Navigating allergies, intolerances, dietary requirements and conditions can feel like a minefield - but it doesn't have to be.
We've compiled an easy to remember, super concise glossary of terms that will help you get your head around basic dietary terms. Listed alphabetically, check it out below...
Allergen – Something that causes an allergic reaction. The most common food allergens are: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, fish and shellfish.
Anaphylaxis – A serious allergic reaction that could be life threatening, characterised by flushing or swelling of the skin, swelling of the lips and tongue, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. Visit anaphylaxis.org.uk for more information.
Crohn’s disease – An inflammatory bowel disease, affecting the digestive tract. The main symptoms of Crohn’s disease are diarrhoea, stomach ache and cramps, fatigue and weight loss. Visit chronsandcolitis.org.uk for more info.
Coeliac disease – An autoimmune disease in which the body is hypersensitive to gluten, leading to difficulty digesting food. Symptoms range from mild to severe, and can include bloating, diarrhoea, nausea, wind, constipation, tiredness, mouth ulcers, sudden or unexpected weight loss (but not in all cases), and anaemia. Visit coeliac.org.uk for more info.
Dietary requirement – A restriction on what can and can’t be eaten, dictated by allergies, intolerances or lifestyle choice such as vegetarian and vegan. Also include diets influenced by religion, including Kocher or Halal diets.
EpiPen – An auto-injector that injects adrenaline into someone suffering an allergic reaction. Most kids will carry two EpiPens, administered 15 minutes apart if required. Whilst easy to use, if you’re looking after a child with one, make sure their parent(s) gives you a quick run-through on how to use it.
Food intolerance – Difficulty digesting certain foods due to negative effects on the body, such as bloating, stomach ache, and mild skin rashes.
Free From – Products that do not contain certain ingredients known to cause a reaction in people with allergies or intolerances. Products include gluten free, wheat free and dairy free, for example.
Inclusivity – Ensuring nobody feels excluded, regardless of diet.
Lactose intolerance – A common digestive problem where the body is unable to digest lactose, a sugar mainly found in milk and dairy products.
Pescatarian – A person who does not eat meat but does eat fish.
Vegan – A way of living that excludes eating food, wearing clothing or using products made from, or of, animals.
Vegetarian – A person who does not eat meat or fish, but still eats dairy and eggs.