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A Handbook for College Students with Food Allergies

Including Recipes, Shopping Tips, Nutrition Info, Traveling Tips, and More
Written by: Shanda Aguirre
Designed by: Neil Bui & Shanda
Table of Contents
Introduction Pg. 3
#Nutrition Pg. 4
#Shopping Pg. 9
#Recipes Pg. 12
#Traveling Pg. 18
#TakeAction Pg. 22
#Resources Pg. 24
Pg. 2
Congratulations! You made it to college. Freedom is now
yours. Run like a gazelle. But, wait! Now youre solely,
100% responsible for feeding yourself! Yikes! If your col-
lege accommodates food allergies then your life at school
will be much easier. But if your college doesnt have food
allergy accommodations or you are in dire need of a late
night snack after partying, I mean studying, then let me help
you out.
I dont have food allergies myself, but Ive been raising a
child, for many years, who has multiple food allergies. So, I
have some tricks up my sleeve. And I know the struggle of
trying to balance a social life and food allergies. One of the
most important lessons I have learned is; food allergy man-
agement just takes preparation. Dont miss out on social
activities with your friends because of your food allergies. If
they are going somewhere that you cant eat, bring your own
food. I know it can be a pain in the butt, but its better than
missing the fun. Thats my philosophy.
This handbook is the result of a study I did for my mas-
ters degree. I explored the information needs of college
students with food allergies. What I found is that college
students want easy recipes, travel advice, shopping tips,
and some nutrition information. I will provide those things
in this handbook. Students also want information on how
to inform their college about their food allergies and for
dining services to better accommodate students with food
allergies. Although I will not address those issues, I will tell
you that help with those issues, plus more, is in works right
now by FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education). FARE is
developing a College Program that will address food allergy
students needs. I was lucky enough to attend their April
2014 Summit and let me tell you, they have great things
in the works. Check out their website in the #Resources
section of this handbook.
Good Luck to you! I hope this handbook fnds you well.
Have an amazing and safe college experience! And remem-
ber, you got this, all you have to do is #BeReady!
This handbook is dedicated to Brooklyn. You are my inspiration.
Pg. 3
Here is a crash course in Nutrition for Food Allergies. Since
food allergies have a huge impact on your diet, its import-
ant that you are still getting the vitamins and minerals that
you need, all while avoiding the foods you are allergic to.
There are some essential nutrients (vitamins and minerals
that your body can not make on its own, so they must be
consumed in the food you eat) that are needed to maintain
life. Besides the essential vitamins and minerals, your body
does need some good fats. Eating a variety of food is
always best, Im sure you have heard that one before. I pro-
vided some food selections after each vitamin, just to give
you some ideas. Remember that all fruits and vegetables,
in their natural form, will provide the benefts of essential
vitamins and minerals, even if they arent on this list. Here
is a quick go-to guide to help you plan a healthy diet, in spite
of dietary restrictions.
Vitamin A:
Vitamin A is important for your skin, immune system, growth,
and vision. Most people get their Vitamin A from whole milk.
If you cant have dairy, other sources of Vitamin A include:
broccoli, kale, carrots, sweet potatoes, melons, mangos,
spinach, dried apricots, cantaloupe, parsley, chili peppers,
and yellow-orange vegetables.
Vitamin D:
Vitamin D can be made in the body from sunlight. This
becomes a problems when you live in a mostly cloudy city.
Vitamin D is needed for your body to absorb calcium, which
is the reason why manufacturers add it to milk. The best
natural sources of Vitamin D are salmon, tuna, eggs, and
cheese. If you cant have milk, try taking 1 teaspoon of cod
liver oil per day. If you are allergic to all of these things, and
live in a cloudy place, talk to your doctor about a Vitamin D
supplement that is right for you. Too much Vitamin D can be
toxic, so dont just buy supplements and start taking them
without speaking to a doctor frst.
Pg. 4
Vitamin E:
Vitamin E protects cells from damage. Its an antioxidant
that can protect against heart disease and cancer. The best
sources of Vitamin E are wheat germ and vegetable oils.
Other sources are avocados, spinach, almonds, sunfower
oil, sunfower seeds, broccoli, asparagus, beef, turkey, whole
milk, tomatoes, cabbage, whole wheat cereal, whole grains,
leafy green vegetables, and nuts.
