The Food Allergy Mama: Kelly Rudnicki with her son John

Meet Kelly Rudnicki, mother of four in the Chicago suburbs. Here’s an introduction from her website:

My second child, John, was diagnosed at age one with severe dairy, egg, peanut, tree nut and legume allergy. He also is asthmatic, so the likelihood of a life threatening reaction from food is increased. I spent a few years learning the ins and outs of food labels, ingredient and product information, and most importantly, how to cook and bake for not only my son, but for the rest of my family as well.

Beginning back in October, Kelly has also been learning to blog, using social media to share the things she has learned, gain more knowledge from other mothers facing similar challenges, and generally raise awareness about food allergies. Ideally, greater understanding will generate increased funding for research, in turn resulting in a cure.

I am proud to have helped her find a Web host for FoodAllergyMama.com and install a WordPress blog there. More recently, for the past couple of weeks, Kelly has had me design a custom theme built around graphic designs by Linda Frothingham of Frothingham Communications.

In addition to her blog, she has now authored a cookbook, The Food Allergy Mama’s Baking Book: Great Dairy-, Egg-, and Nut-Free Treats for the Whole Family, which will be published by Surrey Books (Agate Publishing) in October 2009. In the meantime, you can sample some of Kelly’s recipes at FoodAllergyMama.com.

Besides cooking and recipes, the site is a window into the ordinary, daily situations that pose special threats when food allergies are considered. For example, what if there is no adult accompanying your child on a field trip who is trained in the use of EpiPens? Imagine your own kid with peanut allergies riding on a bus along with dozens of brown paper bags filled with sandwiches containing peanut butter, an airborne allergen.

Even people without food allergies in their own families could learn a few things by standing in the shoes of parents for whom every day presents dangers which could end up taking their childrens’ lives.

So, if you deal with these issues yourself, know someone who does, simply want to broaden your understanding — or just want to bake some delicious Dairy, Egg and Nut Free Chocolate Chip Brownies — spend a little time browsing through the blog posts and comments at FoodAllergyMama.com.

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