Kirsty Henshaw outlines how to provide a safe and varied diet for children with allergies
Allergies Kirsty learnt about asthma and allergies through her son Jacob. His intolerance inspired her to develop her own range of dairy and gluten-free ready meals.
Kirsty Henshaw had to learn fast about feeding children with allergies after she inadvertently passed peanut butter on to her nine month old son Jacob. Whilst recovering in hospital, it was there she discovered his intolerances.
Kirsty, from Preston, Lancashire, already had prior experience of dealing with allergies having previously noticed the difficulty Jacob had tolerating cow’s milk, but how he thrived on soya based formula. Kirsty now feeds Jacob a combination of meals made from scratch and allergen-free ready meals that she devised herself. "Even traces of nuts mean Jacob could end up in hospital, so I must be absolutely sure what is in his food," she says.
In addition to being wheat intolerant, dairy foods exacerbate Jacob's asthma, and may bring on eczema. "Dairy can bring on breathing problems for many children and adults with asthma. From first-hand experience, I recommend reducing intake to help minimise symptoms. Even though dairy is high in calcium, this can be found in a number of alternative foods such as green vegetables, nuts, seeds, pulses and tofu so parents needn’t worry" says Kirsty.
It was Jacob's food allergies and intolerance that inspired Kirsty to develop her own range of dairy and gluten-free ready meals. "I believe in healthy eating but as a busy working mum I also look for convenient nutritious solutions.
"Careful cooking and free-from food alternatives mean people with allergies need not miss out," says Kirsty.