Category Archives: Children With Food Allergies

Heaven in Poland…

Nungesser Family

You have no idea how HAPPY I am at this moment.

I know…I may be a year behind this beautiful article, but ah well…As the old mantra goes, “Better late than never!”

So, I have noticed that the need for expanding Max’s diet has changed like CRAZY ever since he actually went to school.  He was no longer home for me to prepare his food.  And the city that we live closest to has a VERY small selection of hardly anything that is Max friendly in terms of cheese or meats or spreads.  Yes, there are always carrot sticks—but, come now!  How many of those can we actually eat?  Enough—but that is usually not all.

Since Max had a horrible reaction once to chick peas, we don’t risk hummus, although it could have been cross contamination?  Who knows.  But, in any case, we avoid foods that we notice he has reacted to before (And, when I say reaction, I mean, “Mom, my mouth is burning!  My mouth is on fire!”) …Therefore, I emphasize again, we could send him with carrots for lunch every day but we sure would like to send him with more!

There is a brand of bacon that is milk free—but cold bacon?  unless you’re serving me a fresh BLT, then, umm…not the same, eh?!

And sliced ham?  Well, much has milk additives for flavoring—not all, but much.  He doesn’t seem to like ham that much, though, but should that really hurt my feelings?

He’s allergic to beef.

He doesn’t like chicken.

He does like items with eggs in them but not eggs by themselves.  Currently ruling out egg-salad sandwiches.  Maybe his taste buds will change in this year for that one???

But, my point is, packing second breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack is getting more difficult as he grows.

I don’t mind that he doesn’t have a huge palate for meat.  I mean, I love meat but what?  Am I going to force my children to eat it?  Not if they don’t care for it.

THANKFULLY he likes cookie butter.  He likes jam.  He likes tons of fruits.

We still gotta work on the veggies—but, hey!  What 6-year-old doesn’t need to expand his veggie palate, eh?!


I was desperately Google searching today to figure out how I can make Max grilled cheese and pizza with cheese that is NOT nasty soy tasting when I came upon this beautiful article!

You have to also understand…I found Max a DELICIOUS…seriously, a fantastic cheese once at the grocery store in Germany with a rice/coconut base to it.  Not only that but it melted beautifully.  And, have I mentioned that it was DELICIOUS?  If not…YUM YUM!

And so I thought—I’ll just order from Germany this same cheese.  UMMM?  Euro costs, plus shipping, plus tax?  Yeah.  It was like a $40 could be purchase for cheese for at that time—a 5-year-old.  No, thank you!

But today—in my Mom wants to avoid laundry moment—I began to compensate for “Bad Housekeeping Mom” with “Good Feed Your Son Mom” and the search commenced.

And it led me to this…This beautiful piece of gold:

Thank you, beautiful Honorata Jarocka!  You are my new heroine…

After searching all the brands/companies she has mentioned, I have found SO MANY cheeses to order and try for my little man!

And, if they are good enough—I think I’ll just switch the family over in one fell swoop…so that way I’m not busy making two of everything.  Two cutting boards.  Two knives.  Two bowls for two different yet similar meals .

Well, if you are a dairy-free mom of a little and nut free one (too) — well, hey !  You know what I am talking about.  Especially if your kid reacts even to the slightest touch.

And, believe me…prep work is WAY harder than you think…ask my mom.  She kept setting Max’s knife directly on the counter.  NO!  Set it on a paper towel or plastic clean plate, please, while prepping.

Wait!  New cutting board, please!

Yes…My mom is the best in the world…but it is way harder parenting an allergy kid than ANY mom would think.

Anyhow, if you are like I am and live in Poland or perhaps Europe and are having the SAME trouble as I am feeding your little one—may this article lead you to the companies and the search and the FIND for what you need!

All my allergy-momma love to you on your journey,

B (which stands for Brooke—but most commonly known as Mom of Adelyne, Max, and Jo)


An article to make one think…

Here I am … one woman responsible for 3 lives. It sucks the very wind out of me. It is hard enough to be responsible for my life—but compound that with the lives of wee ones is overwhelming.