Vitamin K:
Vitamin K makes your blood clot and your bones form. Good
sources of Vitamin K are green tea, green leafy vegetables,
spinach, broccoli, oats, whole wheat, fresh peas, spinach,
cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, carrots, seaweed, green
beans, and watercress.
The B- Vitamins
B1- Thiamine: Function is energy production and nerve cell
function. You may feel depressed, tired, and be constipated
if you have a defciency of B-1. Also, if you are drinking a lot
of alcohol, it can deplete B-1. The best sources of B-1 are
peanuts, soybeans, and sunfower seeds. Other sources are
wheat germ, Brazil nuts, pine nuts, millet, wheat bran, navy
beans, oatmeal, whole wheat grains, wild rice, cashews,
hazelnuts, mung beans, almonds, garbanzo beans, lentils,
sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, brown rice, lima
beans, garlic cloves, dairy products.
B2- Ribofavin: Function in energy production, immune
system function, growth of hair and skin. Good sources:
almonds, wheat germ, wild rice, mushrooms, wheat bran,
kale, parsley, broccoli, pine nuts, sunfower seeds, lentils,
prunes, pinto beans, whole grain rye, black eyed peas, leafy
green vegetables.
B5- Pantothenic Acid: Function in energy production, hor-
mone regulation, metabolic reactions. Good sources of
B5 are peanuts, pecans, hazelnuts, cashews, mushrooms,
soybeans, oatmeal, sunfower seeds, lentils, broccoli, whole
wheat four, avocado, wild rice, kale, black eyed peas, and
Use these yellow columns to jot
down ideas that come to mind
as you read this handbook.
Pg. 5
B6- Pyridoxine: Helps with red blood cell formation, helps
the body use protein, and helps the immune system. Many
drugs and food dyes decrease B6 in the body, including oral
contraceptives, alcohol, and Yellow Dye No.5. Good sourc-
es of B6 include legumes, whole grains, all nuts, prunes,
raisins, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, spinach, avocado,
pinto beans, garbanzo beans, lima beans, soybeans.
B12- Cobalamin: It keeps the nervous system healthy. The
best sources of B12 are animal proteins such as fsh, eggs,
meat, and cheese. If you have food allergies and are a
vegetarian, speak to your doctor about getting B12 into your
diet. Its a very important essential vitamin.
Vitamin C:
Vitamin C makes collagen, which is the main protein that
the body is made from. The role of Vitamin C in the body is
tremendous. Vitamin C helps the immune system, wound
repair, reduce cancer, protect from pollutants, and so much
more. Vitamin C is destroyed when it is exposed to air, so
its best to eat your veggies and fruit right away. The best
sources of Vitamin C are guava, kale, parsley, collard greens,
Brussels sprouts, mustard greens, broccoli, citrus fruits, per-
simmons, spinach, papayas, strawberries, watercress, red
cabbage, tomatoes, and potatoes.
Folic Acid:
Folic acid is necessary for cells to divide. Many things
impair the absorption of folic acid including alcohol, estro-
gens, and many prescription drugs. Animal proteins are
poor sources of folic acid. Good sources of folic acid include
spinach, kale, whole grains, legumes, asparagus, brocco-
li, cabbage, kidney beans, mung beans, lima beans, navy
beans, garbanzo beans, asparagus, kale, soybeans, wal-
nuts, and wheat germ.
Pg. 6
Most of the minerals you consume will be included in your
fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Miner-
al defciencies can cause an array of health issues so mak-
ing sure you are getting your essential minerals is just as
important as getting your essential vitamins. Here are the
minerals to keep your eye on if you have food allergies:
Calcium: Best sources are nuts, seeds, yogurt, cheddar
cheese, and milk products. If you are allergic to those foods
then get your calcium from kelp, collard greens, kale, fgs,
parsley, olives, broccoli, dates, brown rice, raisins, rutabaga,
dried apricots, oranges, carrots, sweet potatoes, brown rice.
Phosphorus: Best sources are lentils, milk, halibut, beef,
turkey, almonds, cheese, eggs, peanuts, bread, and en-
riched bread. As you can see, many of the options of phos-
phorus include the Top 8 allergens. If you are a vegetarian
with many food allergies, speak to your doctor about ways to
include phosphorus in your diet.
