Cross Reactivity Between Grains

Source: https://www.aaaai.org/home.aspx


Barley in My Bread

In searching for a bread that my son can eat, we noticed that bread contains various different allergens.  In fact, the bread that my husband and I eat contains wheat, soy, and barley. I did not eat this type of bread when on my breastfeeding elimination diet.

Check it out:

BREAD 2

Since we want to educate others on the world of food allergies and believe sharing is caring, we continue to smile …barley free for now…

TIPSy TUESDAYS – Always Read Labels –

TIPSy TUESDAYS: Always Read Labels – The Reality of Hidden Allergens – PART 3 (EGGS)

From food to non-food products, it is extremely crucial to be on the look out for hidden allergens. Reading food labels and learning about ingredients becomes second nature when living with food allergies.   However, even when you are comfortable with a product, it is important still double check the label especially since companies can change the makeup of their products. In addition, the ingredients in many everyday items will amaze you at times.   I know that I continue to be surprised by many of the components of common foods and non-food products.

Here is some of the information about EGGS that I have learned throughout the course of this journey so far. (It does NOT include every location of these allergens as we are still learning.)

EGGS 2


1) EGG ALLERGY

In the United States, egg is one of the top 8 most common food allergies and second most common allergies among children. Like any allergy, it is important to once again read all labels, checking for any ingredients that may contain eggs.  According to the Food Allergen Labeling Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA), companies are required to label their products for the presence of eggs.  However,  there are some products that are not covered by these FDA allergen labeling laws and therefore, are exempt.

Some include:

  • Foods that are not regulated by the FDA
  • Prescription & over-the-counter drugs
  • Cosmetics, shampoo, mouthwash, toothpaste, shaving cream
  • Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products
  • Pet foods and supplies
  • Toys and crafts
  • And others….

For more information about product labeling, click here.

To read the complete law, click here.


EGG ALLERGY AVOIDANCE LIST & RESOURCE

The following link is an amazing resource for those with an egg allergy.   The link contains an egg allergy avoidance list and travel-size cards.  It also includes the hidden names for eggs.

Egg-Allergy-Avoidance-List-Hidden-Names

Source: http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org


This second link contains food avoidance lists for the top 8 allergens.

Tips For Avoiding Your Allergen

Source: http://www.foodallergy.org/home


Eggs and Vaccinations

Some vaccines contain egg protein. Read more about this here.   This is why TJ now gets some of his vaccines at his allergist’s office. For example, about a month ago, he received the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) shot by a nurse at this office.   While I was so anxious about him having this vaccine and any potential reactions it may cause, he was safely administered it with no reactions, minus a slight eczema flare-up. Unfortunately, we will soon need to schedule to get his flu shot there too since daycare requires it by law. Since the egg-free version Flublok is only FDA approved for people 18 years of age or older, this is not an option.

Egg Allergy & the Flu Vaccine


Eggs in my Wine?!?!?

Here is an example of just how important it is to read every single label.

Last May, I was on the elimination diet of all of TJ’s allergies in order to continue breastfeeding.  One Friday night as I waited for my husband to get home from picking up food, I poured some wine. Just when I was about to have a sip, I noticed its label…

WINE BLOG

“This wine was produced with the aid of egg fining, and traces may remain.”

This just goes to show everyone who is dealing with food allergies to read every single label even when it seems irrational to do so!


Since we want to educate others on the world of food allergies and believe sharing is caring, we continue to smile on…


Disclaimer: This blog is a personal blog and used as a way of sharing and connecting with other readers. The posts, articles, and stories shared on the site are meant as a source of encouragement. In this challenging world of food allergies, I have found reaching out to other parents and people in my shoes to be extremely resourceful and inspiring. Therefore, I want to give back and do the same. The information on my blog is not intended as medical advice so as always, please consult with your doctor.

TIPSy TUESDAYS – Always Read Labels –

Favorite Finds Friday

My favorite find for this week is TJ’s first real cereal, Original Kix cereal. Like I posted earlier this week, because of TJ’s multiple food allergies, finding breakfast foods that he will and can eat has been the most challenging. It has been a full week since we were first able to safely and successfully introduce the first real cereal to his diet. He continues to enjoy it and his body is still doing wonderfully with it. Although this may not seem like much, it is such an amazing thing to see TJ snacking on and eating something that other kids his age are enjoying as well.  It is even a greater feeling when he sees the Kix box and starts reaching for it, excited to eat something!  There have not been very many foods that he has done that for.

However, before introducing every new food or product, there are steps that we take to try to ensure TJ’s utmost safety. So once again we play detective …

DETECTIVE

Step 1) We did our own initial research about the ingredients. After reading the label, it appeared that it did not contain anything TJ was allergic to. Kix contained mostly corn ingredients.

