Want fewer allergic reactions? Exasperated from trying to figure out the cause?
I’ve been there. Mysterious red rashes around mouths, eczema flares, horrible reflux, hives, colic, chronic candida, and digestion issues. It can be so overwhelming.
Our children were “healthy,” yet we were all struggling. And I was determined to figure out why.
Food Journaling, Elimination Diets, & Appointment Overwhelm
Months of investigating labels and food journaling everything we ate or put on our bodies, including laundry detergent, bubble bath, and lotion.
We had allergy tests, food challenges, chiropractor appointments, lactation consultations, plus all the routine well-child appointments.
I eliminated peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, and gluten from our diet.
Still, after months of this, there was no sleep, no improvement, and we were all exhausted
Then I was advised to go on the “eat nothing diet,” which basically meant I had a giant list of foods to avoid to help heal my gut and ease my breastfeeding baby’s reflux, digestion, and eczema. It helped some, but our daughter with a peanut and tree-nut allergy was still having reactions despite there not being any nuts in the house. I knew deep down we had a lot of room for improvement in our health.
Our children just didn’t seem “well.”
Eczema Relief. Fewer Reactions. Improved Health.
After countless hours of late-night research with a more natural and holistic view of our health and immune system, we made some adjustments that had an incredible impact on our family’s health.
Eczema cleared up. No more mysterious red rashes around the mouth. The chronic candida, reflux, and digestion finally improved. Our children’s bodies were healing, and mine was too.
7-Prong Approach to Allergy and Eczema Relief
I’ll share below the changes we made that have dramatically improved our health in hopes that it saves you countless more hours of research, exhaustion, and helps you restore your family’s health as well.
- Clean Air
- Clean Water
- Clean Food + Gut Health
- Clean Cleaning Products
- Clean Skincare + Personal Care Products
- Safe Environment
- Educate + Advocate
Of course, you still ought to follow your healthcare provider’s advice for your allergy needs. We still have our antihistamine and epinephrine medicines for allergic reactions. Thankfully, we have not needed to use them since implementing the lifestyle and environmental changes below.
1. Clean Air
One of the easiest things to add to help overall health is a high-quality air purifier. Homes, offices, schools, and buildings are full of air pollution like mold, mildew, dust, ragweed, pollen, pet dander, tobacco smoke, and chemicals in products.
We went with a Beyond Guardian Air purifier with HEPA filtration, ionization, and technology that kills up to 99% of contaminants in the air and on surfaces (up to 2,000 sq. ft). We added a small air purifier to each bedroom as well.
A good quality air purifier is the easiest thing you can add to your home that helped us a lot. However, Aerus air purifiers are quite an investment, and they’re only available through a dealer.
If you want an air purifier that’s still good quality but costs less and is available on Amazon, the LEVOIT air purifier is a great choice. It uses HEPA filtration; it’s quiet, portable, and has good reviews.
The LEVOIT Bedroom Air Purifier is a great option for bedrooms and small rooms up to 219 sq. ft.
2. Clean Water
Your body is made up of mostly water, so it’s crucial for your health and your kids’ health to have clean water. This includes your drinking water, cooking water, coffee, and tea.
After a ton of research comparing different types of water filters, I found Berkey Water Purification Systems outperform other filters and are the best price in the long run. These are an investment compared to your typical fridge pitcher or faucet filter, but that’s because Berkey’s unique carbon filters are much higher quality and remove 99.99% of:
- fluoride (with the fluoride filters)
- and lots of other harmful rubbish that’s lurking in our water
I love our purified Berkey water so much that I fill up water bottles and gallon jugs to take with us whenever we leave the house. (Yes, I even took some on our recent road trip.)
We have the Royal Berkey System + Fluoride Filters for our family of four. We fill it about once per day and highly recommend it to everyone willing to invest in their health. I have many family members and friends with a Berkey and don’t know anyone yet who doesn’t love it.
