Introducing Food Allergy Canada

Introducing Food Allergy Canada

Great news! Anaphylaxis Canada has rebranded to Food Allergy Canada. We’re proud to have this blog featured under their new banner and suite of resources for youth with allergies!

Check out their new website at www.foodallergycanada.ca.

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Food Allergies at Weddings

a wedding pic

I get so excited when I receive a wedding invitation in the mail. I love hearing that my friends or families have found that special someone and I love joining in on the celebration!

However, there is usually one slip of paper that comes along with the invitation that brings my thoughts away from the ceremony, the speeches and the party. I’m talking about that slip that asks you to indicate your food selection for the reception.

I love seeing a few options on this slip, as there are usually a couple options I can cross off right away. I am allergic to seafood, and fish is usually one of those options. That typically leaves me analyzing the meat and vegetarian dishes. More information is always better, but sometimes it just says meat with a special sauce, or vegetables with certain fixings. What’s in that special sauce? What on earth is a fixing? With my long list of multiple allergies, I like details!

I have had experiences where this slip says “Please indicate any allergies or intolerances”, which gives me a little bit of comfort knowing this information should make it to the catering staff. The bride and groom to-be have a lot on their plate in the months ahead, but it is acceptable to bring up the food situation in conversation prior to the big day. Bring it up casually by saying “I love that there was a tick box for allergens with the wedding invitations”. Or “I didn’t see any mention of meals for special diets, should I get in touch with the catering company in advance”. Make it easy for them and offer to be a part of the solution if you foresee a problem.

Fast forward to the wedding itself which is usually half a year away. The wedding goes well and you are overjoyed for the happy couple! Then…you start racking your brain trying to remember what food you ordered for the reception. Did you mention your allergens on the food order form?

At this point, it’s always a great idea to connect with the catering staff directly. In my experience, they go out of their way to answer your questions and make sure you have a safe meal. After all, weddings are a big business and they want all of the guests satisfied. Hopefully they can confirm for you that you have a special plated meal, or that the regular meal will be okay.

I have gone to weddings where the catering staff found ME before I could find THEM! They wanted to let me know that I would be having a special meal free of my allergens. I love that!

Magically Allergy Free

At the end of the day, you are there to celebrate love and marriage. If you are uncomfortable with the food or have other issues with the catering, try to solve it with the caterer’s supervisor or the wedding planner – try to keep the newlyweds out of it so they can stay focused on celebrating. If all else fails, you can always make a toast at the end of the night…in your toaster at home. J

Brochure Available for Allergy Awareness Challenge

The Allergy Awareness Challenge is a program that raises awareness about allergies in high schools. It has several fun games/challenges that you can run with your friends and earn volunteer hours. A new brochure can now be found at www.AllergyChallenge.ca. This can be a helpful tool to pass along to your principal or supervising teacher in order to get approval to run the program in your school.

Anaphylaxis Canada Launches High School Allergy Awareness Challenge

Allergy Awareness Challenge

 Teenagers are the most at risk group for anaphylaxis for several reasons including social changes, peer pressure and an increased incidence of risk-taking. Another large factor that contributes to this is the transition from elementary school to a much larger high school environment, which brings with it many new friends, and classmates who aren’t aware of an individual’s allergies.

Anaphylaxis Canada aims to target this group with potentially life saving information in a fun and engaging way. We are introducing the Allergy Awareness Challenge, a program that high schools can adopt to raise awareness about food allergies to all students. The program involves three days of games and activities outside of class time including a Food Allergy Spelling Bee, Food Allergy Jeopardy, and an Adopt an Allergy for a day challenge.

With this program, Anaphylaxis Canada hopes to not only further educate teens living with allergies, but also their friends and classmates. Kyle Dine, project coordinator, thinks this program will really make a difference for allergic teens. “Research has shown that teens are more likely to be compliant in carrying their own epinephrine auto-injector or asking about ingredients at a restaurant when their friends support and understand their allergies. The goal of this program is to build peer support that will aid allergic students in managing their own condition.” says Dine.

As food allergies are an increasingly important issue in high schools, Anaphylaxis Canada wanted to provide a resource that supports schools in their efforts to raise awareness amongst its student body. The program can also be used for camps, support groups, and other community organizations with an interest in educating teens about anaphylaxis.

Schools and students can learn more about the program and sign up at www.allergychallenge.ca.

Anaphylaxis Canada is thankful to TD Securities and the Sean Delaney Memorial Golf Classic for funding this initiative.

Save the Date! Anaphylaxis Community Conference

Members of our Youth Advisory Panel are hard at work to plan another great Youth Session at this year’s Anaphylaxis Community Conference!

LAST YEAR, participants gathered in Toronto, Ontario to discuss their experiences and strategies for:

  • managing allergies in high school, university, and college
  • copying with anxiety, exclusion, and bullies
  • meeting new friends, dating, and partying safely with allergies
  • and more!
Kyle presenting powerpoint slide

Kyle with an essential teaching tool: cat in lime helmet

THIS YEAR, the Community Conference will take place in Winnipeg, Manitoba on Saturday April 21, 2012. Youth participants (13-21 yrs. old) will be invited to attend the main conference program in the morning, before breaking off for the Youth Session in the afternoon. Participants will connect with other teens and young adults, share their own experiences and perspectives, and learn how to live safely with allergies. Interactive activities will keep things lively!

More details will be available soon! In the meantime, save the date, tell your friends, and visit Anaphylaxis Canada’s website for more information.

Welcome to the WhyRiskIt? Teen Allergy Blog!

Greetings!

I’d like to officially welcome you to the newest resource from www.whyriskit.ca.  The Teen Allergy Blog.

Anaphylaxis Canada's Youth Advisory PanelAll of our resources are created by a team of allergic youth called the “Youth Advisory Panel” or YAP. This group works with Anaphylaxis Canada to provide awesome tools to help educate other teens and young adults at risk for anaphylaxis. Some of these “cool tools” include:

Every week our YAP contributors will be providing our readers with their stories, experiences, and knowledge onhow to balance allergies with a normal teenage life.

We look forward to hearing your comments, feedback and story ideas. If you are interested in becoming a contributor to this blog, please consider joining YAP by downloading our application form.

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the blog!

Kyle
Anaphylaxis Canada