Wednesday, December 9, 2015

How to Organize a Kitchen for Food Allergies

You know I am a self-professed Kitchen Geek- the kitchen is my life and not only do I catch myself "geeking out" over kitchen items but I also feel the need to continue to help others who need it. We all need some extra help in the kitchen, especially when food allergies are concerned. This often starts with how to organize your kitchen to avoid cross-contamination, accidental allergic reactions and, in  general, ways to keep your entire family safe.  So you can imagine how thrilled I was when someone from Modernize approached me and asked if they could write a guest article for my blog. Because as you all know- if you love your kitchen, it will love you back.

I'm happy to share these wonderful food allergy organizational tips (and, gosh- check out the kitchen pictures too!! Drooling, geeking, ok onward) 

How to Organize a Kitchen for Food Allergies
By Mary Sauer

Once you or a loved one are diagnosed with a food allergy, it seems like your day-to-day routines are turned upside down. This is especially true in the kitchen. You family’s favorite meals may now be off limits for the recently diagnosed family members. Now that you have to concern yourself with cross-contamination, food storage and preparation has become exceptionally complicated. In the article, we will help you develop a plan for organizing your kitchen for food allergies.

photo courtesy via Modernize
Color Code Everything

When you have a severe food allergy, you have to worry about more than accidentally consuming the food you are allergic to. Cross-contamination is a real risk, and people with allergies have to make sure the appliances they use weren’t previously used on a food they are allergic to or that their food wasn’t prepared on the same surface as a trigger food.

Avoiding cross-contamination isn’t easy, but it can be simplified. Invest in color coded utensils, plates, and containers. Set clear rules with your family so they know what colors indicate safe foods and what colors indicate off-limit foods. If you are concerned about storing your food, you can also invest in color coded bins for your refrigerator and pantry.

Focus on Accessibility

Cooking for food allergies is typically a very involved process. Processed foods that make dinner time convenient are now off limits, and cooking with fresh foods is the only thing that will work for your family. Make dinner preparation as easy as possible by keeping allergy friendly foods easily accessible while you are cooking. If possible, keep your allergy friendly staples within arm’s reach of the stove and give your fruits and veggies priority seating in your refrigerator.

 Create a Master Shopping List

Now that food allergies are a part of your life, grocery shopping takes a lot more planning. Cut down on the amount of time it takes to plan your meals and grocery trip each week by creating a master list of allergy-friendly meals. What foods does your family eat every week? What is the one item you will doomed without if you run out? Put all of your favorite allergy friendly foods on your master list and make sure they make it your cart every single week.

photo courtesy via Modernize
Create a Food Allergy Safety Kit

When you or someone living in your home has food allergies, keeping your kitchen clean and sanitized is crucial to your family’s wellness. A food allergy safety kit is a great way to make this simple. Use a bucket or a caddy to store your sanitizing solution, dishcloths, and rubber gloves in one, easily accessible spot.

At Modernize, we believe the perfect kitchen is a functional kitchen. The key to success in a food allergy friendly kitchen, and the key to maintaining your sanity, is organizing your kitchen. With a concrete plan for meal planning, food storage, and food preparation, you can survive the switch to an allergy-free kitchen. 

<3 Thanks to the peeps at Modernize for the article and for asking to keep our food allergy families just that much safer (and, if you ever have an extra kitchen, I'll take one). #KitchenGeek 

No comments:

Post a Comment