Health Through Nutrition - In the News - Can I Eat Here
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Health Through Nutrition

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It's always a treat when we get to interview those in the medical field. Laura Lagano is a Registered Dietician who has been practicing for over 30 years. She is credentialed in Medical Nutrition Therapy (Which also means she may be able to work with your insurance company!) and combines her traditional medical background with Holistic Functional Medicine. She believes in an all encompassing approach with a "no one size fits all" mind set. Laura has children with food sensitivities, so she understands the struggles many of us face and uses her background to search for solutions. For Mom Monday, we asked Laura a few questions on behalf of parents who have children with allergies. 

Why did you become a dietician?

"I was mesmerized with the relationship between food and mood. I wanted to learn about healthy eating, food sensitivities, and the impact artificial ingredients has on our bodies."

Your children have food sensitivities. What foods to they react to?

"Artificial flavors and colors, gluten, dairy, and at times fructose. I've found their sensitivities can change with the seasons. For example, if you are having seasonal allergies, your body is already reacting so you may be more sensitive to different foods. There is nothing like experience to teach you. Seeing how the issues have affected my children and dealing with them on a day to day basis has given me a unique perspective as a clinician." 

If you suspect your child has allergies or sensitivities, what is the first step you should take? 

"Go see a practitioner who specializes in allergies and sensitivities. For sensitivities you want to seek out a dietician who is trained in functional medicine. Go find someone who is credentialed. Remember, anyone can call them self a nutritionist.

Sometimes thinking about having sensitivities or changing your diet is more intimidating and anxiety producing than actually doing it. Once you do it, you realize it isn't so bad and there are a lot of foods you can eat. Finding new foods, especially unprocessed foods, isn't as scary as it sounds." 

How have you educated your children on foods that are safe for them to eat?

  1. Parties: When they were little, it was not a problem. I advise parents to feed their child before going to a party, allergy or not. This way they are less likely to indulge in the junk. I also would send my kids with their own goody bags to parties and events. If you have time, you can also offer to make something for parties, events, etc to ensure your child can eat. 
  2. School lunch: When my kids were young, it wasn't a problem; they were happy to bring their own lunch. Teenage years are more difficult. The need to belong combined with their desire for independence can create challenges. When at home, it isn't a problem, but when teenagers are out of the house, it's more of a battle. If their symptoms aren't life threatening or not very severe, it can be harder to convince them to stick to their diet when out of the house. 
  3. My oldest child is 19 and I have twins who are 16. Find a way that resonates with each child. Find what interests them and grab them with that to emphasize why their diets are important. 

Laura is passionate about helping others through their nutrition journey. She jokingly refers to herself as a private investigator for your health. If you would like to meet with Laura or set up a consultation, see her contact info below. 

Contact Integrative Clinical Nutritionist Laura Lagano, MS, RD, CDN to schedule a video, telephone, or in-person appointment about managing your family’s allergies and other pediatric and adult health issues. [email protected] • 917-829-0250 • lauralagano.com