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What is food allergy nutrition?

Hi! I'm Meghan. I'm a registered dietitian, and I specialize in food allergy nutrition. For adults with food allergies, nutrition can be a big deal. For children with food allergies, nutrition, feeding, growth, and meeting developmental milestones are a very big deal. Eliminating an allergen or multiple allergens can omit many foods in the diet. The child with a cow's milk allergy will avoid milk, cheese, yogurt, cream, cottage cheese, butter, and any product with milk listed on the ingredients label. Add multiple food allergies into the mix and whammo even more limitations. How do these eliminations affect overall nutrition and health? The answer to this question is individualized food allergy nutrition.

Food allergy nutrition is the art of finding substitutes to replace avoidance foods, examining the diet for nutritional adequacy, filling in nutrition gaps, and supporting healthy feeding and growth. A simple example is plant-based milk to replace cow's milk. Most people reasonably know they need a milk alternative, but is that milk alternative a good one? Does plant-based milk have quality protein? Enough protein? Is it fortified with key nutrients missing when cow's milk is avoided? This is where I come in. For each person, I take into account the allergen(s) being avoided, possible substitutes, food preferences, family dynamics, cooking ability, and any other factor affecting eating, to counsel individuals and families toward the best nutrition possible. If you think you or your child has unmet nutritional needs please contact me for help! -Meghan


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