Protecting Kids from Allergies

It may seem as if allergies are becoming more common in our society, and particularly in our children. We may feel helpless to protect our kids. As parents, what can we do to help our children grow up allergy-free?

Unlike our grandparents, today’s parents wisely steer clear of serving peanuts at birthday parties and may even offer a gluten-free cake option to the young celebrants. Many schools and preschools have gone completely nut-free to accommodate sensitive kids.

More than a decade of study into nutrition and a clinical practice focused on food sensitivities has taught me that while each child’s sensitivity profile may be unique, one way to build a foundation for a healthy kid is to reduce the chemicals and toxins in their food and environment.

Each person carries a “toxic load” accumulated over a lifetime of living in our modern age with all of its accompanying pollutants.

Charlotte doesn’t want to hear that so many kids have allergies.

When you breach your “toxic threshold”, your health and vitality become compromised in some way.

According to the Environmental Working Group, today’s newborns already carry an average of 250 chemicals and toxins in their blood at birth. It is more important than ever to limit further exposure –when it is in our control, of course– to keep kids well below their threshold for as long as possible.

Here are five things you, the parent, can try to avoid keeping in your household to help keep your child’s body healthy and allergy-free:

1.     Synthetic and artificial sugars. Splenda, Aspartame, Sucralose, Saccharine, Fructose, High Fructose Corn Syrup… these all work to confuse the pancreas and overwork the endocrine system. Give children real raw cane sugar, pure maple syrup, or honey when possible and avoid all artificial sweeteners.

2.     Food Dyes & Colorings (FD&C). You will find these petroleum-based colorants in everything from candy to pickles to sodas, and especially in foods marketed to children, including in every single item carried in that Ice Cream Truck that calls to kids like the Pied Piper. Fortunately, they will be listed on the label because food dyes can cause everything from headaches to indigestion to hives to behavior problems like ADHD.

3.     Artificial and “Natural” Fragrances. There’s nothing natural about designer aroma molecules concocted in a laboratory and designed to encourage you to sniff deeply to bring these synthetic molecules into your lung tissue. Get rid of dryer sheets, air fresheners, and petroleum-based candles to start.

4.     Toxic Cleaning Products. While they might kill germs, products like 409, Chlorox, and Pine-Sol pollute the air in your house with toxic vapors. Switch to natural cleaning products – many work just as well as the familiar brands.

5.     Non-stick Cookware. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but we’ve learned that non-stick cookware emits toxic fumes (PFCs) in amounts high enough to kill a pet bird in minutes when heated.

Let’s be realistic and acknowledge that we don’t have control over 100 percent of what comes into contact with our children, but since everything adds up, any thing you can do to reduce their exposure will help keep their toxic load low enough to keep our little angels happy and healthy.

A big nonna hug to today’s guest blogger Elizabeth Yarnell:

Award-winning author and mother of two, Elizabeth Yarnell, CLT, CNC, CNHP, MLS, is the director of the Fight MS With Food project and offers clinical nutritional and food sensitivity counseling to adults and children in chronic physical distress.

Go to for more informtion about Elizabeth’s book.

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