Finding balance and asking for help
Sometimes it feels like the world has dealt you a crap hand of cards. You can’t hang out with friends without pre-planning. You can sense your parents are trying to keep their stress and frustration about managing your food allergies a secret, but you hear their whispers. You really want to date but thinking about the whole kissing situation gives you anxiety.
Let’s face it, being a teen is hard, being a food allergy teen can sometimes feel impossible.
That’s why we are talking about how to find balance and ask for help as a food allergy teen.
Food Allergy Teen Mental Health Focus
- How do you know if how/what you are feeling is normal?
- What should you do if you are feeling anxious about going to parties/events?
- How do you find balance and not let anger be your go-to mode?
- Tips on how to approach dating and navigating college.
- How to show your parents you are gaining independance and can manage your food allergies.
We hope that you will leave this panel feeling more empowered to take control of your mental health.
- Sophie Malik, Zestfull Teen Editor
- Tamara Hubbard, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor
- Amanda Orlando, Author & Food Allergy Advocate
- Sydney Hankin, Director of Operations, Securing Safe Food
Moderator: Kortney Kwong Hing, Zestfull Co-Founder & The Itch Podcast Co-Host
Resources mentioned in the discussion
- Food Allergy Counselor Directory – to locate an allergy-informed therapist
- Allergy anxiety therapeutic worksheets – to help process anxiety and grow confidence in allergy management
- Exploring Food Allergy Families podcast
- Anxiety Canada’s MAPs (My Anxiety Plan) – child/teen and adult versions
- Anxiety Relief for Teens by Regine Galanti, PhD
Sophie Malik is a senior in high school who has managed several food allergies since childhood, and she is passionate about food allergy advocacy. She founded Food Allergy Alliance, a virtual discussion group where anyone who has food allergies or knows someone who does can share experiences, get advice, and connect with others. Aside from raising awareness about food allergies, Sophie is interested in math and science, and she loves to bake, babysit, and hang out with her dog Lucky!
▪️Check out why Sophie thinks you need to teach our kids to cook
Tamara Hubbard is the creator of the internationally-known resource, the Food Allergy Counselor website, Tamara Hubbard, LCPC is an allergy-informed and family therapy-trained licensed clinical therapist in private practice. Her resources help the allergy community navigate the social and emotional aspects of life with food allergies. Visit the Food Allergy Counselor website to access these resources: the Food Allergy Counselor Directory, Exploring Food Allergy Families podcast, therapeutic worksheets, and links to other allergy behavioral health resources.
▪️Check out Tamara’s Zestfull 5 about mindfullness
Amanda Orlando is a twice-published allergy-friendly cookbook author, food photographer, and freelance creator. She also offers virtual cooking classes to help those with food allergies feel excited about food. She is the blogger behind Everyday Allergen Free and has lived with multiple life-threatening food allergies since birth. Find her latest book, Everyone’s Welcome, anywhere books are sold, and connect with her on social media at @everydayallergenfree.
▪️Check out our review of Amanda’s cookbook Everyone’s Welcome
Sydney Hankin is a junior in high school from New York, NY, and she is allergic to uncooked eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, and sesame seeds. She is also the Director of Operations of the nonprofit organization Securing Safe Food, which aims to make food pantries more accessible for individuals with food allergies. In her spare time, Sydney loves to write fiction and creative nonfiction, practice playing the piano and fiddle, and play with her new Maltipoo puppy.
▪️Check out our interview with Securing Safe Food
Kortney is your typical atopic triad! She manages asthma, eczema, environmental and food allergies. Kortney is a co-creator of the online community Allergy Travels and co-host of The Itch Podcast. She wants to spread joy in a community that can easily see the hard side of life with atopic disease and believes that you can have a full life with food allergies, it may just be lived a little differently!