Hello and welcome to the Allergic Mama blog! My name is Caitlin, and I am so happy you are here! I’d love to share with you a little bit about myself and my story.
Almost thirty years ago, I was born with a severe peanut allergy, into a family that had no idea what a food allergy was. Three years later, my brother was born, and had a whole list of allergies affecting him. My mom always jokes that I was her test baby as the first-born, and even more so with the struggle of having to learn and adapt to life with life-threatening allergies.
Today I am a stay-at-home mama to my wonderful sons, Owen (3) and Ben (1), and have been married to my husband, Nolan, for 7 years. I have lived in Southern California my entire life and graduated from Whittier College with a degree in Child Development. I have worked as a children’s librarian, and most recently in administration at Biola University until I decided to stay home full-time with our son four months after he was born.
I have been anaphylactic to peanuts since I was born, and therefore avoid all nuts in case of cross-contamination. During my senior year in high school, I became severely lactose intolerant, and a couple of years after that I learned I was severely allergic to shellfish. My list of environmental allergies is pretty extensive, and I am also allergic to four different medications.
Learning to deal with food allergies from birth to adulthood, and now through this season of motherhood has proven challenging (and scary at times!). However, I am thankful to have been blessed with a loving husband who continues to find new restaurants for date night (which is not very easy!) and is always working hard to keep me safe. I am also blessed to have a loving and supportive family that continues to try new safe places and recipes for me.
Now it’s my turn to want to share the help and support that I’ve received with others struggling with food allergies. My goal is to lend a hand to those kids approaching young adulthood and facing these new challenges, the friends in my same food-focused generation battling food allergies, and the parents watching their little ones go through these battles. I am hopeful to share allergy-friendly recipes, safe places to eat, and tips for allergy issues (dating, new jobs). I hope that more relevant resources can be made available to this new generation of children growing up into adulthood with food allergies.
– Caitlin Reiter