All Posts in Category: Support Group

Allergy Cards Help Spread Word About Children’s Health Risks


Recently a great article appeared in the Wall Street Journal on Allergy Cards for birthdays, events, coaches, etc.  It is a quick way to spread the word about a food allergy, while giving all of the relevant and essential contact information for your child.

I can definitely see the benefit to having these in your wallet, a purse, a car or briefcase.  Having these can quickly tell the story about your child’s food allergies as well as the response that should be taken in the event of an exposure to an unwanted allergen.

Allergy cards are increasingly popping up on back-to-school shopping lists as parents seek a more efficient and thorough way to inform a new batch of teachers, coaches, sitters and friends about their children’s allergies.

The handout, usually the size of a business card, details a child’s allergies and includes instructions on how to handle a reaction, sometimes with a reminder to dial 911 before the parents’ phone numbers, which usually are also listed.

Here is a link to the full article:

Here is a link to several sites to check out for cards:




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Los Angeles Walk for Food Allergy – September 21, 2014


The FARE Walk for Food Allergy brings together thousands of people who are seeking a safer world for the 15 million Americans living with food allergies. The Walk is a family-friendly event that takes place in communities nationwide to raise funds for food allergy research, education, advocacy and awareness. This special day will include fun activities for the entire family. Register today as an individual or start a team and invite your friends, family and co-workers to help us say FAREwell to food allergies!

The walk will commence in Long Beach at Marina Green Park.  Check-in time is 11:00am, with the walk ceremony beginning at 12:00 pm.  The Food Allergy Walk is a food allergy friendly, not a food allergy free event. Please remember to read all labels. We respectfully ask you take all of your samples home to enjoy.

Event Contact Info:

FARE Western Regional Office
Anna Ryan – Western Region Director
Phone: 424-672-3263
Email: [email protected]

For more information on the event, please visit:

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2014 FAACT Annual Conference – Now Open for Registration

FAACT ConferenceIn September 2014 , the FAACT (Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Connection Team) will be holding their first event at the Disneyland Hotel.  The conference is designed for those with food allergies as full day of food allergy education.  The conference covers all aspects of food allergies, from food allergy management, food diet, best selling food allergy authors and food allergy research.    The full day event will be held on Saturday, September 13, 2014 at the Disneyland Hotel.

The cost for the conference is $150 for adults/guests (for Non-FAACT Patrons) and $100 for teens.  FAACT Patrons can attend at a discounted rate.   There is also a discounted Disneyland Hotel rate of $184 per night for attendees who register before Augugst 13, 2014.  More information can be found at the FAACT website.


About the Food Allergy Conference
FAACT’s annual Food Allergy Conferences provide full day of educational sessions led by leading medical professionals and food allergy advocates. The conferences offer education and support for parents, grandparents, school personnel, caregivers, healthcare professionals, and teens. Each conference will include specialized breakout sessions, including a session specifically for adults who have food allergies. Keynote speakers will be members of FAACT’s Medical Advisory Board presenting on food allergy and anaphylaxis management, as well as the latest food allergy research. There will be sessions for parents, nurses, school personnel, as well as a session about the psychosocial aspect of living with food allergies, restaurant training workshops, baking demo sessions with leading allergy cookbook authors, and much, much more. Teens and Teen Siblings (ages 11-18) will be together the entire day, sharing experiences, participating in team-building activities, and learning from leading healthcare professionals and advocates.

For more information on the conference, please visit FAACT at:

For more information on becoming a FAACT Patron, please visit:


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FARE Walk for Food Allergy – San Diego (2014)

San Diego Food Allergy Walk 2014

If you live in the San Diego area (or even Orange County), the FARE Walk San Diego will be on Sunday, June 29, 2014.    The FARE Walk for Food Allergy brings together thousands of people who are seeking a safer world for the 15 million Americans living with food allergies.  The funds from the walk go to raise money for food allergy research, education, advocacy and awareness.

Walk Schedule
Registration/Check-in: 11:00am – 12:00pm
Walk Ceremony: 12:00pm
Walk Begins: Immediately Following Ceremony

Walk Location
The San Diego NTC Park at Liberty Station 2455 Cushing Road San Diego CA 92106.

For more information on this event, please contact:
FARE West Regional Office
Alice Gordon – Regional Development Director
Phone: 310-883-8644
Email: [email protected]

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Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Connection Team (FAACT) – Launches

Looks like there is a new Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis program launching.  Eleanor Garrow-Holding, who was once a part of FARE, is now the CEO of Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Connection Team or FAACT. FAACT's goal is to educate, advocate, and raise awareness for families and individuals affected by food allergies and life-threatening anaphylaxis.

Garrow-Holding provides leadership for all of FAACT’s initiatives and programs, including conferences across the country, education for school and restaurant staff, and statewide legislation  and civil rights advocacy for students. FAACT will also grow the very successful Camp TAG (The Allergy Gang) – a summer camp for children with food allergies and their siblings that Garrow-Holding founded in 2009.