Magnesium: Best sources are nuts, wheat bran, wheat
germ, kelp, molasses, collard greens, brown rice, fgs, avoca-
do, whole grains, bananas, cooked beans, sunfower seeds,
garlic, potato with skin, prunes, dried fruit, and spinach.
Potassium and Sodium: These two minerals work together
in the body and must maintain balance. Sodium in foods
is enough to provide the adequate amount. Adding sodium
(salt) to meals will disrupt the sodium/potassium balance,
which causes major health issues such as cancer and
cardiovascular diseases. Foods that provide the perfect
sodium/potassium balance include: asparagus, avocado,
carrots, lima beans, potatoes, spinach, raw tomatoes, apple,
banana, cantaloupe, orange, strawberries, chicken, pork,
roast beef, salmon, and tuna.
Pg. 7
Copper and Zinc: Copper and Zinc work against each oth-
er by fghting for the same absorption sight. If there is too
much copper in your diet then it will decrease the amount
of Zinc and visa-versa. Zinc is important for the immune
system. Copper is usually excessive in the American diet
because of copper-lined drinking pipes, and leads to many
health problems such as premenstrual syndrome, schizo-
phrenia, and anxiety. Foods that are naturally high in Cop-
per tend to be higher in Zinc, and the best examples of that
are legumes and nuts. For people allergic to peanuts, tree
nuts, or wheat, speak to your doctor about ways to include
zinc in your diet. Other options to achieve the Copper/Zinc
balance are pumpkin seeds, gingerroot, whole wheat, Brazil
nuts, oats, lima beans, almonds, buckwheat, green peas,
hazelnuts, pecans, and rye.
Selenium: Selenium and Vitamin E work together to stop
free- radical damage, which causes cancer, infammatory
disease, and heart disease. The best sources of Selenium
are whole grains, meat, fsh, Brazil nuts, and eggs. Other
sources of Selenium include what bran, Swiss chard, oats,
loin chops, brown rice, salmon, turkey, chicken breast, gar-
lic, and barley.
Good Fats: Good fats are monounsaturated and polyun-
saturated fats. They help with vitamin absorption, immune
system, and nerve function. Good allergen-free fats include
olive, sunfower, and sesame oil. Also, avocado and olives
provide good fats. Nuts, seeds, and cold water fsh are also
excellent sources of good fats.
If you have this allergies, make extra sure you are getting
enough of this:
Dairy Allergy: Vitamin A, Vitamin D, calcium, phosphorus
Wheat Allergy: Vitamin E, Vitamin K, B-1, B-2, B-5, B-6, Folic
Acid, magnesium, zinc, selenium
Nut Allergy: Vitamin E, B-1, B-2, B-5, B-6, calcium, phospho-
rus, magnesium, zinc, selenium
Egg Allergy: B-12, phosphorus, selenium
Soy Allergy: B-1, B-5, B-6
Fish or Shellfsh Allergy: B-12
#Tip: When I say speak to your doctor, I
mean speak to a nutrition specialist. Most
general practice doctors were only re-
quired to take 1 nutrition class during their
entire medical training.
Source: Murray, M. T., & Pizzorno, J. E. (2005). The encyclopedia of healing foods. Simon
and Schuster.
Pg. 8
The dreaded grocery store. Most people with food allergies
know that going to the grocery store is not a quick trip.
Reading labels, navigating food allergy warnings, and fg-
uring out what to eat can be a real hassle. But let me tell
you, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Grocery shop-
ping for your food allergies will get easier with time. The
frst few trips are usually the longest, most costly, and most
daunting, but you will get it fgured out after that. Here are
some tips, that Ive learned, that will make grocery shopping
easier for you. You may even want to print this out and bring
it with you the frst couple of trips.
Always make a shopping list before you go to the store.
Believe me, it will save you time, money, and frustration.
Always read labels. Every time! Ingredients in products
change often. Just because you safely ate something
before, doesnt mean that the company didnt change an
ingredient or a manufacturing procedure.
Companies make labeling mistakes frequently! Many
websites list all the foods that are recalled weekly because
of undeclared allergens. There are 2 lessons in this fact:
1. Eat a more whole food diet. Whole foods cant
be mislabeled, only processed food can. Whole foods are
healthier anyways.
