Fighting allergies with allergens

It was eating, not restricting, that cured my children's allergies.
My daughter Clara, at four months old, swelled into a bawling tomato after sampling my scrambled eggs. Worried that her airways would constrict, we called emergency services. It was one of the scariest moments of my life – and from what I hear on the playground and at school pick up, it is an experience that has become shockingly common place. As many as 1 in 10 children now have a food allergy in developed countries.

Skin-prick testing found that in addition to Clara's egg allergy, she had life-threatening nut allergies. We were told she'd have to be extremely careful for the rest of her life. We put an epi pen in every purse and bag, scoured food labels, scrupulously kept all nut products out of the house and warned friends, family, baby sitters and nursery teachers, repeatedly, and especially before going to their houses, that our precious toddler was likely to die on their floor if they did not keep nuts – and nut products like Nutella, marzipan, granola, pesto, many cakes, chocolates and cookies – out of her reach. It did not make us very popular, and I worried all the stress would lead to psychological feeding/eating issues, but it was worth Clara's safety. 

Our allergist, Professor Gideon Lack, also had some unusual advice on how to feed Clara: Dear reader, he said to give her a daily dose of nuts and eggs!! 

Okay, not the nuts she was allergic too (almond, cashew, macadamia, brazil, hazelnut) but the types of nut that had been deemed safe by the skin prick test (pine nut, peanut, pecan, walnut). And for the egg, we were to make a cake using only one egg and give her one 20th of it. A daily slice of cake on doctor's orders?! Clara was in heaven.

We followed his careful instructions and today, despite all predictions, at 4 years old, Clara is allergy free. When my son started breaking out in hives after eating eggs, we followed Dr. Lack's advice again. Today, with three young children, my house is allergy and epi pen free - unlike those of nearly 6 million families.

It was pure luck that we ended up in Dr. Lack's waiting room. Clara received groundbreaking treatment early enough to save our family from a lifetime of fear and stress.

The evidence for this "early exposure" cure is now mounting and it is starting to be embraced by the medical community (start by searching The New England Journal of Medicine or see the links on my STUDIES page). All parents will soon be receiving the same guidance we did: Feed your kid allergens, early, carefully and often. For at least the first five years of life.

But how do you get an 18 month old to eat a Brazil nut?

Or what if your toddler, who gets an itchy mouth every time he eats eggs, understandably turns his nose up at them, no matter how strongly the doctor demands it?

This is the problem, and I battled it with yummy, scrummy allergy-butt-kicking recipes. I put the best ones in my book. Please email if you can't wait for the book to come out and need ideas now!