Food Allergy Counseling

Food Allergy Counseling
Sloane Miller, MFA, MSW, LMSW, Psychotherapist; Specialist in Food Allergy Management, Speaking At Mylan Specialty / EpiPen Event (© Noel Malcolm 2013)

Monday, May 26, 2014

Food Allergy Counseling: Get Schooled in Anaphylaxis™, Camp Checklist: Mylan

Summer camp is around the corner. Have you had The Food Allergy Talk with the camp and your child about managing food allergy risk while having a great time?  Here's some assistance in the form of a helpful graphic from Mylan Specialty L.P., marketers of EpiPen:

"Check out the below Get Schooled in Anaphylaxis™ camp checklist to ensure all camp staff and campers are aware and prepared for anaphylaxis. The camp packing list should include your action plan, which includes avoiding your known allergens and having access to two epinephrine auto-injectors should anaphylaxis occur."

Have more questions about managing food allergy risk? Check out for lots of free downloadable information and talk to your board certified medical provider about your child’s food allergy risks, needs and anaphylaxis action plan.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Food Allergy Counseling: Chef The Film

I love film and I love food, so films about food are an extra delicious pairing to me. Like peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwiches. (PS you can make "fluffernutters" with all kinds of food allergy free variations like using Ricemellow Creme & Soynut butter on Udi's GF bread. Yum!) 

Chef, written and directed by Jon Favreau, is just that: a delicious pairing of great music, a road trip movie, father/son bonding story and gorgeous food pictures. 

For example, here's Chef's pasta aglio e olio recipe posted on She Knows and Bake SpaceChef makes this, read seduces, Scarlet Johansson with this recipe. And you can totally make this top 8 allergen, food allergy friendly; it's naturally tree-nut free! 

If you see Chef, make sure to stay until the very end of the credits as there is footage of Chef Roy Choi talking to Jon Favreau about making the perfect grilled cheese. Here's some of the background footage through Youtube. So fun! 

Interestingly, how chefs are represented in this film (and most food/chefy films I can think of, like Mostly Martha or Eat Drink Man Woman) underscores something I understand about chefs: they often express love through cooking. Jon Favreau said as much to Eatocracy when he was explaining some of what he learned working with Chef Roy Choi (Tweets by Chef Choi) to get this role down correctly: “…The most accurate, sincere communicating [chefs] do is through their food.”

Understanding this basic tenant of chef-life is how I can dine out often. I know, at the core, chefs are driven to express themselves, their passions and their art through food. Possibly harming through food is the exact opposite of what drives culinarians as professionals and artists.

When you communicate with a chef clearly about your food allergic needs, odds are your needs will be taken seriously and appropriate accommodations will be made. Here’s my step-by-step guide to dining out (via Allergic Living Magazine).  I have a whole chapter about dining out in my book Allergic Girl: Adventures in Living Well with Food Allergies (Wiley, 2011) or if you want to work on creating food allergy confidence around challenges like dining out, contact me for a tailored-to-you counseling program.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Food Allergy Counseling: Allergies Don’t Need To Stop You, Kyle Dine

Me and Kyle Dine in Central Park

Colleague, friend and fellow adult with food allergies, Kyle Dine, is an allergy educator and musician. He works with Anaphylaxis Canada and he tours the United States singing to school assemblies, helping children, with and without food allergies, learn how to be better advocates for their health. You can book him for your school hereYou can also read his blog post about our fun day here

I am a sponsor of his latest tour,  Let’s Go Nuts. As part of my sponsorship package we decided to do a video together about food allergy awareness. Our song is: "Allergies Don’t Need To Stop You". Which is totes true. We are living embodiments.

This is some classic Kyle Dine singing with yours truly, Allergic Girl

Feel free to like it, share it and sing it with your kids.