Then add dangers to their lives and there you have it.

A mommy in paranoia.

If you don’t know Max’s backstory, he never was easy. After 10 years of marriage, my husband and I discovered we were pregnant with our 2nd child. Our rejoicing after years of infertility turned to sorrow as we lost our baby near the end of Trimester 1. Max came 2 years after that—in our 12th year of marriage. Just hours outside of his 34th week.

After spending a couple weeks in the NICU, we brought him home only to deliver him to death through RSV turned pneumonia—blood transfusion, coma, congestive heart failure and a stint of being bagged before our eyes.

Saying we miraculously made it through this is truly saying miraculously we made it through it.

Only to discover his life-threatening allergies.

I kind-of feel as if Max has handed me enough—but he threw this on the barbecue anyway.

And now it is my every breath helicopter mommy moment of my waking day.

Keeping him safe. Alive. And yet letting him live.

This young girl’s death is but another reminder to me that paranoia and triple checking to make sure items are safe IS NOT nuts.

It’s life.

And that’s exactly what I want Max to have.

Here is the article of sorrow.

My heart aches for this family:

The 504 Plan for your allergy kid

max swinging at school

I studied and wrote many plans for individual student’s education called IEPs.
These are plans designed to meet the educational needs of your student that is receiving special education services.  There, however, is another plan out there that many may not know about and is just as important.

It’s called a 504 Plan, and you, if you have not yet, should really look into this plan for your child.

According to the USDA, “when in the licensed physician’s assessment, food allergies may result in severe, life-threatening (anaphylactic) reactions, the child’s condition would meet the definition of ‘disability’.”

FARE recommends that parents of children with food allergy create, in collaboration with their school, a written food allergy management plan. One type of plan is called a 504 Plan, which is available under a federal civil rights law, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Like I have stated many times before, I am not in a country that is yet versed or advanced yet for children like my son, so the school that we are attending is learning with my son’s very attendance on how to properly care for an allergy child.  I am grateful that they want to learn.  This is huge.

As an allergy-parent with a kid finally entering kindergarten alone, this is also a new and scary world for me, too.  Perhaps you are where I am.  Where your allergy-kid is attending, for the first time, public or private school, and you are not sure where to go or what to do to ensure your child’s safety.

Hopefully this post will help guide or direct you on how BEST you can advocate for your child’s educational care, safety, and needs.

The greatest thing you will also have to remember is that this is your right as a parent.  This is your student’s right as a student.  There is no shame in advocating for your child and seeking a plan to remind the school that they need to address his/her needs.  This makes you a mom or dad with the best mission of all: fighting for your child’s life while providing him/her the best education out there!

I hope you find the following information as helpful as I have:

What is an IEP?

Understanding 504 Plans

504 Plans for Food Allergies 

Section 504 and Written Management Plans (by FARE) 


Side note: a private school must be receiving federal funding in order for the need to comply to the 504 regulations.

If you have any other sites regarding children and education in regards to allergies, I’d love for you to link them in the comments.  Also, remember that sharing is caring because there are probably many other parents out there like you and me walking this road for the first time and in need of good and proper help and direction, so please share freely to help the moms or dads out there just like me!

Be blessed, fight hard, and keep that kid safe.




Good News! I am to be published again…

first day of school

Well, I got GREAT news again today.  I have a second article picked up by The Mighty that will be published in the future.  When it is published, they will send me the email with the link, which I will then pass along to you.

In the meantime, my ALLERGY BOY is officially in the 5/6 year old class at our local school, and the school is scared.  I am scared.  Max’s dad is scared.  I think we are ALL scared.  In a small village, Max is the first to arrive carrying EpiPens and life-threatening allergies.  But it has been hashed out: he will only ever consume or touch his food.