3. Clean Food + Gut Health
As a food allergy parent, you know the importance of reading labels and avoiding the food(s) your child is allergic to. However, it wasn’t until I was on the “eat nothing diet” to help with my breastfeeding son’s reflux, digestion, and eczema that I realized how much eliminating other foods could help.
When you have to avoid tree nuts, peanuts, soy, dairy, wheat, eggs, citrus, chocolate, strawberries, coffee, tea, and I can’t even remember what else, the labels on your food start becoming much shorter. I began eating mostly vegetables, fruit, and meat with my own seasonings or cleaner condiments.
Fewer, Simpler Ingredients
While this was not the easiest change–adding water and air purifiers was much easier–it had a surprising positive effect on our whole family.
Digestion and eczema improved. Inflammation (sore joints) went away. Eliminating sugar and sweeteners for the child who was having severe candida issues helped too.
Through this process of cleaning up our food, we discovered preservatives and natural flavors were sometimes the culprits of the mysterious red rashes around the kids’ mouths.
We’ve been able to add many foods back (🥳 hooray!), but we continue to mostly avoid wheat/gluten, soy, dairy, natural flavors, preservatives, additives, colors, and sugar for all the health benefits.
Find Substitutions. It Gets Easier
It seems like a lot at first, but once you find alternatives, it’s not so bad to stick with. We hardly ever have reactions anymore and there’s no more food journaling! 🙌
Blog Posts With Simple Ingredient Foods
If you’re looking for cleaner foods, many of the allergy-free ideas I share have fewer, simpler ingredients and healthier alternatives.
- 10 Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free, Soy Free Lunch Ideas
- 89 Peanut Free Brands
- 55 Peanut Free Packaged Snack Ideas
- Top 8 Allergy Free Snacks
Probiotics for Gut Health
We also added quality probiotics and have continued using them for years, along with fermented raw vegetables and sauerkraut.
4. Clean Cleaning Products
Typical cleaners, detergents, and fragrances aggravate unpleasant allergy and asthma symptoms. They’re not good for health, and there are healthier options that work. With all the options of natural, non-toxic cleaners, there’s really no excuse to use toxic cleaners anymore.
Some of my favorite cleaning products are:
Norwex Enviro Cloth + Window Cloth – with just water, the Enviro Cloth cleaned stains that had been there for years. My husband even commented on how clean our stove and kitchen was after the first time I used it! 😍
Norwex Kitchen Cloths – seriously, the most amazing dishcloths
Shark Rotator Professional Vacuum with HEPA Filter – read my Shark vs Dyson review to see why I prefer this Shark over a Dyson.
5. Clean Skincare + Personal Care Products
Another discovery I’ve made is that what you put on your body matters, just like what you put In your body. Cleaning up your skincare and personal care products to avoid fragrances, parabens, and other toxic ingredients and contaminants helped our children have fewer reactions and better overall health.
The EWG’s Skin Deep is an awesome tool to search and discover the safety of skincare, beauty, and personal care products. Low Numbers are good. High numbers are bad.
This is what we currently use or have used with our allergies, sensitive skin, and eczema. Be sure to check ingredients for your allergies to decide if it’s safe for you.
Body Wash, Shampoo, Bubble Bath
Read my opinion of the Best Natural Sunscreens that are NOT white
6. Safe Environment
Many reactions for kids with food allergies happen outside the home. Daycare, schools, and restaurants are common places for allergic reactions.
As much as possible, create a safe (allergen-free) environment for your child, especially if they have anaphylaxis and contact reactions.
The easiest way to have control over their environment is to be home with your child and homeschool. I did not think I could do either of these, but where there’s a will, there’s usually an outside-the-box way to make it happen.
I feel an enormous amount of relief because I am home with our kids, making their meals and snacks, watching for reactions, teaching them, and advocating for them when needed.
If that’s absolutely not possible, then educate and advocate for an allergen-free environment. Here are my tips for preventing food allergy reactions at school.
