Sydney Lights The Way For Food Allergy Awareness

On Thursday, May 18, Sydney’s Town Hall was illuminated in teal, the signature colour of food allergy awareness, making it the first building in Australia – and the first outside North America – to join the ‘Turn it Teal’ initiative.

‘Turn it Teal’, founded by Cleveland, Ohio native Stephanie Lowe in 2014, was created with the goal of lighting as many prominent monuments and buildings as possible to highlight Food Allergy Awareness Week, an initiative intended to educate the public regarding the seriousness of food allergy.

TRIGGER Food Allergy Awareness founder, Grace Farah said: “It was so exciting to see the stunning Sydney Town Hall lit in Teal. It’s a great initiative – people see the building lit and it starts a conversation, but it also shows our Aussie kids and families dealing with food allergies that Sydney cares and Australia cares”.

The focus now is to look towards next year and have people start to think about what building they can ‘Turn It Teal’ in their home town, city or state.

This year it was Sydney, but how great if next year, in 2018 we see Melbourne, Queensland, Adelaide, W.A, Tasmania and the Territory ‘Turn it Teal’, but also New Zealand, the UK, Europe and Asia.

“I urge every person in the food allergy community to start thinking about their efforts for next year and how they can become part of this great awareness campaign,” said Ms Farah.

To find out more on how you can ‘Turn it Teal’ go to and suggest a site to light.

Sydney Town Hall First Australian Building To ‘Turn it Teal’

We are excited to announce that TRIGGER Awareness Food Allergy has joined with ‘Turn it Teal’ to bring this great awareness initiative to Australia.

In support of Food Allergy Awareness Week, the iconic Sydney Town Hall will be lit up in teal on Thursday 18 May, 2017, making it the first building in Australia – and the first outside North America – to join the ‘Turn it Teal’ initiative.

‘Turn it Teal’, founded in 2014 by Cleveland Ohio mother, Stephanie Lowe was created with the goal of lighting as many prominent monuments and buildings as possible to highlight Food Allergy Awareness Week and the need to educate others about food allergy, a potentially life-threatening and life-altering disease.

“I’m so excited to have the stunning Sydney Town Hall, an internationally recognised landmark, be the first to ‘Turn it Teal’ in Australia”, said Ms Lowe. “Australia has one of the highest rates of food allergies in the world and it seems fitting that it is one of the first countries to come on board and Turn it Teal”.

Australian journalist and TRIGGER Awareness Food Allergy founder, Grace Farah said: “this is such a great way to raise food allergy awareness and I knew we had to bring it here to Australia. People see the building lit and it starts a conversation, but it also shows our Aussie kids and families dealing with food allergies that Sydney cares and Australia cares”.

“My heartfelt thanks to Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore and her great team at City of Sydney for embracing the idea and making it happen”, Ms Farah said.

Stephanie Lowe said: “Food allergies are a global issue and my hope is that this will lead to many more countries and cities around the world participating in Turn It Teal”.

This May, many buildings will be lit up in teal including Niagara Falls, the Orlando Eye, US Bank Tower Los Angeles and Terminal Tower Cleveland, OH.

The Sydney Town Hall, the largest and most ornate late 19th century civic building in Australia, will shine in teal, the signature color of food allergy awareness, for six hours from 6pm to midnight on Thursday 18 May, 2017.

For more information about ‘Turn It Teal’, visit


Famous People Who Have Food Allergies

Many children with food allergies report that they feel “isolated or different” because of their food allergies. Although it is important that children understand the seriousness of their food allergies it is also important for them to know that food allergies are manageable and don’t have to control their life.

It often helps to let them know about the many successful and talented people who also live with food allergies every day and don’t let it stop them.

Famous people who have food allergies include;

Halle Berry: The Oscar winning actress is allergic to shrimp.

Zooey Deschanel: The ‘New’ Girl actress is allergic to eggs, dairy and wheat.

Serena Williams: The tennis champion is allergic to peanuts.

Jessica Simpson: The singer is allergic to tomatoes, wheat, and milk.

Bill Clinton: The Former U.S. President is allergic to chocolate and flour.

