I am JJ: What advice do you have for other parents with food allergies?

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Blog Post #121 — I’m a 20-year-old college student who just happens to have a food allergy so any advice I give on this blog is the advice of a 20-year-old college student. I’m not pretending to be an allergist or a pediatrician or a psychologist or a social worker or a food expert or anything like that. Zero years of med school here. I’ve never researched the psychological effects of anything on anyone. I’ve never worked in a restaurant. I’m not a parent so any parental advice I offer is gleaned from others. I wouldn’t even know how to change a diaper.

I’m a 20-year-old with a food allergy. Period. Everything I write here is from my personal experiences of what I feel and what I think, from my personal interactions and conversations with others from the food allergy world.

One conversation that I’ve been looking forward to the most lately is my weekly call with my parents, which I publish on this blog every Saturday. These honest talks about the challenges they encountered raising me with an allergy have opened my eyes. It’s really cool to hear them respond to my questions, especially since I’ve never really talked with them about how they raised me. I do feel that the honest conversations with my parents will help others, especially if parents listening continue the discussions on their own to form their own personal parenting philosophies.

My parents aren’t the only parents who have great advice to share. I simply give them the opportunity to say it.  Today I want to extend the opportunity to other parents to offer advice. I’ll pass this advice along in future posts. (You can answer here, by email, or on any of our social media platforms.)

What’s a simple piece of advice you’d give to a scared, overwhelmed parent who just found out their child has a food allergy?



JJ Vulopas is a rising senior at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. An advocate for young people, JJ has lived with food allergies his entire life. He is the author of the children's book, Land of Not. You can read his daily blog at www.thelandofcan.com and follow him @thelandofcan on Twitter and Instagram.