This may not seem like a big deal in your country where food allergies are well known, discussed and people are pro-active on the fight-BUT in the country which we reside, it is still a very big unknown, under discussed, and, therefore, very scary for all of us in the game.

Emphasizing how scary this life we walk in this world we walk is, I bring you an absolutely tragic story of a woman that, after being repeatedly assured at a restaurant in Hungary her food was nut free in all ways, suffered anaphylactic shock that has left her in a state of suffering from life-altering brain injuries.

I have already watched my son receive CPR treatment while he was in a full-coma in the ICU.  The nurses kicked us out and bagged our son while waiting for the doctor to arrive.  It is because of their life-saving treatments, he appears okay.  Eventually they were able to intubate him and get a steady flow of oxygen going.

But, the thing is, every single day that I walk my son outside and purchase a food item for him, I risk this exact thing happening.  Because, no matter how many guarantees of safety we are given, my son walks a very unforgiving road.

Fear makes me want to hide him away.  But that is not living.

And so we walk.  Hoping for life.


Please click here to watch the video and read the link:

Heartbreaking scenes on This Morning as ex-producer left paralysed by nut allergy is comforted by Ruth Langsford on show

Will this make me die?

nungesser 3

My poor little man.  He LOVES Kinder Eggs.

What are those, you may ask?  OH THEY ARE HEAVEN ENCASED IN CHOCOLATE, I may add.

They are brilliant itty bitty little toys that half of the world loves, the other half hates.  The parents, we are a mixture of in-between.

There are YouTubes.  Millions and millions of hits that have children seriously JUST UNWRAPPING the Kinder Egg and showing what is inside this chocolate delight.

It’s ridiculous…but yet guess what my children choose to watch when they get TV?

Yes.  That’s right—The Kinder Egg kids and these ridiculous toys.

But my children love them…just like the kid next door.  And they are FANTASTIC for bribery!

Yes, I proudly bribe my children and expect great results from said bribery 😉

Even my allergy kid LOVES these surprise eggs…He just has to get a little more creative when opening them.

Sometimes he smashes them open with a hammer.

Other times, he puts on latex gloves.

Once I wrapped his hands in tin foil.

Another time, plastic wrap.

We have taught him to break it open.  Then he waits for us to move the chocolate, clean the table, and wipe down the plastic egg surprise container.

WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS????  You may ask.

Isn’t this a LOT of work?

Yes.  It is.  We do it because in this life he leads, it’s a small amount of time for my boy to be “just one of the guys!”  Even though Just One of the Guys requires lots of prep and cleaning work.

But he is thrilled each time—even though he can’t eat the treat.

Today, however, he surprised me.  I was cleaning the mess that was made (his sister went poopy on the potty, earning her and Maxie a kinder egg—see post here), when Maxwell stated, “Is chocolate what will kill me???”

I stopped and stared.

He got it.

He got that there are foods out there that will kill him.

That if he eats or ingests or even samples them, he very very very very well could die.

And I am not sure if at that moment I was okay, happy, relieved, or sad.

Maybe I was a mixture of ALL because it’s the reality of his world.  But it’s not the reality of mine.  Or his dad’s or his sisters or even his cousins.

My son could die if he simply ingests the wrong food.

And we live every moment of every day making sure that his food is safe so that he will live.

Boy—when I woke this morning, I had NO IDEA that a Kinder Egg would bring such perspective into my life.

Not just the annoying little plastic toy 😉

The Mighty!

Perhaps you are here because you have been directed here by The Mighty, the online site that focuses on Real People Real Stories!  

If so, WELCOME!  I hope that you enjoy Allergy to the Max!  A site I started to find better ways to manage being a mommy to Max.  He’s a tough nut to crack, which is ironic considering he can’t even TOUCH A NUT!

If not, then I hope that you’ll hop on over to The Mighty and see a post that they recently picked up!  Super excited about it.

Here it is:  5 Tips for Managing Your Child’s Food Allergies Abroad .

Enjoy the read and please like & share,


Mom of Max