One of the hardest things is to accept what you cant change but this is the first step

Don't blame yourself for your or your child's allergy. It's no-one's fault; you're just a victim of genes, environment, and bad luck. Dwelling on things that can't be changed is never a good strategy, especially if they are in the past or beyond your control. Similarly, don't waste time wading through competing theories on the cause of allergies in the press or on the internet; your focus now is on making the best of life.

One of the hardest things is to accept what you cannot change, but this is the first step towards planning a future without certain foods. I guarantee you won't have to miss out on the foods you love, but first you'll need a cool head to identify all the risky situations you're going to find yourself in. Normal activities, like a meal out, are now a dangerous obstacle course. You'll have to learn to communicate about a topic fraught with emotions and scepticism effectively and respond to enquiries with convincing medical detail - and don't worry, you will. How you communicate is important, too. The key is to explain rather than complain, and that's a lot easier once you've been through the emotional stage.

You will need negotiation skills, too. I've never found it particularly easy to ask for things and would rather walk over hot coals than send wine or food back in a restaurant, but now I can walk into any kitchen, ask to discuss the menu or see the chef, and tell them just what I need.

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