Learn basic facts about food and food allergies in this special section. Do you need a simple answer to your food allergy questions? Each food allergy facts article is written for parents and teachers to share with school aged kids. Learn more about food allergies and how they differ from food intolerance. Learn about dietary fats, nutritional needs, cross contamination, and food substitutions, too.
There is a lot of talk these days about wheat and gluten. Maybe it is because doctors and scientists are finding more and more people have problems with common food allergies. Have you been tested by your doctor? Did your doctor tell you that you were allergic to wheat, or did he/ she say you were allergic to gluten? I bet you are confused about it and you probably want to know what the difference is between the two things.
Kids with severe allergies must be very careful about the food they do eat. Cross contamination is when tiny bits of your allergic food get onto the food you do eat. These bits are so small that you do not even see them most of the time. This is why they are so dangerous.
Just think about a bag of flour for a second. Imagine what would happen if you opened one up and just dropped it on the counter pretty hard. A big puff of flour dust would rise up out of the bag and into the air, right? Well those dust particles are so small that you wouldn't see them after they fall all over your plate, fork, and knife. They will even fall on the countertop, and on any other open food containers you have out.
If you are allergic to wheat and you eat off that plate or take food out of any of those containers then you will get cross contaminated by that flour and get symptoms. If you are in the room when the flour is banged down on the counter and the dust is floating in the air you will get symptoms just from breathing it in!
This same idea goes for all the other allergens, even ones that aren't powdery like wheat flour. Here are some ideas on what you can do to avoid cross contamination:
Dietary fats and oils are essential for your body. You should learn how to cook with them because they are important for good health and brain function. Good fats help all kinds of body systems work better. They are essential for brain function. Kids, are you still wondering what's the big deal about dietary fats and oils? Well, if you have food allergies it's a super BIG deal for you. Fat is an important part of a healthy diet. You've got to eat plenty of it, especially if you've got food allergies or celiac disease. If you don't eat enough healthy fat, you'll run into all kinds of health problems. I bet you didn't know that.
I'll try to explain to you what it is and which kinds are better for you to eat than others, and how a good chef uses them in the kitchen. Of course, our club avoids the top 10 allergens, so we will only highlight fats that are also safe for folks with common allergens, too. (You won't find info about corn oil, peanut oil, or soy oil here!)
If you are like my little brother Dessie, who I wrote about in my story, Cilie Yack is Under Attack, then you probably spend a lot of time picking the fat off of your meat and setting it on the side of your plate. But did you know that your body actually needs to eat fats? Did you also know that fat helps your brain, protects your body's organs, and is needed to build healthy cells? Fat is important for helping you to feel full after you eat, too. It helps your body soak up all the good vitamins in your foods. Fat is also used when your body runs low on energy. There are healthy fats and unhealthy fats.