How Are You Celebrating Food Allergy Awareness Week?

How Are You Celebrating Food Allergy Awareness Week?

By Kristen Rutter, Food Allergy Blogger and Group Leader of No Nuts Moms Group of Cleveland

Food Allergy Awareness Week is right around the corner. We should all be marking our calendars for May 11th through the 17th. I know that for most of us, this week is no different from any other week. We will continue checking labels, asking questions at restaurants, and carrying our epinephrine injectors wherever we go. None of that will change, but this week does offer us a chance to focus not on ourselves but on others as we spread awareness and educate those who may not have the same level of knowledge about food allergies as we do. Get out of your comfort zone in a positive and fun way! Stretch yourself to see just how far your actions can reach!

Make a plan now to ensure your participation in Food Allergy Awareness Week – and your success. There are so many ways you can get involved. FAACT already has an incredible list of ideas and ways for you, your school, and your business to participate. If you need some more guidance and further suggestions, here is my plan for Food Allergy Awareness Week. This is an open invitation to get engaged with me!

  • Share your family’s story by posting it on Facebook. E-mail your story to friends, family, and other contacts and include a link to FAACT’s Web site as an invitation for your family and friends to learn more about food allergies.  

  • Change your profile picture on all of your social media accounts to something that brings more awareness to food allergies.

  • Post and tweet the “FAACT of the Day” – every day – for the duration of the week.

  • Wear something teal every day and try to tell one person each day what the color means and why you are wearing it. You can easily make your own food allergy awareness ribbon with supplies you may already have or can easily purchase at your local craft store. Let your fingers “do the talking” by painting one fingernail teal, turquoise, or blue. Or do all of the above! These are all conversation starters and awareness builders.

  • Host a food-free, allergy-friendly playgroup for neighborhood or school kids to show just how much fun a food-free playgroup can be! Hand out educational materials to parents when they arrive.

  • Ask to speak to your child’s class about food allergies one day and read a children’s book about food allergies to the class.

  • Ask a friend who is not managing or living with food allergies to be your awareness buddy for the week and participate in everything you do – wear teal, share your social media posts, etc. With the help of one friend, you may be able to reach a much wider audience.

This week is about coming together. Please visit FAACT’s Food Allergy Awareness Week page for more ideas on how you can get involved and spread awareness. No action is too small.

By raising awareness and educating others, we create a safer environment for our loved ones and ourselves. You might be responsible for making one person think to wash his hands after eating a PB&J sandwich for lunch. You may make one parent pack something other than nutty trail mix for their kiddo to take on a play date or sleepover. That is one reaction averted, one more person kept safe. 

Join FAACT in spreading awareness for the 15 million Americans living with food allergies!

Kristen Rutter is the author of Nut-free Momma Blog and is a mother of two daughters, one of whom has life-threatening food allergies to peanuts and tree nuts. Kristen writes to help those managing and living with food allergies and especially for those raising children with food allergies. Visit the Nut Free Momma Blog to follow Kristen on her journey.