Allergies Don’t Need To Stop You
 © Kyle Dine & Sloane Miller

I'm an Allergy girl

And I'm an Allergy Guy
I can do almost anything
And I'm willing to try

I can jog in Central Park

I can play sports and the guitar
So we have a couple allergies
Doesn't mean we can't go far.

I can eat safely at a restaurant
I'll make the reservation, what food do you want?
I can climb a mountain, be on top of the world!
I can make new friends  
You’ve got one in this girl!

I'm an Allergy girl
And I'm an Allergy Guy
I can cook nearly anything
And I'm still... willing to try!

I can live in the big city
I can live in the countryside
Wherever we'll be, allergy free
Is possible for you and I

I can read a label like I'm reading a book
But you gotta double check, here I'll give it a look
I can draw, paint, build, camp, dance [and sing
It's cool to know we can do anything

I'm an allergy girl
And I'm an allergy guy
And whether you're young or old
Whether you have many or few
Allergies, don't need to stop you!

Or me, or you, or him or her, or any of you!


Thank you, Kyle, for a wonderful afternoon of laughter and song! 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Food Allergy Counseling: The Truth Behind 8 Common Food Allergy Myths:

This year for Food Allergy Awareness Week 2014, I wrote an article for Health about some of the myths surrounding food allergy that I hear all of the time during speaking events or within my food allergy counseling practice, like this one:

MYTH #1: I get headaches after I eat. It MUST be a food allergy.

Headaches are not a symptom of food allergies. A food allergy is an immune response to a particular food. Protein in that food triggers the body’s immune system to react, causing allergic symptoms.

According to the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy in the US: “Symptoms may include itchy mouth, tongue and lips; hives; respiratory distress or gastro-intestinal distress. The most severe reaction is anaphylaxis - a rapid and potentially fatal onset of symptoms involving multiple bodily systems such as the skin, GI tract, cardiovascular, respiratory systems.”

Read more: The Truth Behind 8 Common Food Allergy Myths on

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Recipe: Dulce de leche

Dulce de leche ready for two tasters
I have made nectar of the gods. It’s called dulce de leche. And it has two ingredients: milk and sugar. And they come in can, already made. Seriously, this dessert, filling, topping, caramelly goodness from Latin America couldn’t be easier to “make” nor be more delicious.

Here is a step by step by Wikihow which gives several ways to make dulce de leche and a recipe from Nestle. I took those two versions and the advice of the store clerk when I bought the condensed milk and told him what I was making. He said turn down the oven a little bit from the directions, that way it wouldn’t burn. Smart advice.

Here's a picture breakdown of how this magic gets made:

One can of condensed milk. I used Magnolia for one version. And when I finished testing (as in spooning it for dessert over a few days), I tried the same recipe with Nestle Carnation.  I couldn’t detect a massive difference in the finished product; Magnolia might have been a scooch sweeter. 

A shallow casserole pan. A pie plate would be fine here, any shape really, just shallow enough so it cooks evenly.

A larger pan in which to place the smaller one. You will be creating a Bain Marie.

A preheated 400 degree oven. Place the casserole pan filled with condensed milk into a larger pan filled with cold water, so that the water comes up to about three quarters of the sides. 

Place foil on top of casserole.  

“Bake” for two hours or until color darkens and texture thickens to desired color/texture. 

Stir every thirty minutes to check the color and to ensure no coagulation on the bottom.

After first 30 minutes

60 minutes into baking time
90 minutes into baking time
120 minutes and time for a taste

Enjoy the perfection.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Food Allergy Counseling: Speaking, May 6, 2014 in Nutley, NJ: Myths about food allergies

I’m excited to be speaking again in Nutley, NJ for the fourth year in a row for Food Allergy Awareness Week.  If you’re in the area, come on by!

Nutley Health Department and the Nutley school Nurses Presents:

Myths about Food Allergies

Tuesday may 6, 2014
Nutley Public Library
93 Booth Drive
Nutley, NJ
More information, please call: 973.284.4976