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Susan Weissman
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Blog Entries by Susan Weissman

The Voice of Reason: (Maybe Not) for Emergency Use Only

(4) Comments | Posted January 23, 2013 | 10:35 AM

Every medical population in the U.S. has a running list of priorities. As a parent of a 10-year-old child with anaphylactic food allergies and asthma, my son's emergency medical protocol, which includes always having access to injectable ephinedrine (his Epipen) is one of a few daily concerns. Every time he...

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Beggar's Choice: It's (Not) (Always) (Never) About Food

(5) Comments | Posted May 15, 2012 | 4:10 PM

It's not about food.

When my son, Eden, was in second grade, his teacher announced a class trip to a Chinese restaurant, culminating their studies on China. Eden has anaphylactic food allergies to dairy, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame and some fish and shellfish, and most Chinese restaurant...

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What Would You Want If Your Child Had His First Allergic Reaction in School?

(31) Comments | Posted January 2, 2012 | 10:35 AM

Should all school children, not just those who have diagnosed food allergies, have access to the emergency medication epinephrine and should more adults be ready to administer it? This question was recently answered, in part, on Capitol Hill on November 27th. In an effort towards groundbreaking and lifesaving legislation a...

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New and Promising Food Allergy Treatment 'Tricks' the Immune System

(0) Comments | Posted October 12, 2011 | 4:15 PM

Like any parent whose child has multiple and life-threatening food allergies, I scrutinize any pronouncements of treatments through the lens of my child's body. Food allergies are chronic and lifelong, with the possibility but not the promise, of outgrowth. So with each new therapy for anaphylactic food allergies, therapies like...

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It Is Time for National Education of Life-threatening Allergic Reactions

(0) Comments | Posted October 4, 2011 | 7:18 PM

Anaphylaxis, a progressive and life-threatening allergic reaction, isn't always easy to identify. According to the Food Allergy Initiative (FAI) website:

"Any one of the following symptoms is a sign of a dangerous reaction that requires immediate medical attention:"

  • Obstructive swelling of the lips, tongue and/or throat
  • Trouble...
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Should Schools Be Nut-Free?

(110) Comments | Posted May 19, 2011 | 9:45 AM

When parents protested this past March claiming that a Florida student needed to be home-schooled due to her intrusive peanut allergy, this question resurfaced: Should U.S. schools be "Nut Free?"

As the parent of an eight-year-old with multiple anaphylactic allergies, I wonder how much the label of "Nut-Free"...

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Finding the 'Right' Doctor for Your Allergic Child

(12) Comments | Posted December 29, 2010 | 10:50 AM

There is a sage expression "A mother is only happy as her least happy child." I've noticed a more recent parenting trend that goes something like, "A mother is happy in equal proportion to her confidence in her child's doctor(s)."

Many parents have a particular anxiety surrounding our children's medical...

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Child Food Allergies: What Causes Them?

(89) Comments | Posted October 29, 2010 | 9:45 AM

Like any good mother, ever since my son Eden was diagnosed with life-threatening food allergies, I've been trying to find out why. The Hygiene Hypothesis is a popular theory for the increase in food allergies. In 2004, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease followed the medical...

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Will Honey Sweeten My Jewish New Year With Food Allergies? (3 Alternatives to Traditional Honey Cake)

(1) Comments | Posted September 2, 2010 | 3:06 PM

Nobody I know likes honey cake all that much. Including myself. Unless you count my mother. But I don't because she's a food sentimentalist. Still, every Jewish New Year, in addition to securing temple seats, planning family gatherings and holiday fare, many of us begin plotting honey cake...

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Here's the Skinny: I Don't Want My Kids Eating a "Lowfat Diet"

(0) Comments | Posted April 22, 2010 | 3:44 PM

2010-04-23-Picture1.png Let me begin by stating that Jamie Oliver is a hero for publicly and knowledgeably fighting childhood obesity. And for doing so with whole and local foods. No child should have to suffer the medical consequences of obesity or even...

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Put Me In The Zoo: How Food Allergies Turn Mothers Into Animals

(3) Comments | Posted March 9, 2010 | 10:04 AM

My seven-year old prepared for weeks, practicing his lines, singing along to the DVD and fretting over every detail of his costume. His first grade rendition of the Robert Lopshire book Put Me In The Zoo promised a wholesome bite of childhood a parent could savor for years...

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My Top 5 Fears For My Allergic Child

(4) Comments | Posted February 11, 2010 | 3:02 PM

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1. My son's allergies will get worse. They are not numbers on paper. I have seen my son Eden react progressively to a trace of walnut oil, peanut butter, sesame seeds, milk, soy, one green pea, one fava bean and sauteed garlic. And...

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What Is Clean Food?

(1) Comments | Posted February 3, 2010 | 11:19 AM

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Clean Food. What does it mean? If you are literal it might promise a dirt-free meal. In that case, I prepare some of the cleanest food you will ever eat. I spray my organic apples with organic produce cleanser. I rinse my leafy greens...

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A Relucant Foodie Puzzles Out Peanut Butter And Jelly

(0) Comments | Posted January 25, 2010 | 12:21 PM

2010-01-25-peanutbuttersandwich.gif The look of surprised pleasure spread across my husband's face after he took his first bite. "Wow. Wait. That's good," was his ensuing staccato.

I had just fed him an hors d'oeuvre of melted chocolate with olive spread. In my cooking repertoire, it...

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I Am a Relucant Foodie

(2) Comments | Posted January 14, 2010 | 4:38 PM

2010-01-14-betty.jpg As recent interest in All Things Food - nutrition, sustainability, spirituality, flavor and preparation - grows like a stalk of biodynamic lemongrass, the exact definition of a "Foodie" remains debatable. In his famous 2009 Op-Ed piece, Anthony Bourdain wrote that we had...

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Throw It Back Or Throw It Up: How Will The Allergy Generation Handle Their Drink?

(2) Comments | Posted November 12, 2009 | 1:14 PM

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Let's call them The Allergy Generation. They are the approximate two million children in the U.S. who are growing up with life-threatening food allergies. Their immune systems are in overdrive, unable to distinguish between a deadly parasite, a spoonful of yogurt or a...

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Channeling Betty Draper: Will She Smile Before Next Season's Final Episode of Mad Men?

(24) Comments | Posted November 11, 2009 | 3:25 PM

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If you've seen the show Mad Men then you're already familiar with Betty Draper's off putting yet alluring character. In the majority of her scenes she's located in a plaid-coordinated suburban kitchen staring blankly at her children while discontentedly huffing a cigarette....

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Snack Attack: U.S. Schools Should Rethink Vending Machines Right Now!

(0) Comments | Posted July 24, 2009 | 1:59 PM

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Who doesn't love a tasty snack? I do. But unlike many children, I understand why a packet of Oreos or Sun Chips will taste better than it makes me feel. President Obama obviously understands the importance of good nutrition and this fall he...

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Go Ask Alice: Parents Will Screw Up No Matter How They "Parent"

(0) Comments | Posted June 30, 2009 | 11:46 AM

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It seems there has been a recent counter trend towards laid back, or as coined by clever writers -- "slow" or "free range" -- parenting. I can't take credit for spotting this movement. Lisa Belkin just wrote an insightful New York Times article...

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Right or Wrong: J.D. Salinger Wants Holden to Stay "Forever Young"

(0) Comments | Posted June 2, 2009 | 7:32 PM

This isn't about J.D. Salinger's right to legally block the publication of 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye by J.D. California. This is about love and the adolescent inability to separate real life from fiction; the tantalizing privileges of adulthood from the rewards of childhood fantasy. It is...

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