We enrolled our daughter (who is anaphylactic and contact-reactive to peanuts) in 4k for a few hours each morning after advocating and working with the teacher to create a peanut-free classroom. She wore an allergy bracelet, had her epinephrine and carrying case in the classroom, and wasn’t allowed to eat anything without my permission.
The thought of all-day kindergarten was extremely unsettling though. I worked in public schools for five years. Schools are full of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, peanut butter granola bars, and Reese’s peanut butter cups. It’s common for kids and staff to bring treats for every birthday, holiday, and even made-up celebration days. None of this fit our clean food and allergy needs, and I wasn’t ready to just throw away all the health gains we were finally experiencing and put her in such a risky environment.
After much prayer and counsel, we opted to homeschool for kindergarten. What a relief it has been that we are not worried about a physically unsafe environment for her health. Food is not such a worry, which means we have more time and energy available to focus on learning (and there’s still a ton of time left for play)! 🙌
- Recommended Beginner Homeschool Resources for Kindergarten that are Screen Free
- What We Used for 1st Grade Homeschool Curriculum
- What We Used for 2nd Grade Homeschool Curriculum
- Tips for Elementary Homeschooling While on Vacation
- 12 Chapter Book Series for 1st-2nd Grade Girls
- 550 Delightful Chapter Books for Kids (Grades 2-5)
If you cannot be with your child during the day for one reason or another:
- Respectfully educate and advocate for an allergen-free environment as much as possible
- Pack all snacks and meals from home
- Make it clear to your child not to take food from anyone else. Even if someone says, “It’s allergy-free”. Most have no idea what that truly means for your child, if there are cross-contamination issues, or if it aligns with your child’s specific health needs.
Education and advocacy are critical for any child’s health and well-being, but especially those with severe food allergies.
7. Education + Advocacy
Whether your kids are one or fifteen, it’s never too early or too late to educate and advocate.
Moms and dads can do a lot, but it’s ultimately up to the child with food allergies to become aware and learn how to confidently advocate for their own health needs.
At just five years old, our daughter has presented multiple times to our homeschool co-op about her food allergies, how to use her Auvi-Q medicine, what’s inside her Allermates Epipen + Auvi-Q case, and what the Teal Pumpkin Project means. 🤩
She knows not to take food from anyone without asking Mom or Dad first, and she confidently tells adults and children about her food allergies and health needs. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about.
Kids with food allergies need to survive daycare, school, college campuses, and future workplaces. And allergens are everywhere. You have an important role as a food allergy parent to model and make sure your child(ren) is prepared, educated, and comfortable advocating for their health and safety needs.
Download our Proven Tips to Raise Confident Kids with Food Allergies. It’s a free guide I created for parents and guardians raising kids with food allergies!
For young kids, food allergy books make great educational tools and conversation starters at home or in classrooms.📚
There’s so much to learn when it comes to food allergies. Even if you think you’ve got the food labels down, make sure you and your child are aware that allergens can be anywhere.
Here are just a couple of the surprising peanut free products I’ve researched:
Fewer Reactions. Better Health.
Even if you’re avoiding the known allergens, mysterious reactions, and other health issues can still occur. And they’re frustrating to figure out!
I hope this breakdown of seven key areas gave you some new ideas and information to help you experience fewer reactions and better health.
To avoid being overwhelmed, take it one day and one step and a time.
I am hoping you’ll start to see positive transformations in your health soon.
Because every parent and child deserves to live fully and experience their best health.
I am a constantly-researching food allergy mom, but not a medical professional. This is our personal experience, which does not predict your experience nor is it meant to be medical advice. Nothing on this blog should take the place of your doctor’s recommendations. Read all labels yourself before using products to determine if they’re safe for you or your child.
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Living with allergies and eczema is tough, but life gets a little easier when we support one another in our trials and offer tried-and-true tips that can bring relief. Please save this list of tips to Pinterest and share it on Facebook to help spread these ideas to more families who are striving for better health.
From one food allergy parent to another,
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