2. Dont always trust the labeling. If you are looking
at a line of breakfast bars and you pick up one that is Ap-
ple Cinnamon Breakfast Bar and it states that it contains
soy and wheat and says nothing about containing or may
contain nuts, but then directly next to the Apple Cinnamon
Breakfast Bar is a Peanut Butter Breakfast Bar, then you
can assume that the company is not labeling something
they should label. I could assume, with great confdence,
that they are not processing these 2 different bars in 2 dif-
ferent facilities. This is common, so when you are looking at
products, look at the other items in the product line as well.
I call these risky items.
Pg. 9
Allergy items are often located in a different section of the
store. Thankfully, more chain grocery stores are starting to
carry allergen-free and alternative products. Still, the best
selection and the most options for an alternative diet are
going to be found at specialty supermarkets and natural gro-
cers. Even in small towns, Ive learned that fnding allergy
safe food is usually an option more now than ever before.
Shop during off times. Meaning, go shopping at times
when the store will be less crowded, especially for your frst
few trips. That way, you wont feel rushed or have to con-
stantly move out of other peoples way. You can spend the
time and energy exploring different products available and
reading labels. Once I have found a product I like, I put it on
a list I keep in my phone. I still check the ingredients each
time I buy it, but my list makes shopping so much faster.
Also, if I know the brand name, I can fnd it at other stores or
even send someone else to the store for me.
Places to avoid in the grocery store if you have food aller-
1. Bulk Sections- these are becoming more popular, but they
are not safe if you have allergies. The bins are used to house
many different types of foods and so many foods are mixed to-
2. Deli Counter- The risk of cross-contact is so high in the deli
section. When the workers are scooping out an item, some of the
contents may fall into another item.
3. Salad Bars or Hot Food Bars- When the general public has
access to the food, then its not safe. Who knows what can end
up accidently dropping into the food.
4. Bakery- The bakery is a mecca of allergens. Gluten, soy,
nuts, dairy, a bakery has them all. And usually they are all mixed
together. Avoid bakeries or anything made in the grocery story
5. Nuts in bins around the store- Nuts are making a comeback
as a health food and they are popping up all over. Recently I
have seen them in the produce section in bins next to fruit. I al-
ways make the store aware that the habit of keeping nuts loosely
in the produce section, directly next to fruit and veggies, is con-
cerning for food allergy folks. Usually, they hadnt even thought
about it and are happy to come up with alternative methods of
storing the nuts. Not everyone thinks food allergy like we do.
Sometimes awareness is all people need to make the change.
Pg. 10
Know all about the Food Allergy Labeling and Consumer
Protection Act of 2004. It has since been updated. The
#Resources section has an easy, short guide to understand-
ing the labeling laws that are set to protect food allergic
consumers. Know the law so you know what companies are
required to label and what they are not required to label.
This is important when you are making food decisions. For
example, a food allergen such as whey needs to be listed
in the ingredients as whey (milk), with the milk being in pa-
rentheses or the company must say at the end of the ingre-
dients that it contains: milk if whey is an ingredient. There
is more to learn so check it out in the #Resources section.
#Tip: Did you know that soy has over
20 different alternative names? Check
out the #Resources section for a guide to
Other Names for Allergens. It will also
give you a list of foods where the top 8
allergens are commonly found.
Pg. 11
When I was a college student, I was broke and in a hurry. So,
the goal of this recipe section is to give you some ideas to get
you started cooking for yourself and give you quick, healthy,
and cheap meal/ snack ideas for any time of day. They can be
made in the dorms or off-campus. These arent your tradition-
al recipes with exact measurements given, since most of the
time you will only be feeding numero uno, aka yourself! Not all
recipes will work for everyone since there are so many different
allergies out there. Look at the Allergy Key to fnd recipes that
are right for you. Have fun playing around with the ingredients
until you fnd the perfect combination for you.
What you need:
Refrigerator aka The Mini Fridge
Can- Opener
Microwave safe bowls (preferably glass)
Colander (for rinsing fruit and vegetables)
Knife for chopping
Cutting board
Measuring cups and spoons
Large plastic bin to store spices and dry goods
To-go containers (I talk more about these in the #Traveling sec-
tion so check it out.)
Allergy Key:
If the recipes includes one of the following allergens, then it will
be labeled with the allergen it contains. None of the recipes
contain fsh or shellfsh.
