Kissing, Cooking and Coconut Oil: 24 Tidbits from the Food Allergy Summit

Silhouettes of lovers kissingWhat do kissing, cooking and coconut oil have in common?

A beautiful happy young woman or girl wearing a red apron & usinAdd to it clutter, college and coupons and those are just some of the topics covered in early November during the Food Allergy Wellness: Powerful Paths to Courageous Living with Food Allergies Summit!


I not only had the honor of being a guest speaker but had the privilege of hearing 11 other speakers share personal  and professional experiences dealing with celiac disease, gluten sensitivity and food allergies.

Although there were so many take home messages throughout the 4 day summit, here are my 24 tips that I’d like to share with you.

By the way if you missed it, it’s not too late to hear all of the talks!  The replay and giveaways are available for purchase here.


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Ruchi Gupta, MD MPH   – “Food Allergy 411: Everything You Need to Know”

  • Any food can cause a serious allergic reaction, not just peanuts and tree nuts.
  • If you suspect an allergic reaction, take a history of what was eaten and contact a medical professional (unless an anaphylactic reaction for which you should seek immediate attention).

Lisa Musician, RD LDN  -  “Can Food Allergies Make you Healthy? : Allergen-Free Nutrition”

  • Anyone can develop a food allergy at any time.
  • Seek a dietician who has special training and professional experience in dealing with patients with food allergies.

Rachel Lee Coppola - “Reading Labels is Hard Enough: Make Budgeting & Saving Money with Food Allergies Easy”

Crystal Sabalaske –  “Cluttershrink Your Chance of Cross-Contact: Kitchen Organization”

  • Compile a list of your allergens and their derivatives.  Read the labels of everything in your kitchen including food, one drawer or cabinet at a time.
  • Food particles may get stuck in scratches within non-stick pans or wooden utensils/cutting boards.  Consider using glass or stainless steel pots and containers with color -coded lids.

Chef Keith Norman - “Be a Master Chef: Cooking with Food Allergies”

  • Spices with anticaking properties may have wheat ingredients.
  • Be cautious at sauté stations for cross contact as oil may splatter allergenic food.

Debbie Adler - “Have Your Cake and Eat It: Baking with Food Allergies”

  • Substitute coconut oil for butter.
  • It is cheaper, safer and more nutritious to make your own gluten-free flour blend (recipe and companies in her book).

Lara Holland - “Be Your Own Food Allergy Avenger: Managing Stress in Social and Living Situations”

  • You may want to eat before attending work related functions or speak with the chef privately.
  • Consider having educators or health professionals speak with your children about their food allergies.

Daniella Knell - “No Homework Pass for Parents: Sending Your Food Allergic Child to School”

  • Let your school know that you are partnering with them.
  • Provide teacher with a binder of food allergy information.

Maya Trimner - “Allergen-Free Kisses: Navigating Romantic Relationships with Food Allergies”

  • Share anaphylaxis YouTube videos with friends and romantic interests.
  • Know your derivatives.  Beware of your allergens in foods as well as soaps, shaving cream and lotions that your significant other may use.

Amy Tracy - “I Can’t Eat That: Living with Food Restrictions in College”

  • Search individual school dining resources online as well as food allergy and gluten sites.
  • Ask college students about dining services.

Donna DeCosta, MD - “Food Allergies Aren’t Always a Party, But You Can Have Fun”  (since this is my talk, I will give you two points that were tweeted during my talk)

  • Make sure your kids know to never go off by themselves to self medicate.
  • Role play with your kids how to politely refuse food at a party.

 Kim Koeller - “Your Passport to an Allergen-Free World: Traveling with Food Allergies”

  • Always travel prepared and bring safe food with you such as protein bars.
  • Be cautious of the size of food and drink you bring in your carry on.


Hungry for more?  Check out the entire series right here to learn even more tips to empower you and your family!


Please comment below on any takeaways or “Aha” moments you had during the summit.  I would love to hear them.



Supporting the Food Allergy Circle

Donna DeCosta, MD ( @foodallermomdoc ) is founder of FoodAllergyMomDoc an online community dedicated to supporting the Food Allergy Circle with tips, ideas and resources and author of A Little Bit CAN Hurt: The Shocking Truth about Food Allergies — Why We Should Care, What We Can Do.

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