Sharing stores of celebrities and athletes who have to live with and manage their food allergies helps food allergic children relate to the world and those they admire and reiterates the message that they are not alone.

Your Child Has Food Allergies: Now What?

Once your child’s food allergy has been diagnosed, the initial adjustment to your family’s lifestyle can be a challenging time and a source of concern. Adjusting to living with food allergies can take some time and based on our conversations with parents it seems the first two years after diagnosis can be the most challenging.

To assist you, we have compiled a list of helpful tips to hopefully support you with this transition.

The first thing you need to know is that food allergies are manageable. Initially it may seem to be a daunting task to keep your child safe but food allergies can safely be managed with the proper education, preparation and support.

Always follow your doctor’s advice about ways to avoid trigger foods and remember- each child and each allergy is different.

Always remember to take your child’s medication with you. This may include antihistamine medicine, adrenaline / epinephrine autoinjectors (it is recommended that you carry more than one autoinjector).

Have a family action plan should an emergency occur.

Read labels, Read Ingredients; Shopping for a special diet can be a challenge at first and reading food labels will become a part of every-day life.

Talk to others who are dealing with the same challenges. A number of social sites and nonprofit organizations offer information and forums for discussing food allergies.

Plan ahead – Holidays, birthday parties, family gatherings, eating out and days out need more planning.  Make sure you have the right food and drink for your child and advise others of their allergy and how they can keep them safe.

Research, Research, Research. Knowledge is KEY.

If you would like to share your story or helpful tips please contact us at or connect with us; or

The Teal Pumpkin Project

For families with children who live with food allergies, Halloween can be a tricky time. The fun of trick-or-treating can be actually dangerous, if not life-threatening, when a child does not know what is in the Halloween treats.

In 2012, a Tennessee mother named Becky Basalone, whose son suffered from anaphylactic food allergies, had the idea to paint a pumpkin teal, the color for food allergy awareness, and put it on her doorstep for Halloween.

Basalone’s idea worked so well that in 2014, FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) created The Teal Pumpkin Project which encourages people to display a teal pumpkin or teal colored sign at their front door let allergic trick-or-treaters and their parents know that safe treats are available.

The project has rapidly spread to all 50 states and 14 different countries as parents, neighbors and doctors help spread awareness of the impacts of food allergies.

“I think the Teal Pumpkin Project has been so meaningful for families affected by food allergies not only because it helps create a safer, happier Halloween for kids with food allergies, but also because it’s a movement that recognizes the seriousness of a disease they’re managing daily.”

– FARE senior director of communications Nancy Gregory.

To find out more and to take part:



Push For Police To Carry Epinephrine Auto-Injectors

A recent proposal would have police officers carry epinephrine auto-injectors and trained in the use of them for medical emergencies.

In many cases police are first on the scene of an emergency call but if it’s a medical emergency, their hands are usually tied until medical teams arrive.

Tragically, this was the case for Illinois mother Shelly LeGere when her 13-year-old daughter, Annie, who had no known allergies, went into anaphylactic shock last year.

Shelly says police officers were first on the scene and arrived within minutes but officers were not authorized to carry or administer what might have been a life-saving dose of adrenaline – Annie LeGere died a week later.

Now her mother is working with Illinois state lawmakers to encourage police and others to get training and legal permission to start carrying epinephrine.

State Senator Chris Nybo is sponsoring the bill. He says school transport companies, parks and daycare centers are among those also targeted in the bill which would limit liability of those administering it in an attempt to save a life.

To find out more please visit;

The Annie LeGere Foundation Inc.


Trigger Awareness Celebrates Fourth Birthday

Today marks the fourth anniversary of the launch of our Trigger Food Allergy Awareness Initiative.

What started out as a simple idea to make a film that was accessible to everyone in the hopes of raising awareness to help teachers- like my daughter’s kindergarten teacher (Mrs. E) who expressed a wish that she had something to ‘show students and parents’ to educate them on the real dangers of food allergies and the potential lethal reaction they have – launched this four year journey.

After launching ‘TRIGGER AWARENESS’, seeing the amazing response as well as experiencing some of the roadblocks, we know the real need to raise awareness and the impact understanding has on the lives of those with food allergies. These experiences have shown us the real need to have information made available to all.

