I am a busy mom to three young children ages 8, 7, and 4. I work hard to balance running my own small business and caring for my family. I am passionate about literacy and nutrition. I have been writing since 2008 and in 2010 I started writing at OC Mom’s at The Orange County Register. I will begin writing my first column in May of this year on Nutrition and children.

My older son Andrew suffers from severe food allergies and in 2009 was diagnosed with Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EE), as a result of his food allergies. I have been making changes to the diet in my family over the past five years to help lessen the symptoms of my son’s allergies and EE. Although I have not been able to heal him, I have been able to make huge improvements in his symptoms and the way he feels.

Having a family member who suffers from allergies means that dining out can sometimes be challenging and scary. Allergy suffers have to be concerned about ingredients in dishes as well as cross contamination in the kitchen. Often times it can be easier to just eat before going out or packing your meal and bringing it with you. Many restaurants are beginning to start offering allergy friendly dishes on their menus, or special nutritional guides.

When we plan to dine out I normally have to call ahead and find out if they offer special menu options or make special arrangements with the chef. This can be time consuming and sometimes frustrating just to dine out with my son. It can often feel like too much of a hassle and we find ourselves eating at home more.

I am going to be starting this blog as a resource for all the residents who live here in Orange County or plan to vacation here with food allergies. Each week I will be featuring a different restaurant, service or dish that has allergy friendly options. We will be sharing special menus, restaurants that are willing to make special arrangements and unique allergy friendly dishes within our community.

We are looking forward to becoming a great resource to help take the stress out of dining out with allergies in Orange County. If you are a local restaurant with an allergy friendly menu or options please email me and we would love to feature you here on this blog.

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