Health Watch

Precautions for kids with food allergies

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Food allergies are something many families with children with dietary restrictions, have to plan their lives around. And now, Valley schools are working on taking precautions to prevent accidents from happening.

The lunch line at McLane High School is packed with kids picking up the regulars, milk, salad and a sandwich. But for some students with celiac disease or a gluten intolerance, a sandwich, just isn't an option.

"They could have an allergic reaction, so when we get these requests of a special diet, we take them very seriously," said Jose Alvarado. "And we monitor them closely."

At the nutrition center for the Fresno Unified District where meals are prepared, a special section is set aside to cook meals for kids with food allergies.

Gluten allergies are caused by eating food containing gluten which is the protein found in wheat, barley and rye. But so much of what we eat contains gluten. Staples like bread and cereal, just to name a few.

For many parents and school staff members, it's hard just to keep kids safe.

"It is a challenge but we are able to address it everyday, we have a staff, a food nutritionist and food services staff," said KC Pomering. "That's our job, if we have a diet, we meet the students needs."

KC Pomering runs an online resource for people struggling with gluten allergies. It's called, G-Free Foodie. She also has celiac disease. She advises parents to pay attention to certain signs in their children.

KC Pomering said, "If you find you doing child doing things, even absentmindedly that seems like they are trying to soothe their stomach, like eating crackers, drinking tea, doing something where you think they are constantly trying to self sooth.

Other symptoms of a gluten allergy include, fatigue, an upset stomach and an iron deficiency.

If these symptoms sound familiar, talk to your doctor.

(Copyright ©2014 KFSN-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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