Food Allergies in Children

What we feed both ourselves and children is becoming a major topic of discussion more and more, which is why I personally sought out advice from a nutritionist.  I found an amazing lady, Nichole Lowe from Create Total Wellness,  here in Orange County.  Of course the subject of allergies came up, and as they owner of a Nanny Agency, I found the information she had regarding food allergies in children to be very interesting.  Below is a great article which discusses the symptoms of food allergies in children as well as the steps that are being taken in Schools and Early Care to address food allergies.  Should you recognize any of the symptoms of food allergies in your child, you should see out guidance and look into testing as the article suggests.

Nichole Lowe BIO

Nichole Lowe, founder of the Create Total Wellness clinics, is a successful Integrative Nutritionist and Certified Health Coach. Nichole’s areas of expertise include nutritional therapy, dietary and lifestyle change, weight-loss and maintenance, healthy detoxification; health concerns related to metabolic syndrome and lifestyle diseases, blood sugar related health issues, anxiety disorders, and stress reduction.

Nichole’s credentials include being a board certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, and Certified Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Instructor. Her formal education includes study at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York, NY, The University of Minnesota School of Liberal Arts Sociology & Communications in Minneapolis, MN, and the College of Santa Fe Film, Television & Radio Production in Santa Fe, NM.

Nichole is also on staff as a Student Health Coach at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the world’s largest Nutrition School, and staff Nutritionist at Dee’s House, Southern California’s only adult women’s treatment center. She has earned certifications and CEU credits in her studies on Nutrition and Cancer, Anti-inflammatory diets, nutrition and cardiovascular health, integrative mental health anxiety and depression, environmental medicine, Ayurveda, and nutrition and prostate cancer. Nichole meets with patients at her Create Total Wellness clinics located in Foothill Ranch as well as telephonic and SKYPE sessions on a national and international basis. Her clinics offer nutritional therapy, health coaching, detoxification and weight-loss programs, group programs, and corporate wellness programs.

Nichole is also a wellness speaker and educator, and she is a member of the Institute for Integrative Medicine, National Association of Nutritional Professionals, and International Association of Health Coaches. Nichole loves travel, horseback riding, hiking, and adventure but her greatest passion is empowering men and women to live their best life NOW.

What is a Food Allergy?

A food allergy occurs when the body has a specific and reproducible immune response to certain foods.3 The body’s immune response can be severe and life threatening, such as anaphylaxis. Although the immune system normally protects people from germs, in people with food allergies, the immune system mistakenly responds to food as if it were harmful. Eight foods or food groups account for 90% of serious allergic reactions in the United States: milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, wheat, soy, peanuts, and tree nuts.3

Symptoms of Food Allergy in Children

Symptoms Communicated by Children with Food Allergies

  • It feels like something is poking my tongue.
  • My tongue (or mouth) is tingling (or burning).
  • My tongue (or mouth) itches.
  • My tongue feels like there is hair on it.
  • My mouth feels funny.
  • There’s a frog in my throat; there’s something stuck in my throat.
  • My tongue feels full (or heavy).
  • My lips feel tight.
  • It feels like there are bugs in there (to describe itchy ears).
  • It (my throat) feels thick.
  • It feels like a bump is on the back of my tongue (throat).

The symptoms and severity of allergic reactions to food can be different between individuals, and can also be different for one person over time. Anaphylaxis is a sudden and severe allergic reaction that may cause death.5 Not all allergic reactions will develop into anaphylaxis.

  • Children with food allergies are two to four times more likely to have asthma or other allergic conditions than those without food allergies.1
  • The prevalence of food allergies among children increased 18% during 1997–2007, and allergic reactions to foods have become the most common cause of anaphylaxis in community health settings.1,6
  • In 2006, about 88% of schools had one or more students with a food allergy.7

Treatment and Prevention of Food Allergies in Children

There is no cure for food allergies. Strict avoidance of the food allergen is the only way to prevent a reaction. However, since it is not always easy or possible to avoid certain foods, staff in schools and ECE programs should develop plans to deal with allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. Early and quick recognition and treatment of allergic reactions that may lead to anaphylaxis can prevent serious health problems or death.

Voluntary Guidelines for Managing Food Allergies In Schools and Early Care and Education Programs

In consultation with the U.S. Department of Education and a number of other federal agencies, CDC developed the Voluntary Guidelines for Managing Food Allergies in Schools and Early Care and Education Centers, (Call Create Total Wellness for a copy of this report),  in fulfillment of the 2011 FDA Food Safety Modernization Act to improve food safety in the United States.

The Voluntary Guidelines for Managing Food Allergies provide practical information and planning steps for parents, district administrators, school administrators and staff, and ECE program administrators and staff to develop or strengthen plans for food allergy management and prevention. The Voluntary Guidelines for Managing Food Allergies include recommendations for each of the five priority areas that should be addressed in each school’s or ECE program’s Food Allergy Management Prevention Plan:

  1. Ensure the daily management of food allergies in individual children.
  2. Prepare for food allergy emergencies.
  3. Provide professional development on food allergies for staff members.
  4. Educate children and family members about food allergies.
  5. Create and maintain a healthy and safe educational environment.


  1. Branum AM, Lukacs SL. Food allergy among U.S. children: trends in prevalence and hospitalizations. NCHS Data Brief. 2008;10:1-8.
  2. Liu AH, Jaramillo R, Sicherer SH, et al. National prevalence and risk factors for food allergy and relationship to asthma: results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005-2006. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010;126(4):798-806.e13.
  3. Boyce JA, Assa’ad A, Burks AW, et al; NIAID-Sponsored Expert Panel. Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of food allergy in the United States: report of the NIAID-sponsored expert panel. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010;126(suppl 6):S1-S58.
  4. The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network. Food Allergy News. 2003;13(2).
  5. Sampson HA, Munoz-Furlong A, Campbell RL, et al. Second symposium on the definition and management of anaphylaxis: summary report—Second National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease/Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network Symposium. Ann Emerg Med. 2006;47(4):373-380.
  6. Decker WW, Campbell RL, Manivannan V, et al. The etiology and incidence of anaphylaxis in Rochester, Minnesota: a report from the Rochester Epidemiology Project. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2008;122(6):1161-1165.
  7. O’Toole TP, Anderson S, Miller C, Guthrie J. Nutrition services and foods and beverages available at school: results from the School Health Policies and Programs Study 2006. J Sch Health. 2007;77:500-521.

For more information about Food Allergy testing and wellness programs for students and staff, please contact Nichole Lowe’s office at 949.348.1200 and visit

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