Nuts (Includes all peanuts and tree-nuts, not coconut)
Pg. 12
#Tip: There are many types of milk alter-
natives. Unsweetened rice milk has no
favor and is the most versatile, which is
why I suggested it in recipes. But, fnd the
one that is right for you.
Gluten Free Oats - Make oats into Oatmeal by heating
water in microwave, following preparation directions. Add
rice milk. Topping Ideas: Honey and Cinnamon, blueberries,
strawberries, maple syrup and cinnamon, coconut shreds,
bananas, raisins, or dried cranberries.
Morning Smoothie - There is so much fexibility when
creating your perfect smoothie. Since you likely wont be
adding ice, try frozen fruits. Fresh fruit will work wonderfully
as well. The only thing you have to have in your smoothie
is some kind of liquid such as orange juice, apple juice,
coconut milk, or just plain water. You can add yogurt, co-
conut yogurt, rice ice cream, or coconut ice cream to make
the smoothie thicker. Also, bananas add thickness to your
smoothie. The sky is the limit with ingredients but here are
a few ideas: blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, kale,
spinach, and pineapple. Sunbutter, banana, and hemp
hearts with coconut milk make for a good one that will give
you energy to get through morning classes. Try different
combinations until you fnd some you love.
Morning Rice Pudding - Cook instant rice in your mi-
crowave according to instructions. Brown rice is the most
nutritious. Add rice milk. Add maple syrup, cinnamon, and
Homemade Granola - In a zip-lock bag pour in some glu-
ten-free rolled oats. Add pumpkin seeds, teaspoon cin-
namon, 2 tablespoons ground faxseed, 1 tablespoon pure
cane sugar, some Enjoy Life chocolate chips (if you need a
morning chocolate fx). Shake up the ingredients and eat
this dry or serve in rice milk.

Breakfast Parfait - In a large glass layer these Ingredients:
Allergen-free granola (Try Enjoy Life Brand), coconut-milk
yogurt (regular yogurt is you dont have a dairy allergy), ba-
nanas, strawberries, or raspberries, or all 3 fruits, coconut
shreds. Repeat those layers until glass is flled. Add nuts if
you arent allergic to them.
Pg. 13
Lunch/ Light Dinner:
Nachos - Corn Chips, Black Beans, Olives,
Chopped onions, Cheese (Omit if allergic. Nachos are
still good without cheese, especially if you load up on
these other ingredients). On a microwave safe plate, put
your chips frst. Open a 15 oz. can of black beans (black
lentils work well too) and drain liquid. Spread beans on
chips. Put olives and chopped onion on top. If you can
eat cheese, then spread cheese over the top of every-
thing. Place in microwave for 30-60 seconds, or until
cheese is melted to your liking. Topping Ideas: Guaca-
mole, Pico de Gallo, Jalapenos, Avocado, Grilled chicken
(read #tip below), Tomatoes
Sweet Potato - Place sweet potato on microwave safe
plate. With a fork, poke holes in the top of the potato. 3
or 4 pokes should do. Cook for 5 minutes, then turn over
and cook for 3 to 5 more minutes. When potato is done,
cut lengthwise and add butter and maple syrup and pe-
cans (if you arent allergic to nuts). Other topping ideas
are chicken, chili powder, and cheese or spinach and feta
cheese. If you arent a fan of sweet potatoes, try red po-
tatoes or russet potatoes. Top with broccoli and cheese
or broccoli and Italian dressing.
Cheese Melt - Use 2 corn or four tortillas. On one
tortilla put cheese, avocado, olive, chicken (optional),
then place the other tortilla on top. Put on a plate and
microwave for 1 minute or until cheese is melted. Serve
with salsa.
Brown Rice Broccoli Casserole - Cook one cup of in-
stant rice in vegetable broth (whatever the amount of wa-
ter that is called for to cook the rice, replace that amount
with vegetable broth). When the rice is half way cooked,
stop and add broccoli, a dash of salt, a dash of pepper,
a clove of diced garlic, mix ingredients together, then
continue to cook until rice is cooked thoroughly. Top with
cheese (optional). When measuring and a recipe asks
for a dash, it means about an 1/8 teaspoon or less if you
are making small dishes like this one.
