Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia (PRWEB) January 23, 2012
Every mother knows that preparing meals for the family each night is a task filled with peril. The same old favorites can become monotonous & routine, and trying new dishes runs the risk of rejection. There is much disappointment when hours of food preparation have been met with lacklustre responses or blatant refusal by family members.
Imagine how this could be compounded when choices are limited by multiple food allergies or intolerances. It is this conundrum that inspired the creation of TheAllergyMenu.Com, the World’s First Customized Recipe Search Tool, for people with multiple food allergies or intolerances.
The Allergy Menu is the brainchild of two Sunshine Coast mothers, Pauline O'Sullivan & Michelle Kazukaitis, who have spent the last two years building the online resource, specifically to cater for those with multiple food restrictions. The idea came about after Pauline's 7 year old daughter, Emmanuelle, developed severe facial eczema.
"When my daughter was diagnosed with intolerances to gluten, dairy and salicylates 3 years ago, I felt like I had to learn the equivalent of a degree in nutrition. Learning to prepare safe meals for her and understand how to manage her condition became an all consuming occupation." It affected every aspect of Pauline's life, requiring her to cook everything from scratch & prepare for every food related eventuality. "I was desperate for a resource that could help me pull it all together and was constantly trawling the internet and bookstores looking for recipes and health information. That's when I decided that if the market did not have what I needed, I would need to create it myself.", she says. Pauline joined forces with long-time friend Michelle Kazukaitis, and The Allergy Menu was born.
There has been a significant increase in food allergies and intolerances during the past ten years. Official figures estimate that 1 in 20 Australian children have food allergies, but a recent study conducted by Immunologist Professor Katie Allen from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, reveals that the figures may be much higher. The Victorian based study found that one in 10 of the 5000 Australian infant’s studied, had a potentially fatal food allergy. The most common food allergens are everyday proteins like eggs, peanuts, milk and fish.
Disconcertingly, Australia has the highest prevalence of peanut allergy among children, gluten intolerance is at epidemic proportions and one child in every 50 has a dairy allergy.
The numbers of people suffering from salicylate sensitivities, fructose malabsorption, corn allergies & reactions to the amines, nitrates & glutamates in everyday food items is rapidly increasing too. These food related health epidemics mean that the waiting list to see an allergist in Australia can be up to 2 years long in many locations.
As a result, families are struggling with the day to day necessities of providing suitable meals and snacks for the ever increasing number of children with serious food allergies and intolerances. It can be an enormous burden, and a steep learning curve for the newly diagnosed, requiring the cooperation and understanding of the entire family, as well as friends, teachers & schools.
"When dealing with food allergies, simple events like birthday parties and weekend barbecues can become a minefield, and can contribute to the already heightened level of stress in modern families", says Pauline. "I could see that what was needed was a dedicated recipe website, that would enable users like me to quickly access healthy, varied & safe recipes free of multiple allergens".
http://www.theallergymenu.com goes beyond the top 8 allergens (milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy & wheat), and allows users to customize their recipe search to eliminate over 20 different items, such as fructose, corn, amines, salicylates, oxalates, fructans, polyols & glutamates. The website also caters for specific diets such as the GAPS diet & the Gluten Free, Casein Free diet which are commonly recommended for children with Autism & ADHD.
“With our site you can focus again on what you would like to eat, rather than on what you can’t eat”, says Pauline. Everyone’s dietary needs are different, so you will find a wide variety of foods on our site (including nuts for celiacs and eggs for vegetarians). If you can’t tolerate these ingredients, the search function will eliminate them from your selection in one easy search.
"There are hundreds of beautiful recipes that we have carefully adapted to be safe and taste great too”, says Michelle. “And we add new ones constantly. "We are so proud of what we have achieved together. It has been a labour of love, and we are confident that it will help many people".
Visit The Allergy Menu at http://www.theallergymenu.com