Food allergies are on the rise. Whether it's an allergy to dairy, gluten, or soy, it's estimated that almost 6 million children suffer from food allergies in the U.S. alone.

With the prevalence of food allergies and intolerances today, families are often dealing with at least one or often times multiple intolerances among family members. If a home cooked family meal is good for us emotionally, as well as nutritionally, how do we accommodate everyone's needs so everyone can enjoy the same meal together? Registered Dietician Ashley Koff regularly works with patients with food intolerances. She was the nutrition consultant for Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s book the "G-Free Diet" and helps celebrities, including Emily Deschanel and KaDee Strickland, develop healthy allergen/intolerance-free diets. How to manage eating and shopping if you do have food intolerances/allergies in your family:

  1. Foods needs to be delicious – It's important that our foods taste good and that you don't feel deprived, especially with food allergies. There are so many healthy and tasty options to choose from (Nature's Path Gluten Free Waffles, Chia pod, Daiya Allergen Free pizza, Cybele cookies ). Serve these and no one will feel they are missing out.
  2. Quality is important when choosing foods – This is true for everyone, but it is even more true if you are trying to heal from these allergies/intolerances. Look for foods that are organic, Non-GMO, and are low in sugar. Also try to avoid artificial colors.
  3. Focus on the yes you can, not the no list - Always make sure there's a yes option and highlight it for that person. For example, you can make mini potato skin appetizers which are naturally gluten-free, and use avocado, which is a mayo or sour cream replacement with salsa.You can serve with a mini grass-fed burger or a quinoa burger in a bowl of greens and sautéed veggies or with a lettuce wrap.

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