#Tip: has a great idea
of keeping a ready-to-go snack bucket
in your room. Put pre-measured snacks,
such as popcorn, in little plastic bags so
you can just grab and go. Snack bars,
healthy cookies, pretzels are all good
Pg. 14
Blender Soups: Search the internet for Blender Reci-
pes and you will fnd more ideas!
Tomato - 2 tomatoes , a small shallot (a shallot
is a small onion, if you cant fnd one then just use a
regular sized onion), garlic clove, 1 cup vegetable or
chicken broth, salt and pepper to taste. Put all ingredi-
ents into blender and blend thoroughly. Pour from blend-
er into microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 3 minutes,
although times may vary. Make sure to stir half way
through cooking time. Top with fresh parsley. Serve with
bread. Note: Certain brands of vegetable/chicken broth
come in pre-measured cups. If you pick a brand with high
amounts of salt (sodium) then skip the part about adding
more salt.
Broccoli and Caulifower Soup - Same ingredients
as above but replace the tomatoes with broccoli and cau-
lifower (3/4 cup of each). Follow the same directions as
Black Bean Soup - Same ingredients as the To-
mato Soup recipe, just replace the tomatoes with 1 (15
oz.) can of black beans, drained. Add 1 teaspoon cumin.
Follow the preparation directions from the Tomato Soup
recipe. For a variation, replace black beans with a can
of black lentils. Serve with a warmed tortilla. Top with
shredded pepper-jack cheese (optional)

SunButter and Jelly Sandwiches - On gluten-free bread
make a SunButter and Jelly sandwich, or try Sunbutter
with some apple-butter to switch it up.
Dorm Room Chili Soup - In a large microwave safe bowl
combine 1 (15 oz.) can of chili beans, 1 (15 oz.) can of
crushed tomatoes, (8 oz.) of tomato sauce, of a
chopped green pepper (optional), 1 diced garlic clove, -
2 tablespoons of chili powder (start with a small amount,
taste and add more until you achieve the spiciness that
you desire), salt and pepper to taste. Mix all ingredients
and cook in microwave for 3 to 5 minutes. Microwave
cooking times vary, but stop it and check on it after 2 min-
utes. Give it a stir and continue eating in 1 minute incre-
ments until you reached the desired temperature.
#Tips: Want more microwave meal ideas,
just search the internet for easy micro-
wave meals and you will see that so many
recipes exist! You can make everything
from meatloaf in a mug to baked apples.
Pg. 15
Dorm Room Pasta Marinara - In a microwave safe bowl
(not plastic), put about a cup of uncooked pasta (shells,
twists, or macaroni style will work best) (gluten-free or
regular pasta will work), put enough water so that the
pasta is covered with about 2 inches of water above
pasta. Put the pasta bowl on a plate to catch any wa-
ter that may boil over. Place in microwave and cook
for about 3-5 minutes longer than the directions say to
cook. Check on pasta because microwave cooking times
vary. When pasta is cooked it will be soft but not too soft.
Drain. Heat up marinara sauce and serve over pasta.
Top with fresh parsley. Top with cheese (optional). Mix
in some spinach if you are looking to add some greens
to your diet. You can always warm up some chicken and
add that as well. Serve with side salad. For a variation,
the next time you make the pasta, use Alfredo sauce and
add broccoli.
Chips and Salsa - Guacamole is always good too!
Hummus - Serve with pita bread or corn chips. Add
some olives and top with paprika for some extra fair.
Try different kinds until you fnd one you like. There are
many different favors and most of them have very differ-
ent tastes.
Fruit - Keeping fruit on hand is always a way to get in a
good snack, add some good nutrition to your diet, and
eat on-the-go. Grapes, Strawberries, Apples, Bananas,
Cherries, Oranges, Kiwi, and Peaches are just a few
ideas of fruit that is easy to take with you. Try some
dried fruit too!
Vegetables - There are vegetables that are easy to pack
and carry with you to class or wherever. Baby carrots,
broccoli, caulifower, sugar snap peas, zucchini, cucum-
ber (well, cucumber is technically a fruit but sold and
used as a vegetable in the US), green and red peppers.
Serve them with a creamy dressing. For those of you
allergic to dairy, look for vegan creamy dressing because
they are dairy-free.
#Tip: Buy a rotisserie or already made
chicken at the grocery store. When you
get home, cut it up and put individual serv-
ings into freezer bags and store in freezer.
