By Joan Avolio, R.D., L.D.N., Pediatric Alliance — Arcadia Division.
Having a child with food allergies presents a lot of challenges for families, and not only from a nutritional standpoint. In her new book, Growing Up Ben: Living a Full Life with Food Allergies, Kristen Kauke provides real life stories and practical advice to help these parents and children thrive in today’s world. Kristen is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has two sons with life-threatening food allergies. She is a speaker on the topic of resolving conflict in relationships as they relate to food allergies, and has put this information into her book. One of her goals in writing is to teach families how to go from anxiety and restricted living to autonomy and intentional living when dealing with food allergies.
Read more about Kristen Kauke and Growing Up Ben here.
Read an interview with Kristen Kauke about “Managing Food Allergy Bullies” at AllergicChild.com. Here is what she has to say about kids being bullied about food allergies:
Bullying is the repetition of negative actions on the part of one or more persons against another who has difficulty defending themselves. Bullying may be perpetrated in the following forms: physical, verbal, social exclusion, false rumors, threats, or cyberbullying (texting, social media). When it comes to food allergies, research tells us that most bullying episodes are in the form of verbal taunting. This might sound like, “I wish you would die. If I had a peanut right now, I’d throw it at you.” Physical examples of bullying related to food allergies have included waving, throwing, or touching the victim or their “safe food” with the food allergen.