PUFFS

Step 2) Emailed and check with both our pediatrician and allergist asking if it was a safe food for him. Both approved!

THUMBS UP

Step 3) While we waited for their email responses, we researched more on our own especially since the box was not labeled gluten-free. We read gluten-free websites/blogs including the following one and asked other moms/parents.

http://www.adventuresofaglutenfreemom.com/2012/03/all-about-gluten-free-cereal/

*It is important to note once again that everyone’s body reacts differently to foods and products. For example, one mom who I spoke with had a son with almost the exact same allergies as TJ. However, her son’s mouth would get itchy from Kix. What works for one person as a safe food does not mean it will work for the next.

Step 4) Introduce slowly and with caution. Be optimistically cautious. The first day I gave TJ four Kix puffs.  Then, watched him.   With a few minutes, he had a red spot on his forehead so I did not give any more that day.   Since he had been playing, his skin may have been irritated by an environmental factor due to his dermographism. Then, we tried it again another day with success and continued this introduction for a full week.  It was a success!

CELEBRATE

To conclude, thank you General Mills for your creating Kix, a cereal that TJ can eat despite his allergies. Because I know God is working within TJ and guiding our steps, we are beyond thankful for this product and continue to smile on…


god is good

TIPSy TUESDAYS – Always Read Labels – The Reality of Hidden Allergens – PART 2 (SESAME)

From food to non-food products, it is extremely crucial to be on the look out for hidden allergens. Reading food labels and learning about ingredients becomes second nature when living with food allergies.   However, even when you are comfortable with a product, it is important still double check the label especially since companies can change the makeup of their products. In addition, the ingredients in many everyday items will amaze you at times.   I know that I continue to be surprised by many of the components of common foods and non-food products.

Here is some of the information about SESAME that I have learned throughout the course of this journey so far. (It does NOT include every location of these allergens as we are still learning.)


1) SESAME ALLERGY

In the United States, sesame is one of the top 10 most common food allergies; however, currently only the top 8 are required by law to be listed on food labels.   Therefore, it is often trickier to manage. Those with a sesame allergy need to be aware of the other names for sesame.

Here are some of these other names for sesame: Anjonjoli, Til, Benne, Gingelly, Simsim, Teel

Also, with a sesame allergy, one must avoid all sesame seed and sesame oil products.  Sesame oil is usually not refined like many other oils.  Because sesame is a difficult allergy to manage, I have listed both the obvious and more hidden places where sesame seeds/oil may be found.

SESAME

Someone with a sesame allergy must avoid and understand the following words:

  • Sesame seed and sesame oil
  • Sesame Seeds = Sesamum indicum (The scientific name for sesame)
  • Sesame = Simsim (Name for sesame in East Africa)
  • Sesame salt = Gomasio
  • Sesame seed paste = Tahini
  • Halvah =sesame flour + honey; a Middle Eastern confection
  • Sesamol = component of sesame oil
  • Gingelly oil = another name for sesame oil
  • Hummus = spread or paste made from sesame seeds, chickpeas, olive oil, lemon, garlic (and other added ingredients based on variety)

Sesame may be hidden behind labeled ingredients of:

  • spices
  • natural flavors
  • seeds

Food items that sesame may sometimes be found in: (Very important to read every label and inquire when dining out.)

SESAME SUSHI

  • dips and spreads like chutney
  • falafel and related products
  • rices, noodles, stews, stir fry, risotto
  • sauces
  • processed meats, chicken, sausage, veggie burgers
  • breads, bagels, rolls, pastries,
  • bread crumbs, bread sticks
  • cereals and muesli
  • crackers, pita chips
  • cakes, granola bars, protein bars
  • candy and trail mix
  • appetizers (not just sesame chicken)
  • Asian cuisine (like sushi)
  • Middle Eastern cuisine (like halvah &tahini)
  • Gluten free products
  • And the list goes on…

Non-food items that may contain sesame oil:

  • lip gloss & products (Sometimes listed as sesamum indicum -sesame seed oil)
  • skin cream

Additional Sesame Seed/Oil Allergy Information

(Source: Allergy Experts US Website )

Sesame Allergy

(Source: Kids with Food Allergies Website)


Since I know I learned a lot by writing this post, I am confident that others will also find it informational so we smile on…


Disclaimer: This blog is a personal blog and used as a way of sharing and connecting with other readers. The posts, articles, and stories shared on the site are meant as a source of encouragement. In this challenging world of food allergies, I have found reaching out to other parents and people in my shoes to be extremely resourceful and inspiring. Therefore, I want to give back and do the same. The information on my blog is not intended as medical advice so as always, please consult with your doctor.


TIPSy TUESDAYS – Always Read Labels –