Ways to avoid food allergy issues

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee (FACET) provides support and education for people and families dealing with food allergies.

Amanda Painter has a daughter with 5 food allergies. She is the Blount County Coordinator for FACET.

Amanda recommends talking to friends or family before a gathering, if a child has a food allergy. She says to make sure everyone is aware, and you may want to prepare food yourself and bring it with you.

But, allergen-free foods can still be tasty. Amanda shared a peanut-free, milk-free Chocolate Buckeye Candy.

3 tbsp softened safe margarine or coconut oil
1/2 cup sunflower seed butter (or other seed/nut butter safe for allergies)
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (recommends Enjoy Life Foods, labeled no milk, soy, peanuts, nuts, etc.)

Instructions: stir margarine, seed butter and powdered sugar together. Divide dough in to small balls, and refrigerate/freeze so they aren't sticky. Melt the chocolate chips, and dip the balls in the chocolate. Place on wax paper and chill until firm.

Some of the educational information provided by FACET:

Symptoms of Allergic Reaction -

Mild Symptoms may include:

Itchy mouth
Mild nausea/stomach pain
Sneezing/congestion/runny nose
Odd taste in mouth
Uterine contractions

A combination of two (2) or more mild symptoms may be an indicator of anaphylaxis and immediate emergency treatment is necessary.

Severe Symptoms (anaphylaxis) may include:

Trouble swallowing
Shortness of breath
Obstructive swelling (tongue/lips/throat)
Drop in blood pressure (dizzy, faint, pale, blue)

*Always follow your doctor’s advice on treating a reaction.

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