When you are ready to eat it again, just
plop it into the microwave and defrost.
Pg. 16
Refried Bean Dip
1 (15 oz.) can of Refried Beans
1 tablespoon taco seasoning (or more if you love the
cup of Salsa or more if your heart desires
Mix the ingredients together in a bowl. Top with fresh
cilantro. Serve with corn chips.
Homemade Trail Mix - In a zip-lock bag mix the follow-
ing: Enjoy Life granola, semi-sweet chocolate chips,
pumpkin seeds, sunfower seeds, raisins, dried apples,
dried bananas, coconut shreds.
SunButter Banana Wraps - Use a whole wheat tor-
tilla, spread on some SunButter (or Peanut Butter if you
are not allergic to nuts, add sliced bananas, and roll it up.
Popcorn - Get popcorn that is already made.
#Tip: For over 200 dorm room recipes visit
a site by TaraLynn:
Pg. 17
You are getting ready to hit the open road, head out of
the window, hair blowing in the wind. Ok, frst of all, get
your head back in the car! Your loved ones will thank me
for that. Now, before you set sail, you need to get your
food prepared. Traveling with food allergies is defnitely
do-able, it just takes some preparation. Since you are
always on the move, some of these tips may apply to
your everyday life, like having to-go containers on hand.
So take some notes; here is how you keep it moving and
manage your food allergies all at the same time.
What you need:
- I like soft sided coolers because they are easier to pack.
- If you get one big cooler for longer trips and then a
small/medium size cooler for everyday use/ day trips
then those should ft your needs.
- Get coolers with good handles or ones that are easy to
pack so you can easily carry them wherever you need to
Ice packs
- Get a small ice pack for the small cooler and one to two
bigger ice packs for the big cooler.
- Get durable, hard ones, not the plastic ones because
those will eventually break.
To-Go Containers
- Many different shapes and sizes so you can pack a
variety of foods.
Plastic Zip lock bags
- I like to put the ice packs in zip-lock bags so as they
start to melt, they wont melt all over your food.
- They are good for packing different food items in the
Baby or Antibacterial wipes
- Many stores have travel sizes that you can keep in a
purse or backpack. They are good to have in case you
need to wipe down eating surfaces while you are travel-
Pg. 18
To-Go set of utensils
- You can fnd a set with a plate, fork, knife, and spoon
at stores like Target or Walmart. If you cant fnd them
there, then try good ole Amazon. I have a side pocket
in my cooler where I store the utensils. And once, just
once, ok maybe a few times, I forgot my utensils, so I
stopped at a gas station and grabbed some.
- If you have been prescribed this medication, always
carry it. Benadryl (or other anti-histamine medications)
is always good to have on hand as well when you are
traveling since you may not be close to stores or pharma-
Medical Bracelet and Emergency Contact Information
Traveling by car or bus:
Make a list of snack and meal items that be eaten easily
while on the road. Check out the #Recipes section for
some ideas.
Grocery Shop the day before you leave on your trip.
Being prepared with enough food for your trip is the key.
Have your own cooler, which nobody else can touch or
store their food in. This will limit the risk of cross-contact.
If you are staying in a hotel, put your ice packs in the
freezer inside your room. If your room doesnt have a
freezer, ask the front desk to store them in their kitchen
freezer overnight. They usually have not problem with
doing that if you explain why you need them. If all else
fails, take the zip-lock bags and fll them up from the
hotel ice maker. Be sure to double up the plastic bags so
they dont leak.
#Tip: Always carry your epinephrine, if you
are prescribed one. Majority of anaphylac-
tic reactions are in teenagers and young
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Traveling by airplane:
When you book your ticket, dont do it online. Call the
airline so you can speak to them about your food allergy,
that way they can put a note in your fle about your food
allergy. If you are allergic to nuts, most airlines will take
the nuts off the plane if you let them know in advance.
After you go through security, notify the agent at the
gate that you have food allergies. The agent will let the
fight attendants know right away.
When you walk onto the plane, immediately identify
yourself as the one with the allergy. The fight atten-
dants like to know who you are and where you are sitting
so they can youre your allergy needs.
For international fights, pack a cooler with food that you
have eaten before and know is safe. A 16 hour fight to
Africa is not the time to be testing new foods.
