If you suspect that you or your child has a peanut allergy or other food allergy, keeping a food diary can be very helpful in discovering the culprit.

Every day, toddlers and children, as well as adults, eat many different foods, which can make it difficult to know which food could be causing the allergic reaction. When you suspect that a food allergy exists, start writing down every food that you or your child eat.

Shortly after you finish eating, write down any allergic responses that you see or feel. Even if they are mild symptoms like itchiness, these can provide clues as to what food is not being tolerated in the body. Of course, if a serious allergic reaction occurs, you will need to get immediate emergency medical treatment.

Look for patterns in your reactions to certain foods

After a week passes by, you can carefully go through your journal to see which foods caused problems. You may have to do some detective work at first. For example, if your child had a reaction after eating a peanut butter sandwich on wheat bread, you wil need to see if a reaction also happened the day that he ate buttered toast, pizza, cookies, and other foods made with wheat.

If the allergic reaction happened only after eating peanut butter, there is a good chance that peanut butter is the food that you are allergic to. Use a highlighter to mark each food that caused a reation, or make a large asterisk next to it. This will help you find the patterns that you need to see.

Focus on foods that may be causing allergic reactions

You will soon be able to see that you have no reaction at all after eating certain foods. After recording a particular food that is a one-ingredient food, you can eliminate the need to record this food after eating it. Some of these foods may be vegetables, fruits, but not foods that could have hidden ingredients that are causing your allergic reaction.

Most of the time, you will quickly see what causes a peanut allergy reaction or other food allergy reaction because of the symptoms that develop very quickly after eating certain foods in most cases. If your whole body develops hives or if you are wheezing right after eating a certain food, you can be fairly sure of what is causing it. The food journal is helpful in narrowing down foods that may be causing your allergies.

Food diaries are helpful in weight loss

Another use for the food diary is to see your eating patterns in a written form. Many people are amazed when they see how much food they consume in one day. Write down each cracker or piece of food that you eat to get a true picture.

You may also want to write down when you eat, where you are when you eat, and other details that provide a more complete picture. This can help you see if you are eating out of nervousness at certain times, or if you have developed eating patterns that are not necessary. Eating cookies and milk with your kids after school may happen as you are cleaning the kitchen or looking through their school work for the day, yet you can consume hundreds of extra calories by doing this.

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