I would like to thank everyone who helped us along the way and thank our hard working team of Jo, BC, Sue J, Giv, Tas, Tye, Jenny and to all the active food allergy parents/community members and of course – YOU, who are reading this now. We want you to know that it is the inspiring food allergy community, teachers, parents, medical professionals and the amazing food allergy children that drives us further.

Moving forward, we remain passionate and committed to providing FREE independent films and resources until a CURE for food allergies is found.

Again, Thank You!

Grace Farah – Founder



Rhymes Can Help

Rhymes can be an extremely useful learning tool to help children remember what to do in certain situations. Creating your own food allergy safety message is a fun and challenging exercise for the whole family.

Here are a few we came up with;

‘If you’re not sure if the food has nuts, avoid it completely, no ifs, ands or buts.’

 ‘Food Allergies are real – and that’s the deal.’

‘Read the label before you buy it and read the label before you try it!’

‘If you have a reaction immediately take action.’

Using rhyme can help your child remember their action plan. The key is to use different opportunities to help your child learn and remember, these can range from things like taking a trip to the local store to preparing a meal.


The Big Debate: Should Peanuts Be Banned at School?

When it comes to food allergies one of the most heated debates occurs when the topic is about the need for peanut-free schools and classrooms. The divide between those who fall on both ends of the spectrum seems to come from a matter of experience- those whose children are in serious danger from a nut allergy and have seen the effects first-hand on their children’s health and indeed, very life and those who simply have not been exposed to these dangers and do not see the issue as ‘such a big deal.’

What we need to keep in mind is that food allergies are on the increase and more and more children starting school have at least one serious allergy.

While parents have control in the safe haven of their own home once their food allergy child is of school age it can be a daunting and often frightening proposition to send them to school.

Paramount, of course, is doing all we can to keep all children safe and out of harm’s way, but secondly, what needs to be understood is that allergic students may often feel left out not just unsafe, but socially awkward and worse- isolated or even bullied at school.

The other consideration needs to be the teachers; with the increase in allergies comes an increase of a teacher’s responsibilities and duties. Anyone who has experienced an anaphylactic episode will tell you it can be an extremely stressful situation and as teachers are on the front line of a child’s care at school their voices, opinions and contributions need to be heard and taken seriously.

Some critics claim that the problem with having nut free schools is that it presents a ‘false sense of security.’ This view simply undermines food allergy sufferers and their caregivers who know firsthand that regardless of how vigilant one is occurrences will still happen. There is never a 100% guarantee of a nut-free or any allergen free environment.

The difference is that in a nut free class or school there will be less chance of contact with the food in question and thus, naturally fewer reactions or emergency situations.

We appreciate it’s a sensitive issue for all sides, but it is an outright life-saving issue for some dealing with these allergies.

Whether a school decides to be ‘nut free’ or ‘egg-free’ or any other food restriction intended to protect children attending their school, it does seem clear there needs to be open communication with all parties involved.

The Need For A Balanced Diet When You Have Food Allergies

The first duty in preparing safe meals for children with food allergies is avoiding the offending ingredient or allergen(s). However, by avoiding these ingredients, a real risk exists that food allergy sufferers may be missing out on important nutrients that help maintain good health and stronger immune systems.

A balanced diet is essential. Discovering what important nutrients may be missing from your child’s diet as a result of the allergy and replacing it with an alternate source is recommended. Just one example of finding alternatives to ensure proper vitamin and nutrient absorption is the following; if the allergen is milk- which is rich in protein, calcium, Riboflavin, phosphorus, vitamins A, D, B12, which are essential for bone mineralization and growth. You can replace milk with meat, fish, poultry, legumes, eggs (fortified milk substitutes), leafy greens and other calcium-fortified foods.

Of course, you should only use these replacements if they are also safe for your child and if you are not sure, have your child tested. Each sufferer is different and discussing your nutritional needs with your allergist, family physician and/or nutrition expert is imperative.

INFORMATION on IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE and any information or materials posted are intended for general informational purposes only. Any information posted on the web site is NOT a substitute for medical attention. Please see your health-care professional for medical advice and treatment.