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  • Olivia Daring

Food Allergy Safety: Education is Key


"Education is the most important thing to keep people with food allergies safe."

—Olivia Daring, 4th grade author & artist


 

Fourth grader Olivia Daring isn't shy about speaking up and teaching friends and teachers about her food allergies.


Through her advocacy, Olivia gains important support from her school community that helps her stay safe when she's away from home. She shows us that you don't have to be a grown-up to educate others about food allergies and enlist their help to stay safe — you just have to have the courage to speak up and out.*

 
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'Dairy Free Pizza' — original work in clay by Olivia Daring

Olivia writes:


"What do you think is most important for kids living with food allergies? I think educating people around me is most important. This is why I include allergy topics in my school. Talking about it with friends and showing friends and teachers safe foods is a great way to educate people around me.


Talking about food allergies with friends comes easy at lunch time. They ask me questions about what is in my lunchbox. I show them what substitutions look like for me. While I am unable to eat cafeteria food, I can show them the great options from home.


Showing friends and teachers safe foods happens in the classroom. When teachers offer a sweet treat as a reward I can tell them what I can have. This year for an art project I was able to display allergy friendliness by creating a dariy free clay pizza. While making my clay pizza I was able to answer many questions about allergies.


All in all, educating people around me about my food allergies is a great idea. I like talking about it with my friends at lunch, and showing friends and teachers safe foods. Education is the most important thing to keep people with food allergies safe."


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About the Author: Olivia Daring is a 4th grader who loves drawing, aerial silks (think gravity defying aerial acrobatics á la Cirque du Soleil) and soccer. She’s also passionate about all things Language Arts and writes for the Allergy Force community about her food allergic life. While she is severely allergic to tree nuts, and dairy & soy are EOE triggers, Olivia never lets food allergies or EoE stop her from enjoying all that life has to offer — from trips to the Magic Kingdom to ice cream & pizza outings with family and friends.



Credits: Thank you to Sharayah M. for permission to share this essay and artwork



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*POSTSCRIPT: When we find the courage to share our personal challenges with others, we invite them to keep us company on our journey. When we share our stories — our ups and downs, how we bounce and move forward — we bring others to a place of understanding with {perhaps} some empathy in the mix. Thank you, Olivia! —Gayle Rigione, Allergy Force founder

 


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