Dont eat airline snacks. Most of the snacks on the
airplanes do label the allergens, but why risk it when you
are 30,000 miles in the air.
Travel early in the day. Most airplanes are cleaned at
night so the chances of having peanut residue on your
serving tray will be reduced.
Pack baby-wipes or antibacterial wipes to wipe down
the serving tray right when you get into the airplane, then
go wash your hands immediately after, in case your hand
came in contact with an allergen.
The #Resources section has further reading on the
policies for bring epinephrine or other medication on the
airline, so make sure to check that out.
The #Resources section has further reading on pur-
chasing translation cards so you can translate you allergy
into any language. You can customize your cards and
print them from your computer for an inexpensive price.
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General travel advice:
Whenever you travel, make sure you have emergency
contact information in a place that emergency personnel
would be able to easily fnd.
Wear your medical bracelet that identifes your allergies.
You will be in a new place, where medical personnel will
not be able to look at your past medical records.
Do an epinephrine check- check the expiration date,
make sure you have multiple epinephrine injectors in
case one gets misplaced, always store them at room
temperature and keep them out of the sun.
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You are going to need a support system while you are
attending college. Getting in touch with other students
with food allergies, who attend your college, may be
super helpful to you. Maybe they know about aller-
gy-safe restaurants that you dont know about or maybe
they have great resources and tips about living with food
allergies and attending college. If a bunch of the food
allergy students come together and form a club, it will
be easier to advocate for better food allergy services on
campus. There is power in numbers. Remember that
this food allergy business may not be new to you since
you have been dealing with it your entire life, but it is new
to college campuses. Most of them are just becoming
aware of the growing population of food allergic students.
You dont have to be alone with your food allergies while
attending college, so look for others living in the same
boat as you and stick together.
Idea #1: Start a food allergy support group or club on
your campus. Here are the steps to getting it started.
1. Talk to your campus Student Life or Student Services Offce (the
names for this offce vary on campus, but its the offce on campus
that handles all student affairs). They will have the offcial rules about
starting a campus club. Rules dont always apply to informal clubs.
Some schools require a faculty advisor to represent the club, so keep
that in mind when going to talk to the Student Life Offce.
2. Figure out the details of your club. How often do you want to
meet? Where will you meet? What are your meeting agendas? Do
you want the club to be formal or informal?
3. Once you have spoken to Student Life and fgured out the details
of the club, its time to get some club members. Advertise your club
with fyers all around campus. Advertise your club in the student
newspaper. I bet a student journalist would love to write a story about
the growing food allergy student population and how you live with
food allergies. Advertise at the student health center. Ask professors
if you can speak to their class, for a few minutes, about your club and
ask students to spread the word around campus.
4. The frst 3 steps will take the most time, but once you have done
the dirty work of getting the club all set up, then you will be able to
reap the benefts of having students around you that share the same
life experiences as you. You can learn from each other and be each
others support system away from home. Plus, you just did something
that many employers fnd valuable. You organized a club. Put it on
your resume and be proud of what you accomplished.
Pg. 22
Idea #2: Stay up-to-date with FAREs College Program
and become involved.
1. Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) has a college program
they are continuing to develop. Check out their website in the #Re-
sources section. They offer advice and tips for college students with
food allergies and the program is continuing to grow.
2. Help bring FAREs college program to your college or university.
The program will consist of training and best practices for dining ser-
vices, resident life, disability services, and more. Contact them to fnd
out how you can help your college be involved.
3. Contact FARE to see how you can get involved in helping them
develop their College Program. They offer teen summits where
young adults get together and discuss food allergy issues and how to
resolve them. I have talked to students who attended these summits
and they said that they learned so much. Plus, they gained lifelong
friendships and a nationwide support system.
Pg. 23
FARE- Food Allergy Research & Education College Program:
Auvi-Q (An easy to carry alternative to Epi-Pen):
Book and other food allergy resources:
Other Names for Allergens (This provides a list of alternative names
that companies use for allergens. Go down to Food Allergens and
Hidden Names):
Food Allergy Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA):
Kids with Food Allergies (Every person with food allergies should
check out this website, its not just for kids):
Top 8 Allergen Free Snack Line:
Why Risk It? An allergy site geared toward teens and young adults:
Airline policy on traveling with epinephrine:
Food Allergy Language Translation Cards:
Cooler pictured in #Travel section:
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