By networking with other food allergy organizations, FAACT is also able to supply the most up-to-date resources and provide a more cohesive level of support to patients and families by some of the nation’s most dedicated advocates, all with personal connections to allergic disease. 

The leadership base of FAACT includes attorney Amelia Smith Murphree, founder of “Food Allergic Children’s Education in Tupelo;” Karen Underwood Harris, president and founder at “Food Allergy Kids of Atlanta;” Thanita Glancey, president of the “Loudoun Allergy Network;” author Nicole Smith, president and CEO of “Allergic Child;” and Los Angeles media producer Yael Kozar, who leads “CA, Allergy Support & Anaphylaxis Prevention” and created “The Anaphylactic Allergy Podcast”.

For more information about FAACT, please visit

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Come Learn about 504 Plans – No Support Group Meeting


No August Food Allergy Support Group Meeting

However…we will be going to Sensitive Sweets to learn about 504 Plans

Sorry for the cancellation of this month's support group meeting…but an important opportunity has come up and space is extremely limited.  Please read on….

At Sensitive Sweets next week (Thursday, August 15th at 5:30PM to 7:00 PM) Kelly Rudnicki (author of The Food Allergy Mama's Baking Book) will be speaking on the topic of 504 plans.  This means….find a sitter, get off work a little early and come learn from Kelly on this very important topic.

Kelly has spoken at our Saddleback Church food allergy support group before and is quite knowledgeable when it comes to the topic of 504 plans.  Rather than make you choose which event to attend (this event or our support group), we thought we would make the choice easy for you and meet you there.  We will be attending this great presentation, so please come join us.

Additionally, the event is also a mini-fund raiser for FARE Walk – Los Angeles.  20% of the sales that evening at Sensitive Sweets will be donated to FARE.  Plus, if you have never been to Sensitive Sweets in Fountain Valley, you are in for a real treat (an allergy-free treat that is) and will want to purchase a couple of treats before leaving.  Melanie Hohman is an amazing baker with a huge heart for making the most amazing allergy-free treats on the planet.

As with our group, leave the kids at home and come ready to learn.  For those of you who cannot make it, I am planning on video recording it (with Kelly's approval) so the content may still be available if you cannot attend..

The event is limited to 35 adults so you will want to make sure you sign up immediately so that Melanie can get an accurate head count.    Once again, YOU MUST RSVP VIA FACEBOOK to reserve your spot for this event.

To reserve your spot for the 504 plan event, please click here.

Once again, NO Support Group meeting this month. Our next meeting will be in October, after school has started so we look forward to seeing everyone in the fall.  In the meantime, you can visit us online on Facebook if you have any questions, concerns or prayer requests.

Hopefully the Lord is bringing blessing to your summer and protection to your kids and family.

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Dear Orange County, Food Allergy Awareness Week is coming

Food Allergy Awareness Week FARE Poster

Orange County, Food Allergy Awareness Week is upon us.  In 1998, the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (now FARE), started Food Allergy Awareness Week to help educate families, schools, about the dangers of food allergies and how important it is keep our children safe.

Food Allergy is a real medical condition that impacts 1 in 13 kids.  If you think about this in terms of Orange County schools, that is on average 2 kids in every classroom.  To help spread the word, FARE has a number of different materials that are extremely useful in educating others on the serious nature of a food allergy condition.

Here are just some of the materials:



​For more information, please visit FARE at

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The Food Allergy Mama’s Easy, Fast Family Meals

Kelly Rudnicki serves up fast, fantastic recipes for allergen–free meals in her new book, "The Food Allergy Mama's Easy, Fast Family Meals"

9781583335000_p0_v1_s260x420For Kelly Rudnicki, busy mother of five young children, feeding her family got even more complicated when one of her sons was diagnosed with severe food allergies. Launching the Food Allergy Mama website, she struck a chord with parents and home cooks in similar situations and made it her mission to prove that allergen–free meals can be easy and flavorful. Showcasing the very best of Rudnicki’s repertoire, The Food Allergy Mama’s Easy, Fast Family Meals makes it simple to please a hungry crowd. Recipes include:

  • Morning Glory Muffins
  • Breakfast Burritos
  • Creamy Tomato Soup
  • Hearty Pasta Featuring Grandma Jeanne’s Bolognese Sauce
  • Oatmeal Fudge Bars

All recipes are made without milk, butter, cheese, eggs, or nuts. She also includes time–saving tips, and ideas for inexpensive ingredient substitutions, including tofu and applesauce. Menu ideas and holiday celebrations make this book the most comprehensive guide of its kind—a one–stop resource for allergen–free, worry–free home cooking every day of the week.

To find out more about her book, please visit here at:

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Food Allergy Conference is coming to Anaheim in June 2013


2003 FARE Food Allergy Conference – Anaheim, CA

The FARE Conference (previously FAAN) is returning to Anaheim this year on June 1, 2013.  The conference, held at the Disneyland Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, is a full day program that allows teens and adults with food allergies, families, caregivers, and school personnel to gather to learn the latest in food allergy research, best practices, and to network with one another. 

Registration for the event varies betwen $50 and $125 for the event.  Additionally, attendees can receive discounted rooms at the Disneyland Grand Californian Hotel & Spa for $194 per night (normally over $400 per night).  Last year, the family was able to attend the event and enjoy the resort.

Food Allergy topics this year include:

  • Understanding Food Allergies
  • Emerging Therapies for Food Allergy
  • Breakout A: Safely Navigating the Restaurant Scene 
  • Coping with Food Allergies: The Importance of Mental Wellness 
  • Safety and Inclusion in Schools 
  • Raising the Bar for Allergy-free Energy Bars
  • Maintaining a Healthy Diet with Food Allergies
  • Partnering with Your School’s Nurse
  • Living and Thriving with Food Allergies: A Teen Success Panel

For questions on the event or to find out more, please visit the FARE website at:, call 1-800-929-4040 or email [email protected].

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Helping Your Child Overcome Anxiety (with Food Allergies)

During our April 16, 2013, Dr. Kendra Klassen visited our Food Allergy Support Group to share some great information on the topic of anxiety.  Here is some of the importance information she was able to share with the group.


Helping Your Child Overcome Anxiety (with Food Allergies)


Understanding the Problem

In times of stress, the body will become either over or under aroused. When our body is over aroused (hyper-arousal), we experience many forms of anxiety, such as panic attacks, racing thoughts, or an unexplainable sense of dread.

Help children gain a sense of control by educating them about how the brain and body work.

  • Visit for examples of scripts to use when explaining anxiety to your children.
  • Teach kids to recognize the signs of a stressed out body: increased heart rate, sweaty palms, tense muscles and thoughts like, "I need daddy," or, "I can't do it!"
  • Distinguish between "tricks" and "truth."

Many things can stress our bodies, all of which have the potential to lead to anxiety (e.g., toxins, allergies, over-stimulation, emotional trauma, etc.). For help finding the source of the problem, consider seeing a counselor or holistic healthcare practitioner.


Put On Your Own Oxygen Mask First

To help our children with their anxiety, we must learn to manage your own.

  • Do the following tips and tools along with your children, and use them for yourself. Remember, a calm brain is a flexible brain.
  • Remain calm and confident in the heat of the moment to provide your child a secure base. For help, check out the "Calm Authority for Mothers" CD at

When you are relaxed, you can more easily soothe your child with eye contact, gentle touch, and soft, reassuring words.



The fastest, surest way to decrease anxiety is to take slow, deep breaths. A rhythmic flow of air going in and out helps calm the body.

  • Place your hands over each other's hearts and breathe slowly.
  • Use a pinwheel or bubbles to teach your child how to blow gently, keeping it going for as long as possible before taking the next breath.
  • Or imagine blowing a feather far out into the distance.

For deep breathing to work, we must practice regularly. Just minutes a day will profoundly influence your ability to stay regulated during a normally stressful situation.


Mind Control

Controlling our thought life is essential in winning the war against anxiety. Practice squashing the "worry bug" with the following techniques:

  • Memorize anti-anxiety scriptures as a family
    • 2 Tim 1:7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
    • Isaiah 12:2 Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense he has become my salvation.
    • Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
    • Philippians 4:13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
    • Psalm 34:4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
    • Psalm 56:11 In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid…"
  • Have a plan. Explore and practice ways to calm down before the anxiety hits (such as breathing, walking, asking for help, etc.). Ask them what they need to manage difficult situations and rehearse.
  • Teach your child to talk back to the fear. Externalize the problem using puppets, figures, etc. to role-play fear and its "boss" (or "superhero," etc.). Being playful and silly helps make hyper-arousal less scary!

As adults, we can help our children overcome anxiety! Never give up. Be patient, empathize with their struggle, encourage them to overcome, and reward their progress!


Additional Resources



About Dr. Klassen

Dr. Kendra Klassen is a licensed psychologist who received her doctorate in clinical psychology from Rosemead School of Psychology in La Mirada, California.  She has been in practice for over 10 years, specializing in attachment work with children, individuals and families throughout Orange County, and helping people develop more fulfilling and meaningful lives.

With two young children of her own, Dr. Klassen's passion is to help parents, children and their families have healthy relationships with one another.  Dr. Kendra Klassen has been working in the field of attachment and bonding since the early 90's.  Her experience includes time with orphans in Romania, specialized training under both local and internationally renowned experts in the field, and work with numerous adopted and foster children in both clinical and group home settings.

Dr. Klassen is also trained in Healing Prayer and Neuro-Emotional Technique (, and has experience with natural and alternative healthcare. This makes her a truly holistic practitioner, committed to the healing of the whole person.  She has presented for a number of organizations and to general audiences, speaking on the topics of attachment, marriage, parenting, and spirituality.  She is a caring mom and proven professional, committed to the advancement of God's redeeming work in the restoration of families.  Call now to learn more. Kendra Klassen, Psy.D. ph. 949-303-8933



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